Living in community. Blogjune. 23/24



A small cane basket with onions, apples, garlic and a cucumber in it rests on a concrete slab in a garden bed

The pic above is the basket I left in the garden near the benches at the bottom of the staircase of an apartment building in the urban eco-village. The circular courtyard between building and garden is known as the “breast circle” because it has a large sculptural urn in the centre with thyme winding out the top. Viewed from the vege garden on top of the apartments it looks like… well..

My box of organic fruit and veg this week had too many apples, onions and garlic, so I loaded up my basket, popped on a note asking people to help themselves and went off for the arvo. The same spot has baskets often filled with produce from the main big vegie patch at ground level – strawberries, Italian parsley, broad beans… or produce from the fruit trees – enourmous quinces, mandarines, mulberries, feijoas…

The other main produce, honey from the hives on the roof, is divvied up after harvest between residents in the shared kitchen – bring a jar and spoon your share from the big pot on kitchen table. The same shared kitchen is site of a monthly potluck dinner, which is sometimes themed (like bring your holiday snaps and tell everyone about your recent travels). Keeping the shared laundry clean, and the drain pipes clear, and stairwells swept and pruning and the bike shed repaired and… many more maintenance tasks, all take place on the Saturday morning busy bee the fortnight before the community meal.

I was elbow deep in cleaning the loo this morning when a friend, who lives in the eco-village apartment I used to rent, rang me to say she had baked a cake and invited her current, and my former, neighbours for a cuppa. Did I want to join them? I grabbed my cane basket of extra veg in one hand, and my compost bucket in the other, and walked the two minutes to the community. I still drop my compost into the community bins, something that works well for me and the garden. We sat, happily knitting and chatting for a couple of hours.

Returning home, I just had time to make a late lunch when I set out again with requisite cushion, rug, water bottle and yoga mat to meet yet another resident of the eco-village at the front gates. We walked the five minutes to the local community centre to spend two and a half hours at a mindfulness mini-retreat. Lots of breath work and snuggling under rugs and rest.

What do you think? Let us know.