Co-housing Community Celebrates 35 years – with Karel Slot

Before I set sail with a freighter ship for the Americas, I couchsurfed at a co-housing community in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, with Host, Karel Slot.  The co-housing initiative, called Centraal Wonen Zevenkamp, is now 35 years old! Karel is one of its founding members.

In a co-housing community, people can own or rent their own property but share common resources such as meeting rooms, tool sheds and vegetable gardens. It is a wonderful way to live more sustainably and have community.

According to the intentional communities inventory book Eurotopia Edition 2014, Centraal Wonen Zevenkamp is situated on 13 ha in the region of CW7 on the edge of the city of Rotterdam. There are over 100 people living here, a mix of men women and children occupying up to 60 houses. Sustainability and neighbourly help are two of the main fields of action for the community.

According to Eurotopia, the community is situated in the most beautiful part of Rotterdam. And I can believe it! Dragon flies, parakeets and butterflies greeted me as I approached this co-housing initiative just a short walk from the Metro station that leads to the city centre.

I’m keen to find out what life is like in a co-housing initiative and what are some of the reasons for the success of this particular co-housing initiative.

Join me as I talk to Karel and also to Anton van Aart who Chairs the Co-housing group. (This show was recorded on the 4th of July).

To listen to this programme about CO-HOUSING please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=46c10657-2d13-4e72-be31-65df96434e73

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

For more information –

This show was originally broadcast on the 3rd August 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Some of the communal rooms of Centraal Wonen Zevenkamp (CW7) where community activities such as art take place.

Karel Slot and his very useful human powered vehicle. Decorated by a friend in the community.

A co-housing community benefits from its members’ skills and interests. The community has a few beehives. For example, on the day I visited, one hive decided to swarm. Members with skills in bee keeping collected the swarm.

The community’s communal garden. There are also larger wider community gardens very close by.

Close by community garden where Karel contributes a his time.

 

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Move water with a Ram Pump – with guest Mike Cahn

My guest today is Mike Cahn, who along with Suzie Cahn owns Carraig Dulra farm – a hill-side four acre smallholding  in Co Wicklow that provides education about permaculure and sustainable living.

When they bought the property over 10 years ago, one of the challenges of Carraig Dulra was that it was not on the mains water supply. Instead Mike and Suzie were given water use rights to a stream below the property.

To solve the challenge of getting water up the hill to be used on the property, Mike installed a hydraulic ram pump. Mike is full of enthusiasm for this system. Like solar power, it doesn’t need mains electricity. Instead the pump is powered by the water flow itself. In addition, the hydraulic ram pump has some unique sustainability features that, for Mike, make it a more sustainable choice than solar.

Join me as I ask Mike how how it works, and what he loves about this system.

To listen to this programme about HYDRAULIC RAM PUMPS please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=9f8c5a3e-b63f-47c4-b4b4-4aa02b4974d2

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

For more information –

  • Carraig Dulra website – www.dulra.org
  • On facebook – Carraig Dulra

This show was recorded in early June 2017 and originally broadcast on the 3rd August 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Mike Cahn holding a fitting from a hydraulic ram pump

Fittings for the ram pump

Close up of the valve system

 

Managing Setbacks in Urban Restoration – with Hendrik Koch

With more than 50% of New Zealanders living in cities, and cities encroaching on rural and wild spaces, incorporating nature into our urban design is becoming increasingly important. Indeed, nature can ameliorate many of our urban problems. Trees and green space reduce stormwater run off. And they reduce the temperatures in concrete dominated cityscapes. Just as important, spending time in nature make us happier. Nature improves the mental and physical health of us and our children.

And of course we have a duty to make space for the other species we share this planet with.

My guest on this show is Hendrik Koch, Activities Coordinator with The Dunedin Environment Centre Trust. Hendrik has a background in successful urban restoration particularly in the Kaikorai Valley area of Dunedin. If you have been to the Shetland Street Communtity Gardens or to the Kaikorai Wetland Reserve across the road you will know what a special place this area has become. I loved it so much, I used to run the sustainable living field trips there for the SLP class participants.

Unfortunately there has been a big setback, with a new sewerage renewal project that is going to impinge significantly on the area. I asked Hendrik to tell me more.

This show was recorded on the 15th June 2017

To listen to this programme about MANAGING SETBACKS IN URBAN RESTORATION please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=61821466-3b68-499c-ac3a-66d20535a003

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

This show was originally broadcast on the 6th July 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Hendrik Koch, Activities Coordinator with the Dunedin Environment Centre Trust (DECT)

 

Look out for the bridge leading to the community gardens

The Kaikorai Common Reserve is just across the road from the community gardens – on Shetland Street

Starting a Community Garden in Dunedin – with Lynn Vare

Dalmore Reserve Community Garden – better known as the Dalmore Reserve Bandit Gardeners is one of the newer community gardens to pop up in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Every community garden of course is run a little differently depending on the desires of the people putting in the work as well as the needs of the wider community. If you are thinking of starting up a community garden, or getting involved with one, then today’s show should provide you with good food for thought!

In early June 2017, I spoke (via internet) to my guest Lynn Vare, resident of Dalmore in Dunedin, and Librarian at Otago Boys High School. Lynn is currently leading the Bandits, following the considerable achievements of founder Kelley Allen.

