Monday, 9 June 2014

Kin's Domains Direct -- A Visit with Chris Cole

Kin's Oases Homestead Settlement

Chris and his family are as far as we know the only ones creating a settlement of family homesteads based on the Ringing Cedars of Russia within Australia today.  May they be the first of many, and may many others join them in their creation on this land.

This past week I made a journey I've been meaning to do for some time. To see the land Chris Cole has secured in Coonabarabran, (Western) NSW for the purpose of creating homesteads for himself, his family and others who may wish to join him. The land is set up with a design of Chris' own imagining using sacred geometry (related to the number 5 in this case) to define the boundaries roads between individual homesteads.


On 100 acres he has already made an incredible start – using the labour of his own hands (and back), travelling 16 km or so to the land often by foot – sometimes with help from neighbours and friends. There is potential for expanding the property at some stage as adjoining lands become available.

 Chris Cole, email
phone +61 (0)2 6842 4778,  face book kin's eco-village

Chris' vision and motivation come from the Ringing Cedars of Russia series, books by Vladimir Megre, now available in many languages (link). I was delighted to hear that the latest book (Anasta) has found an English translator and is now available online (from the author) for a small cost. No shipping – no waiting. It is just as inspiring as the previous books and goes further in its vital information delivery of things the inspired need to keep us that way.

What we are questing for is a natural way of life that serves to correct the mistakes of millennia. Technology – for all its brilliance – has only ever managed to be an imitation of or replacement for things that already exist in nature. Think about it – even the computer is a frail crutch for the human mind that limps in comparison to the splendour it is really capable of. We are told in the books of great human potential – even in terms of transporting our bodies to faraway places without the use of a car – or rocket ship!

Let's look at the land again. Chris has achieved what I always suspected was possible. Although his trees are newly planted (so their productivity will not shine for a few more years) – he has shown vegetables and herbs can co-exist with Australian bush land (eucalyptus trees and others). Land clearing is not necessary. Chris celebrates the native, local biodiversity and adds to it plants we today are used to having in our diets. Leafy greens, root vegetables grow in Hugelkultur arrangements. This is a Sepp Holzer technique (link). Use soil and timber to create moist fertile microclimates to grow where it may not be possible to without supplementary watering and fertilising. Chris does use animal manures and minerals (such as dolomite) to initially augment and condition the soil.



But the key is that earth work constructions enhance the landscape, holding water and slowly releasing carbon back into the soil from the buried branches and limbs. By the way, the work I saw represented two year's-worth of toil and patient and receptive observation on the land.

 The birth of a hugelkultur (or "hill culture").

Foundation for dugout home.

Water harvesting is important in this climate. I was fortunate to arrive the day after a much-needed soaking. Everything looked lush and prosperous despite a prolonged dry period before. There was a full 5,000 gallon (22,500 liter) tank reflecting careful planning, collecting water on tarps to funnel into the tank, and also to a small pond. The swimming lake, created with the help of an excavator is also slowly beginning to fill up. (This process can normally take a few years.) It will be surrounded with greenery, including some palm trees as time goes by. Already, native vegetation was joyously beginning to reclaim the ploughed areas on the shoreline where the digger had been at work.

 Water tank already full..

 Visualise dam filling!

What I am really pleased about is the focus and determination Chris has shown in his fervour to put his passion into practice. Why isn't every one doing this? – I openly wondered on more than one occasion. As another friend, with land, has put it, people just aren't hungry enough. But I think it is also because, well, we haven't got land yet. Bill Mollison, arch permaculture-don't-call-him-guru has said in response to the same question (Bill, I'm too busy to grow my own food), Here's the answer – quit your job and don't take the dole. There you have all the necessary conditions for being able to do it.

Chris' son Jonas and Jo's partner Cassidy have installed
 a Ved-Russ type honey-beehive on their one hectare domain.

Also, a rather touchy subject I'm aware – is the financial one. What Chris is doing is to change the nature of the game we are all playing – to one degree or another. In my last post, I referred to the right to be free from debt and taxation. Well, even if you manage to procure land, at least some of your time must unwillingly be spent earning cash to pay land taxes. Chris sees this as theft, and I have to say, I am in agreement. This really gets to the heart of why we haven't done what Chris is doing – the system actually discourages us from it. [Russian law about to take effect grants land to all who wish it, free from encumbrance and taxation. They asked for it, they got it!]

 The access door to hive open.

However, as much as I dislike injustice (and theft) I am a great believer in the possibility of abundance. So as Chris himself has told me, the people of our planet have chosen a path of anti-rationality, but our task now is to reconcile our rational (meaning aligned with nature) aspirations with the baggage of our history and the evidence and testimony of present – insane – circumstances.

 Showing the shade roof on top.

It is not too late – Chris is showing us that. The personal sacrifices may at times have been heavy. But again if one believes in abundance the old ways of trial and suffering and giving something up to get what you want could be seen in this way. In new light. What if everything we truly and humanly desire is actually possible – joyfully and without pain and deprivation?

 A glimpse of treasure inside.

This is my insight. Just as we all tend to respect property lines insofar as they are now codified in law – what if we could acknowledge the right of one another to inhabit our chosen patch of earth, exclusively and without conditions of restraint. We could even actively allow one another to do so, giving land as it were – that is surplus to our requirements – knowing that we still, absolutely, have enough? Without needing the laws.

This type of beehive mimics a hollow log that bees like to live in.  It requires no frames internally.

As Chris and I discussed, it is when people see their (excess) property as a source of profit or long term capital gain – or return on investment that it is held onto (through the grace of law) and never willingly surrendered – even in death! (Refers to shemozzles that occur over inheritance disputes and problems that routinely arise around the making and execution of personal will and testaments.)

Telling visitors where they stand!

Incidentally, the subject of death is relevant as family domains/homesteads/settlements may be used for burial of loved ones [and one's self!]. The intention here is partly a return to the earth as nature intended, but also to contribute emotional energy that loved ones are still protecting us in our sacred – family – spaces. For that is what our part of the earth is to us – sacred.

 Outdoor amenities.
Irrigation spray-mist shower.                          

The harmony that is created when generations of a family dwell in the same space over many years cannot be underestimated. The security that our children will be imbued with and the sense of belonging and empowerment, stability and physical well-being (along with mental and spiritual) could very well change the world. Children growing up with their own space – on their family's land can create a consciousness, an emotional intelligence that will lead to peace on earth.

Tomato tower of hope climbing into gum trees.

They will not need to struggle with, dominate, conquer, enslave or battle with each other. And it is my hope that they will not tax one another for the privilege of enjoying space on earth!

Is this your street?