Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 1, 2014

Abundance EcoVillage offers tour, garden-to-table lunch Aug. 10

Jul 31, 2014

A tour, including a garden-to-table lunch, is planned Aug. 10 at Abundance EcoVillage north of Fairfield.

When Abundance EcoVillage was first founded, ecovillages were rare. Now more are springing up around the world.

Since December 2002 when Ken Walton moved into the first home at Abundance EcoVillage, 13 more homes have been added. All are still powered by the wind and sun. Power generated in Iowa from renewable sources back then was less than 4 percent. Now 20 percent is from wind alone and many Fairfield businesses have solar panels to provide electricity.

With the addition of each house to the ecovillage, more solar panels are added to the electrical power system and a 10kW wind turbine has replaced a 3kW turbine.

The key to powering houses with renewable energy is to make them more efficient. Daylighting and energy efficient appliances reduce electricity usage. The houses are well-insulated and window placement helps to conserve energy.

Water and sewers also are off-grid. Water for household use is caught from rainfall on the house roofs and stored in cisterns. Water from the toilets, sinks, washing machines and bathtubs is treated by an approved wastewater treatment wetland.

Gardens and edible landscaping at the ecovillage provide fresh local food for residents. Most residents have their own gardens as well as belonging to the Abundance EcoVillage Community Supported Agriculture. With the CSA, members receive vegetables weekly throughout the growing season, which is extended by the use of unheated greenhouses.

The garden-to-table luncheon will be held at the home of Ken Walton. Joy Salmon, local chef and vendor at the Fairfield Farmers’ Market, will prepare the luncheon using fresh produce from the ecovillage gardens.

To reserve a place for the luncheon and tour, email stacymaurer@natel.net or phone 472-8370 by Wednesday. Space is limited. Tickets are $20 per person.

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