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Big Stone.

The History of Ecovillage Big Stone

The ecovillage was named Big Stone in summer 2005, but its history began in 1992 by the initiative of Kulasov's family. Economist Antonina, medical doctor Ivan and their daughter Aleksandra decided to live in the countryside in their patrimonial house. They were inspired by the idea of ecological ethics. Kulasovs began to live ecological life, turned into vegetarians. They inherited 0,5 hectares of land and keep organic farming and gardening, used the other 0,5 hectares of hayfields. Shilkovsky pinery, big swamp Lebiyaj'e, hidden lake Glukhoe, river Kubena and a big flooded plain gave enough herbs, berries and mushrooms. The family was surrounded with the Russian northern Taiga forests. They found the land where there had been no wars. They enjoyed beauty of nature.
In 1993 their second daughter Maria was born and they lived two years without leaving the countryside. They faced the main problems of single ecovillage settlers: the absence of fellows and communication, disability to be fully self-sufficient and to give full education to children. In 1994 they got acquainted with the same minded families from Vologda and began to organize Summer Family Camp where communal relationships were formed. In 1995 they left the idea to live in the countryside all the year round and decided to spend some time out of their patrimonial house. In 1997 their third daughter Dariya was born.
From 1997 Kulasovs began to work as ecosociologists. They worked on several theoretical and practical projects of water and forest management. They visited ecovillages Nevo Ecovil (Karelia), Kitej (Kalujskaay region), Tiberkul (Krasnoyarsky region), Atshi (Adygeya), School (Altay), Twin Oaks (Virginia, USA). As the result of these expeditions, they published several analytical articles.
In summers and winters of 1998-2000 Kulasovs family together with the community Zdravstvyite! organized ecological seminars in their organic farm. In 2001-2005 Kulyasovs became a part of communities Healthy Family and then community Kolovrat and leaded together ethnocultural festivals four times a year (every season), which were devoted to Solstices and Equinoxs. People from several parts of Russia and abroad participated in this festivals. In 2002 together with the creative group Novik (from Vologda) and community Krina (from St. Petersburg) they participated in Slavic Culture Days in Cultural Center Chaika (in Vologda). In 2003 community Kolovrat participated as creative group in the regional Baths' Holiday in Kunozero (Vologodsky region).
From 2005 the part of community Kolovrat decided to organize an ecovillage and named it Big Stone. Ethnocultural festivals devoted to Solstices and Equinoxs became important part of ecovillage life. In 2006 in the House of Arts Khoros (in Rostov, they organized the exhibition about their Solstices and Equinoxs festivals. They show photo, traditional clothes, souvenirs and flower tea made by Big Stone participants. From 2005 participants of ecovillage Big Stone began to make regular visits to ecovillage Grishino (Leningradsky region), from 2006 to ecovillage Kovcheg (Kalujsky region). There they organized seminars, devoted to ecovillage life, traditional practices and holidays. In festivals held in Big Stone participated: Sun Bards from Caravan of Love, inhabitants of ecovillages Svengard (Leningradsky region), Nikolskoe (Tulsky region), Ladnoe (Vladimirsky region), Davidov Konets (Pskovsky region), Radujnoe (Sverdlovsky region), Rostok-Sun Valley (Rostovsky region), Izobil'noe (Tverskoy region), Harmony (Ryazansky region), Zales'e (Karelia region).
Ecovillage Big Stone got an information support from Eco-Rus', Russian Ecobalance, Kedrovka, Econet, Travoved. In 2005 ecovillage Big Stone became a member of the Russian Ecovillage Network, which is the part of GEN (Global Ecovillage Network). Lyaysan Mirzagitova participant of Big Stone was a member of GEN's council in 2006-2008. The same year ecovillage Big Stone became a member of Public chamber of Vologodsky region.
After estimating the reality, the world tendencies and the own possibilities inhabitants of Big Stone decided not to create a usual agricultural ecovillage or commune consisting of land owners who live near each other all the time. They elaborated a new conception of who can be called an ecovillage inhabitant. The majority of ecovillage inhabitants in Russia are very mobile. They spend one to six months out of their villages and visit other ecovillages, take part in volunteer programmers and festivals. And also some of them spend more time traveling from one ecovillage to another than living in a city. They try to realize the ideas of ecoliving at the place they are at the moment. They decided to call ecovillage inhabitants those people who have an ecological mind and ecological behavior. That means that every time there is a choice you choose the most ecological action.
The Big Stone ecovillage represents a trial of a new conception of ecovillage, a kind of a transitional step from the city life to the country life. There are one family of permanent residents there, and about 20 people of 'seasonal residents who love country life, share environmental ideas, and regularly take part in the Big Stone's programs/seminars. Nowadays those who want to live in an ecovillage have a chance to become an inhabitant of Big Stone. If you want to do so, we offer to become a member of our volunteer programmers and seasonal Solar Festivals. You should express your agreement with the ideas and rules of our ecovillage, desire to be a participant and get agreement from inhabitants of Big Stone. And then you should become a participant of volunteer programs and Solar Festivals of Big Stone at least once a year.

There were 25 inhabitants in Big Stone in Spring 2009.


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