14th November 2017
OJ died, and from there we had to move forward. He died in February, the day after our crowdfunding event in Barcelona, right in the middle of the campaign. To find a way forward after this tragedy, with some of the closest people to the project we formed an informal advisory board and that has been a huge support to me during the year.
Two days before the end of the crowdfunding campaign in March we made the target!! Thanks to a very generous former Boodaville participant and many more supporters. That was the first “UP” part of the rollercoaster that has been this year.
During April and May we were finding our feet with 2 new long-term residents, volunteers, some new collaborators, plus long-time collaborator Rob Durand.
With the support of the advisory group and Nico and Andres from allmyfrnds we had an amazing festival, the biggest ever with great music, really delicious food from Emilien, and hilarious games at the river. June was quiet and energy was low on site, then me and Kira spent the whole of July at Boodaville. With Marc Haetjens we ran an absolutely fantastic Living Permaculture course, the third big “UP” of the year! After the course we tried to resolve conflicts between the long-term volunteers, which resulted in one of them leaving. We spent an intense, emotional and soulful week with OJs mother and friends, including a ceremony where we spread some of his ashes in the future food forest. The last week of July was spent with Gerald working on further water catchment and silt basins. For three weeks at the end of July and beginning of August, none of the long-term residents were on site and we had some excellent volunteers step in and rise to the challenge of life and work at Boodaville.
August was quiet and in September with a new group of volunteers, and one of our returned residents we were set to do lots of planting for the regenerative agriculture plan, and the idea was to irrigate until rains started coming in October. We cancelled the last courses and most planned events in order to conserve energy to focus on the regenerative agriculture and other jobs. Sadly some volunteers that had been booked in for a month cancelled the day before their arrival, and there were differences of opinion among the volunteers on site. Combine this with the fact that temperatures stayed ridiculously high until mid-October with no rain, and there were perfect conditions for things not to go to plan. By the end of September all the volunteers who initially signed up until the end of October had left. Some fantastic people who hadn’t signed up to anything held the fort and got some last jobs done before the site was left empty the first two weeks of October. We packed up for winter with a few awesome project collaborators over a tiring weekend in mid October and the contrast with the end of year party last year was incredible.
However… because of permaculture design and mulch, the plants have survived the October drought, and let me tell you about our visit in November…
Sunshine, seedlings wrapped in newspaper all over the place, music, a small group of friends and family mulching, planting tiny trees, music, digging, lots of straw and some manure, children sitting on the ground surrounded by tiny onions they are separating and planting. I actually said to Bernat “This is like heaven”. In two days we finished all the planting jobs that were still on the list and collected the first part of the olive harvest.
Let’s hope those onions survived the below zero temperatures this week.
Next year we will be continuing the journey and are looking to fund both courses and volunteers with the help of the Erasmus program. We’ll run some bigger Living Permaculture Courses but the really important work, pending from last year, is continuing the process to find and inform potential members of our future eco-community and working cooperative, and to start planning a future together.
A- EVALUATION OF LAST YEARS GOALS
C- SPENDING THIS YEAR
D- GOALS FOR 2018