Crystal Waters Eco Village
featured by Bees4life on tour
The success story of Crystal Waters Eco Village
From a degraded cattle land to a wildlife sanctuary
Crystal Waters Eco Village comprises 650 acres of bushland at the headwaters of the Mary River. It is only 26 km away from Maleny or Woodford in Queensland, Australia. The village includes privately owned residential lots and co-operatively owned commercial properties. It was designed along Permaculture principles. The village is classified ‘Land for Wildlife’ and valued as a beautiful Australian Wildlife Sanctuary. It is home to a wide variety of local flora and fauna including numerous kangaroos and wallabies, as well as many types of birds and reptiles. The people who live in the village share their land with nature.
They have a strict “No Cats & Dogs” policy and they believe that this policy creates an environment which is conducive to nature.
By the time when the Eco Village started, the land was pretty much degraded. The soil suffered from erosion and there were far too many cattle on the land. Since then the people who live there are in a process of healing the land and bring back the ecology that supports the wildlife.
Water resilience is vital
As the village is not connected to a town in terms of water supply (fresh water, grey water and sewage), building water resilience is vital. Every property has to collect their fresh water and deal with the grey water and humanure on their lot.
As Morag Gamble from Crystal Waters explains: “The best way to keep moisture is in the soil. Therefore it’s important to renew the soil by adding compost, biochar (they plant bamboo, which is a very sustainable way to get biochar), and manure and cover it with mulch.” She applies the “no till method” which means no digging and which works very well in her garden.
Sharing is very important to Morag
When Morag was thinking about how to connect people many years ago, she simply set up a table in the middle of her street in Brisbane and invited people for a shared meal. How easy is that! We think we should definitely all try that! Sharing tools and tasks within childcare works well in the community too. They even share a woodlot and animals such as cows. Depending on the number of people that are taking part in the so called “cow collective” you only have to milk the cows once a week or fortnightly but get a great supply of beautiful, fresh, organic milk, which Morag uses to make her own yogurt, kefir and cheese.
Gift economy – high quality of life for not too much money
Beside of the sharing there is a lot of gift economy happening within the village which means you end up with a high quality of life which includes fresh, organic produce, clean air and a great community of people for not too much money.
In Crystal Waters Eco Village most of the land is for nature
The idea of the village is to condense the “people space” and integrate farming, nature and people in one place. To do so a strong community is important. As Morag says: “You can’t be self-sufficient, you always exist in community. Community sufficiency is what we should all aim for.”
If you want to hear more from Morag, listen to her podcast called “Our Permaculture Life”, follow her on Facebook, Instagram or have a look on her website. She also offers FREE Permaculture workshops.
Learn more from Morag Gamble:
There are lots of options to follow Morag’s inspiring permaculture life.
Permaculture Online Course https://permacultureeducationinstitute.org
For more information about Crystal Waters Eco Village visit their website.