Building a working model of sustainable community
Windward is an intentional community / sustainability research center located north of the scenic Columbia River Gorge about 80 miles east of Portland, Oregon.
So far, we've acquired 131 acres of pasture and forested land, put in basic services (septic and water systems, power and internet-access, etc.) and learned a lot in the doing of it all.
While we still have work to do, we're proud of what we've accomplished. We're especially excited about having reached the point where our renewable systems are coming on-line, and we're able to turn our attention to building sustainable housing.
Nature is complex, and the rule in working with complex systems is that everything takes longer, costs more and turns out different than you thought going in. It's only by getting "hands on," and actually living with these systems, that their true potentials‒and challenges‒can be realized.
It's easy to see that change is coming at a feverish pace. What's harder to see is a way to ride that wave of change to a better place. Our goal is to show that it is possible to use appropriate technology to enhance the environment while creating a satisfying and sustainable way of life. More specifically, our goal is to demonstrate that it is possible to sustainably feed, clothe and fuel a village of twenty people on one hundred acres.
Some of our long-range projects include:
- Hyper-integrated aquaponics which involves (1) growing fish and plants within the same system (that's the aquaponics part), and (2) producing our own organic fish food from materials grown on site (that's the hyper-integrated part).
- The conversion of woody biomass (forest waste) into heat, fuel (methanol), electricity and char (useful when enhancing the fertility of clayish soils).
- Sustainable social structure based on the principle of representative consensus.
Notes From Windward is our online newsletter/blog, and you're invited to follow along with the projects we're currently working on.
Windward is guided by the belief that it's time for radical change, and that there's nothing more radical than a working model of a better way. To that end, we're committed to building working models of the various sustainable systems needed to create a critical mass of sustainability.
This isn't an easy thing to do. It takes vision, courage and a touch of madness to understand why these things need to be done, and to want to be part of the doing. Windward isn't for the faint hearted, or those who take happy endings for granted. We can't expect to change the future without realizing that we too will be changed in the process.
If you think that you might have the heart for this sort of adventure, you're invited to make contact and tell us something about yourself, your life journey and what it is about Windward that engages your interests.