Cultures

ReGen’s off-grid, sustainable eco-villages: Coming to you by 2018

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Image: ReGen Villages

Image: ReGen Villages

In anticipation of a world population nearing 10 billion by the year 2050, innovative developers have a plan in mind for off-grid, sustainable residential communities. A company called ReGen has been in the process of creating unique eco-villages, and are set to complete construction of their first project by 2018. Once completed, the villages will allow residents to grow their own food utilizing a combination of vertical indoor and outdoor farming methods, an aquaculture system for fish, and healthy, organically-raised livestock. They will also recycle their own waste and maintain a clean water system on-site.

How will it work?

As the first “regenerative” neighborhood in the world, CEO and founder James Ehrlich describes the concept as “redefining residential real estate development.” The ReGen concept is a self-sustaining system which uses household waste to feed flies, which later feed fish, which then fertilize the aquaponic gardens, which later grows produce. Livestock waste is used as fertilizer for seasonal outdoor gardens while rainwater is gathered and used to water them. Solar panels provide power to the homes themselves. There will be 24/7 energy and hot water provided as well as tons of organic food every year, including, according to Ehrlich, “vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, fish, eggs, chicken, small animal dairy and protein—that can continually grow and yield in the vertical garden systems all year long.” Ehrlich foresees the unique farming methods will be able to produce significantly more than “ten times the amount of crops using the same space, with 90% less water,” and further explains, “By looking at greenfield pieces of farmland where we can produce more organic food, more clean water, more clean energy and mitigate more waste than if we just left that land to grow organic food or do permaculture there.”

How do families participate?

Families living in the villages will be encouraged to participate in community chores for a reduction in their monthly fees, which are additional to their mortgage payments. Assisting with the operations of the greenhouse, caring for the livestock and updating maintenance on the solar panels are a few of the chore options available for this reduction. Each village, upon completion, is planned to house 100 families on fifty acres of land. Greenhouses will be attached to each family’s private unit for growing individual crops, although the largest part of the work (farming and livestock care) will be completed by ReGen staff.

How can someone apply?

Anyone interested in more information about how to apply for housing in a ReGen village are encouraged to visit the website and complete the contact form or subscribe to the mailing list. Housing is projected to take place in many areas of the world, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Amsterdam, Belgium, UK and the United States.

Kristen lives in the Michiana area, where she enjoys lake-effect weather, apple orchards and occasional South Shore rides into Chicago. She can probably tell you more about apple cider vinegar than you'd ever want to know. You can reach her at: http://lakesedge.wix.com/lakesidewriting