I’m keen to find out some of the essentials for getting a community garden up and running here in Dunedin. What were some of the challenges faced by this Community garden? What have been some of the expected and unexpected rewards? And what motivates Lynn to commit her energy and efforts to making this garden a success.

To listen to this programme about The Community Garden at Dalmore Reserve please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=5e759e87-a96a-4037-abf9-ec61131769f8

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

For more information –

  • On facebook – Dalmore Reserve Bandit Gardeners
  • Email – Gardenersdalmorecommunitygarden@gmail.com

This show was recorded on the 2nd June 2017 and originally broadcast on the 8th June 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Lynn Vare, currently leading activities at the Dalmore Reserve Community Garden.

Dalmore Reserve – site of the Bandit’s Dalmore Resesrve Community Garden

Flowers have been planted to attract beneficial pollinators

Healthy spray free veges growing. Views of Dunedin Harbour in the background

All this plant profusion requires some work! Everyone is a volunteer at the Dalmore Community Gardens

And of course everyone efforts are rewarded with fantastic produce to share among volunteers.

Cycling for Cleaner Air in Belfast – with Sustrans

The Comber Greenway from Comber to Belfast in Northern Ireland is a disused railway track that has been converted to make a combined walk and cycle way. It makes an ideal commuter route to the city, and it’s just one of several initiatives to promote cycling in Northern Ireland.

For this show I have come to East Belfast to meet with employees of Sustrans, a large UK charity that focuses on promoting walking and cycling in the UK. Imagine that! We have no such equivalent organisation in New Zealand.

Sustrans are here to promote the launch of Pedal Perks, which is part of the 4.4 million euro CHIPS project, a wider EU supported initiative that is working to improve air quality by promoting cycling.

This show has been recorded on the 5th June.

To listen to this programme about CYCLING FOR CLEANER AIR IN BELFAST please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=14e2c041-67d9-456e-bcbd-bbe24e6b932c

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

This show was originally broadcast on the 13th July 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

For more information

Claire Polock, Project Manager of CHIPS

Pamela Grove-White, Sustrans Active Travel Officer

 

Promoting the launch of Pedal Perks outside S.D.Bell’s cafe. S.D. Bells & Co Ltd is Ireland’s oldest independent tea importer and coffee roaster.

 

Map of the Comber Greenway, a 7 mile walk/cycleway that takes you into the city of Belfast

My guest Lynn who kindly stopped along the Comber Greenway to chat with me.

The Comber Greenway is a tranquil nature rich way to get to the city of Belfast

 

Protecting the Old Irish Goat – with Joe and Helen

All goats are great! But the Old Irish Goat is particulary special. It is the original landrace breed of goat in Ireland, believed now through genetic testing to go back to the times of neolithic people in Ireland.

The Old Irish Goat Society has been formed to protect it. In June while hitching round the west coast of Ireland, I went in search of this wonderful goat. I was not disappointed!

In Westport in Co. Mayo, I met with Joe O’Grady who is in charge of day to day husbandry for the main captive breeding population. I then went to Mulranny where the Old Irish Goat Society has its headquarters and shop. I spoke with volunteer Helen Walker there.

Join me as I find out more about this wonderful breed, why it is important to our sustainability and resilience, and how important it is that we do more to protect it.

To listen to this programme about PROTECTING THE OLD IRISH GOAT please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=1b8a8337-fd6e-4d74-b79d-ba64fe16a5be

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

This show was originally broadcast on the 27th July 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

For more information

One of the magnificant Old Irish Goats I saw that is part of a breeding programme to assist this landrace breed.

Joe O’Grady who is in charge of day to day husbandry for the goats kept in Westport in Co Mayo.

Helen Walker, Volunteer, with the Old Irish Goat Society – at the Craft Shop in Mulranny

Craft and Information Centre for the Old Irish Goat Society at Mulranny

Mulranny is a picturesque small community. In the hills around Mulranny, Old Irish Goats have been found that are not contaminated with more modern breeds.

Its breeding season for the Old Irish Goats

 

Permaculture in Ireland – with Suzie Cahn

During my year living here in Ireland, I’ve discovered that there  is a energetic and growing interest in Permaculture in this country.

For those of you not familiar with the term– permaculture is a design system for food production (and more) based on ecological principles observed in nature.

The Permaculture Ireland facebook page buzzes daily with postings of questions, information and discussions among its members. To find out more about permaculture in Ireland I have come to Wicklow to visit Suzie Cahn, an experienced and popular Permaculture Design Teacher in this country.

This show was recorded in May 2017.

To listen to this programme about PERMACULTURE IN IRELAND please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=c48d0c61-992a-4f66-89ca-a9f14acee5e3

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

For more information –

  • Join the active Permaculture in Ireland Facebook page – Permaculture Ireland
  • Suzie and Mike Cahn run Carraig Dulra, an educational permaculture property on the hills of Wicklow. Go to http://www.dulra.org/

This show was originally broadcast on the 29th June 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

 

Suzie Cahn, Permaculture Design Teacher, at Carraig Dulra, Wicklow, Ireland

The Classroom for PDC courses and workshops at Carraig Dulra

The re-used glasshouse that extends the growing season here.

One of the gardens