- Environment, Culture, and Lifestyle
Crystal Waters - the world's first permaculture designed community and village - celebrated it's 30th birthday in June 2018. Located near Maleny, South East Queensland, the 640 acre property was donated by Bob Sample to enable pioneers to experiment with permaculture.
As introduced by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in 1978, "permaculture" advocates homestead-based, diverse, self-sufficient organic farming as an antidote to poison-dependent, large scale, monocultural farming.
Given a UN Habitat Award in 1996, Crystal Waters is today known worldwide for it's educational courses and wildlife sanctuary. The community hosts markets, sourdough bakery and cafes, bamboo and timber plantations, a fire brigade, cinema and health retreats. The EcoPark offers visitors cabins, van and tent sites with modern facilities. Over 100 dwellings and community buildings showcase diverse building methods - rammed earth, mud brick, straw bale and pole construction.
Come explore the many aspects.
- Show treatment
Crystal Waters – 30 Years On
In 2018, Crystal Waters, the world's first permaculture designed settlement, celebrated their 30th Anniversary of establishing the community in a legal sense. The diverse community of Crystal Waters EcoVillage now have many successes to rejoice about, and some lessons from the past to learn from... they openly acknowledge the village may not have achieved their initial vision of permaculture abundance as yet, and there are some challenges still to be resolved. "It is a wonderful experiment", says Bernard O'Scanaill.
Bordering the Mary River, near Maleny, South East Queensland, the 640 acre property was donated by Bob Sample to enable pioneers to experiment with permaculture. Original owner and resident since 1977 Bob Sample and original lot owner, Robin Clayfield uncover the history of the community, aided by recollections from early residents, Annie Wall, Regine Ruppelt and others. Dean Cameron introduces the initial site works and shaping of the land with roads and dams according to a village scale permaculture design. Builder Jan Freyee introduces some alternative building methods used in the village.
This feature documentary takes a look behind the scenes exploring some notable gardens, planted forests and much loved regen areas, as well as successful cash crops and a variety of businesses. Amy Jansen, land manager at Crystal Waters, and Morag Gamble explore the importance of riparian zones, and Graeme Harpley shows us a bush regeneration project on the property which he manages.
Living a healthy lifestyle in a nature reserve over 200 residents enjoy clean water, air, soil, abundant nature, luscious dams and the opportunity to participate in many diverse activities to enrich their lives. Artistic expression of all sorts, especially music, is also a highlight. Visitors can have a choice of camping or caravan sites, bunkhouse or a cabin at The EcoPark. Other accommodation is available at The Dream Plant and a few homes too and many WWOOFERS stay for weeks or months even.
Given a UN Habitat Award in 1996, Crystal Waters is known worldwide for its permaculture setting and educational courses. Author and facilitator, Robin Clayfield, holds regular dynamic group workshops as well as teacher trainings and also importantly, Social Permaculture, applying permaculture principles towards social change.
Agricultural use of the land has been limited so far, but as Max Lindegger, one of the original designers and ongoing Permaculture Design Course teachers says "It's not too late", and the rich soil setting is ready for expansion. Permaculture related education is prominent in public activities with people such as Morag Gamble and her family conducting tours of Crystal Waters; also offering courses online and in person in various locations both locally and globally.
This 90 minute documentary celebrates the past, present and future Crystal Waters Permaculture EcoVillage - but such a brief time doesn't allow for a full investigation of the many complexities in the life of a growing community. Some highlights are Robin Clayfield and Bob Sample discussing how... "We're still in our infancy," says Robin, "but it is evolving..." says Bob. Early resident, Amber, says Crystal Waters is "gentle, female and nurturing". Luciano Giangiordano says, "What Crystal Waters has achieved in 30 years has been phenomenal". Jane Brouet and Gaby Gottselig in conversation lead us to Robin Harpley and Sandra Ferguson explaining the activities of the Body Corporate and the Community Coop. Po Mei who helped organise the Wellness Festivals says... "We are on a journey". Teacher, musician, Sybil MacLure says "I'm sure it has a really strong future" and partner Tom Nealson states an often cited sentiment... "I look forward to the next 30 years of being part of Crystal Waters". Max Lindegger concludes with "We had a vision. It was big!"
Other notable participants in Crystal Waters include original residents, Barry O'Connell, who also conducts tours for visitors, alongside Hans Erken, who ran the first permaculture conference in 1984, remember the early days and show us their bamboo plantation, Earthcare Farm. Others such as "Green Warrior", Steve Cran, along with caterer Yoav Handelsman, "food is a medicine"... and a team of weekly gardeners are helping revitalise the community garden to share food, learning, growing together with the spirit of community.
Many other community members also share their insights, experience and aspirations... educator Richard Mochelle, astrologer and cemetery manager Richard Giles, Greg Roughsedge and Ayca from the EcoPark, musician/artists Sara Yael & Gabriella Cohen and dance teacher Lisa Racquel, health retreat owner Izabella Siodmak and guest house manager Scott Dunbar, musician/performers like Kim Kirkman, Steve Langton, Malcolm Fielding, Bernard O'Scanaill, belly dancers Katherine Osborne, Sonja, Rob, and Rovielle, Susie Foster and the Fun-tusy arts and craft group, dairy group folk Rhea Phelan and Flow Oakley, early residents Sam & Jazmin, the Freyee family Jan, Jory, Troy and ex-wife Lottie, new tiny house residents Alli, Sam and Jude, permaculture teacher Annaliese Hordern, avid gardener and first Co-op chair-person Peter Searle, Global EcoVilage Networker, Les Bartlett, Bernard Devos, and Peter Vanderduys from the Bakery, Jillian Hovey, plus artist dancer Wiruungga Dunggiirr and wild foods caterer Sabine Wienand, Kentaro Yamaki, Jimmy Halliday, Kathryn Blackburn, Ally and Flynn from The Flowerpot Coffee Shop - digging into the archives we revisit Lois Tarling and Chris Gwin interviews - and the list goes on! Lastly, a musical feature with Crystalimba, the Marimba Band, led by Ronda Lee, underscoring highlights from the famous Crystal Waters Monthly Markets.
If you are either not familiar - or on the other hand - extremely passionate about ecovillages, permaculture and growing a community with the intention of making the world better through appropriate, sustainable and regenerative methods there will be much in this documentary to excite your interest.
2. Grounding the Vision
3. Growing Pains
- Earthcare Farm
- The Fire Brigade
4. The Dream Takes Root
- The EcoPark
- The Cemetery
5. Educational Aspirations
6. Spirit of Community
- Coop & Body Corp
- The Bakery
- The Spindleshop
- The Dairy
- Flowerpot Coffee Shop
7. Soul Food and The Arts
8. Human Habitat
9. Embracing the Future
- The Markets
- End Credits
- Running time
- 90 minutes
- Michael Ney ... Producer, Director, Editor, Director of Photography
- Prod. Co.
- Eagle Spirit Media
- Years of Production
- Maleny, Queensland
- Prod. Partners
- Crystal Waters Cooperative Ltd
- Release year
- Eagle Spirit Media - VOD via reelhouse.org and web sales of DVDs
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