Life on an Eco-Village

Be sure and check out our GIVEAWAY while you're here.


Welcome friends! This is a post I've been intending to write for almost three months now. If you've been following the blog for a while now you know that as a family we have lived in some unusual places. When Little Owl was first born we lived with my family in their home. Then we moved on to an organic farm where Brian worked for the growing season. Then, we moved back into my parents house for a short time and now we live on an eco-village!

Welcome to Lost Valley!

The place we are living now is called Lost Valley. It is a permaculture educational center and eco-village. In a future post I can explain more about what permaculture is for those of you who are not familiar, but for now I want to share with you a bit of what life is like. Mostly, I will explain briefly what we have been up to the past three months in pictures and a few words.
What are we doing at Lost Valley? Brian is volunteering as the assistant garden manager in exchange for room and board credits. I am attempting to continue blogging, working odd jobs, and mostly taking care of Little Owl (and now a new family member... more on that later!)


Life in a Barn Loft

When we first moved onto Lost Valley we were staying in a barn loft. The bottom part of the barn functioned as a storage area for garden tools, seeds, and other items. As I mentioned on Facebook, when I approached our home from this angle, I felt like a bird coming home to its nest.
Here is a view from the inside... It was... cozy, quaint, snug... and really pretty dirty. But, it worked for a short time. We enjoyed it. But, we are also glad that we've moved into a bigger space now.

Then comes the snow storm...

Of course, everything changes when a snow storm hits. A few weeks into our stay we had a snow storm blow through and we lost power for a while. To stay warm we piled under blankets at night. Thank goodness for co-sleeping! We all stayed nice and snug. 

I love how no matter the weather, kids still have fun. Here is Athena chasing the ducks even in the snow...

Life for Little Owl...

Really living on the village has been absolutely wonderful with Athena. She loves to chase the chickens and ducks, pet the baby bunnies, say hello to the neighboring cows, and welcome the baby chicks with papa
I'm pretty sure a kid couldn't ask for a better life. No matter if things are a little more difficult for me than they would be in a "conventional home", seeing her joy makes it all worth it a hundredfold. 
Not to mention that it's pretty awesome to just walk out our back yard and have this to gaze at... (A forager's paradise!)
Athena and I love to go for walks around the property. It's over 80 acres and we've barely explored any of it. There are LOTS of kids living out here. And it seems like more show up every week! There are six kids just around Athena's age. It's like a play date everyday! (So THIS is what living in a village used to be like!

Our New, New Home... and Our Newest Family Member!

We moved out of the barn loft about three weeks ago. Here is a picture of Athena and I with our NEW DOG! Yes, we welcomed a new family member. Her name is Piper, she's five, we got her from a shelter. Her favorite place to sleep is curled up in a ball, under the covers at our feet. No need for an electric blanket when you co-sleep with a dog! Athena is loving having her around, and so are Brian and I. She's a keeper. 

It's really nice now to have a more function-able space for our family. When we lived in the barn loft, we had to use the group kitchen to cook, which isn't very toddler friendly (read: NOT toddler friendly AT ALL). Here, we have a little kitchenette with a toaster oven and hot plate. It's nice to be able to cook a little bit again while Athena just plays (or begs to be let up and held!) It's also nice to have places to store our food the we canned and dehydrated last year... 


There is so much more I could share... but I need to finish a few projects (hopefully!) before the little one wakes up from her nap. I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into our new lives. It's been a wonderful experience so far and I will continue to update as time goes on. Brian is loving all that he is learning, I am enjoying being around so much beautiful nature, and getting to know the other people and families who live out here. Hope you are all well! Blessings! <3

- The Crunchy Momma


What have you been up to lately? Are there any new developments in your life? Share them with me in the comments! I'd love to know. 

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27 comments:

  1. Wow, this is so fascinating! I had no idea about your living arrangements, and have so many questions about eco villages. I'll definitely be interested in hearing more! And I agree with you-- what a wonderful place to be a child.

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    1. Hey Ariana! Thanks so much for commenting. What sort of things would you like to know? I would love to write more but I'm a little at a loss what to say sometimes. ;)

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  2. I am so so jealous. You're living our daydreams. We feel stuck in the suburbs with a commute to a big city for my husband. I'm preggo with #2, and we've both decided that as soon as I pop this baby out, he's looking for a job in the country somewhere. I love the barn and the bunnies and the cows and all the canned food. :)

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    1. Hey Jamie! Wishing all four of you the best! It's definitely a dream for us, too. There are hard days, but it's definitely worth it we feel. Our dream some day is to have our own place, too. We like living in community but would prefer something a little smaller in the long run. There are almost 60 people living here! ;)

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    1. I will! Thanks for the encouragement!! <3

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  4. These seems so awesome! I'm so jealous!!! Lol! Maybe someday when my husband is out of the service! ❤️

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    1. Thanks! Hope you can some day. Thanks to your husband for serving!! <3

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  6. Incredible! Sounds like your family is making some wonderful memories! You house looks cozy too!

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    1. Thanks April! You can come visit any time. ;)

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  7. Fun to get a glimpse into your life! I love the shelf with all your beautiful canned goods. I've always been intimidated by canning, in spite of having grown up with a mom who did and having done it with my mom and mother in law! One of these summers!

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    1. Hey Rebeca! Thanks!

      I was intimidated by canning at first, too. But it's really not that scary once you do it a few times. The first few times I used the pressure cooker I think I kept my hands by my head because I was terrified it was going to blow up! Lol!

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  8. WOW!!! What an incredible journey you and your family are on.

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  9. Wonder what Kathie Lee would say :) I'm inspired. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. LOL! Good question. ;) Probably a lot. ;)

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  10. Wow, what a wonderful life. Enjoy and keep us updated. Thanks.

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  11. Very cool! I know that wouldn't be for everyone but I think a village of like-minded individuals would be a lovely and encouraging environment.

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    1. Thanks Angela! It's been quite an experience so far.

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  12. This is so fascinating! Thank you for taking the time to write about it! :)

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  13. Looking forward to future installments on your adventures!

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  14. What awesome experiences to have as a kid! Some of my favorite memories include rivers, lakes, animals, and just being outside. What guided your family's decision to live in an eco-village? And what constitutes an eco-village? Sounds like a wonderful way to be. Thanks so much for sharing, and your post will be featured in tonight's What'd You Do This Weekend! Pinning :-)

    Ashley @ PioneerMomma.com

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  15. Hi Jacquelyn,
    I am so delighted to get a peak into your new life at a permaculture educational center and eco-village. I can't wait to read more about your experiences, but as a busy mom, wife, worker, and blogger I know it must be challenging but interesting and amazing. I have always imagined what it would be like to actually apply what we are learning and blogging about in a natural, eco-friendly environment with like-minded people. I hope you are making lots of good friends. Your daughter seems so happy, exploring her environment and playing with other children (without having to coordinate playdates)! I am so glad you shared these wonderful photos and marvelous musings from Lost Valley at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Blog Hop! I love it!

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  16. Wow! I love your story. This is so inspiring, I'm glad I found you, I will definitely be subscribing so I can keep up to date with your adventures, thank you for sharing them.. :-)

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  17. This looks scary and awesome at the same time. Good for you! can't wait to follow more of your adventures!

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