How a Medieval Spanish Ghost Town Became a Self Sufficient Ecovillage (Video)

Fair Companies/YouTube video Screengrab via OWOO

From anarchist bed-and-breakfasts through off-grid communities producing cutting edge animation to a co-housing community that incorporates a working farm, we've seen plenty of examples of collective, collaborative living that seeks to lighten our load on the planet.

Here, courtesy of FairCompanies, we pay a visit to Lakabe—a tiny medieval hamlet that had been abandoned due to urbanization, but was resettled by back-to-the-land urbanites in the eighties and has since become a thriving ecovillage, complete with meat and vegetable production and a 100% self-sufficient energy system.

As with any such real-world tale, this is no utopia. From the question of whether and how to include meat in their diet, through living in a completely cut-off community with no road access (a deliberate choice too avoid eviction), to the challenges of taking largely urbanite idealists and relearning the ways of the country, it sounds like the development of Lakabe has not been without its challenges.

But the point is it is still there. And we can all learn a lot from such experiments in rural sustainability. With the current economic crisis in Europe rumbling on, it may not just be young Greeks that abandon the cities for a more connected, productive life in the country. And if that's the case, the new rural populations will need to learn all they can from folks who came before—both in recent times, and in centuries long past.

Tags: Activism | Co-Housing | Communities | Economics | Permaculture | Spain

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