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  2. Rufina

    Gardening

    Hello Karen, YES! In fact, we do encourage planting trees, vineyards, and gardens. We do not want to micromanage your property as some other developments might do, but we do want every owner to plant trees or vineyards. After all, this is a sustainable community.
  3. Elwez

    Gardening

    I was just on my lot in late September, walking the grounds with the project developers. We walked through the plans my wife and I have in mind for the land, and altered them with their suggestions. We are looking to make as much of the land as productive as possible. We picked out over 50 fruit and nut trees, though we soon realized that we will need more than that. Then we marked off about a quarter acre or so for a small organic vineyard. Finally, we walked off about a 500 square foot plot for an initial garden for veggies and annual fruits. We plan on doing a lot of canning for the winter months, so a lot of the garden will probably go towards that effort. So, short answer - you can do what you want. It's your land. Hopefully there will be some general neighborhood guidelines that discourage eye sores like junk cars on the land, but other than that, it's dealers choice. I looked at another property in the O'Higgins region where the land was micromanaged by the neighborhood and very restrictive. It was an enormous turn off. I wouldn't have made my purchase if I was being told what I can and can't do with it in terms of what I could plant. Hope that helps...
  4. Karen1960

    Gardening

    As I already mentioned before, I do love to garden and since I am retired, I always eat from my own garden. Is that something you will allow in your subdivision? I think a community garden and aquaponics are amazing, and I do love to volunteer my time for that, but there is nothing as awesome as going outside your backyard door and getting the fresh herbs and veggies for your dinner salad.
  5. Rufina

    Farmers Markets

    Hello Elwez, Yes, the farmers market has changed somewhat in the spring. Some prices on products like the bell peppers started to go down and some, like the apples, started to climb up. And of course, with the new season, we see new produce. I think you guys left right before the great stuff started to appear. Right now we enjoy lots of great asparagus at a $1.45 a big bundle. About 4 weeks ago we started having strawberries. First, they were at 1,700 CLP/kg, which is $1.12/pound and today I bought some at 750 CLP/kg, which is $0.49/pound. Within the last week, we bought more than 50 lbs of strawberries. We love to eat them while they are fresh and in season and freeze a lot for smoothies as well. The watermelons are still by the slice and I think that will change only in a month or so....
  6. Elwez

    Farmers Markets

    The farmers markets are near the top of our list of things we miss about Chile. It's been about a month since we last did our grocery shopping at one in Santa Cruz. The last day we went they were selling watermelon by the slice at the Saturday market, and I heard that someone found fresh strawberries at the Sunday market. With Spring in South America now in full swing, we're wondering how the varieties and prices of fresh foods at the markets have changed?
  7. DKoshuba

    Inspired by ReGen Villages idea?

    The main flaw in their plan that I see is - 203 houses on 50 acres. According to this article, they want to be "nearly self-sufficient". IMHO this will be hard to achieve. They need more ground! After some area (I hope there will be some) will be designated to the community use, like clubhouse, pathways (they can't cut those out), parking for electric cars that will be on the perimeter of the property, they will not have much space left. Plus they still promise traditional fields and orchards surrounding homes. From their original plan, larger animals have been already illuminated and now it is just chicken and fish. Even that also takes space. If you do quick calculations the lots of only 1/4 of an acre would take the whole area. What about all of this cool stuff? Where would it fit? That is why they don't want to do roads, they can't lose more ground. So, they took a clever path, wrapped this packed urban living into "new, modern idea" and are trying to sell it as a self-sufficient farm. I am a bit disappointed in these guys on one hand. They had such a promising start and end up with this... On the other side - I respect them. If they can sell it at that price, charge HOA on top, plus make residents work there?!!!!!!!! Wow, that takes some selling skills.
  8. DKoshuba

    Inspired by ReGen Villages idea?

    Elwez, I agree with you and see them as a negatives
  9. Elwez

    Inspired by ReGen Villages idea?

    Some of these may be pluses to some folks. I see them all as negatives... Half hour away from large population centers Below sea level and at risk of flooding A.I. controlling all of their systems No cars - houses aren't designed with parking They say water comes primarily from rainwater, but did not mention a backup system. HOA fees (no thanks!)
  10. DKoshuba

    Inspired by ReGen Villages idea?

    Price is high but considering that this is in Europe - its ok but still at the higher end. I lived in Germany and prices are always shocking. But I was actually expressing about something else, can someone find it?
  11. FunkyJazzNinja

    Inspired by ReGen Villages idea?

    Their outline of the project seems good! I don't see any imperfections yet, hard to tell without knowing all of the details. It is the price, right? I just checked, and the cost of EUR is 1.15 USD. At that exchange rate, you have $230K to $977K. That is for tiny houses, row houses to larger villas. I think that the opening point for a little home is pretty high.
  12. Elwez

    Wind Power

    Ok. I'll keep looking on my end. I'll bet you're right about the cost in Chile. It will probably end up being too expensive there. If we can locate something in the states that we think will work out, I'll bring it down during my next visit. I'll start looking into vertical wind turbines as well. Mounting wind power to the roof clears up more room on the land for fruit and nut trees, so I am all for that option.
  13. DKoshuba

    Wind Power

    I checked many turbines on Amazon. Reviews on them are not that good, I would like to find something of better quality that will last a long time. Prices, of course, are much better than here. I can't guarantee that but I believe for something like you posted above they were asking $4 -4.5K. We need to locate something reliable and reasonably priced. Both of those qualities are a rare find in Chile. Have you looked into vertical wind turbines? Less noise and I believe it is easier to set it on the roof. Several years ago I saw a commercial of Vortex bladeless turbine. They had some promising units about to be delivered to the market but they are not there yet. I checked their website and their 3KW unit is not there anymore, just a little 100W?! I like their idea, will see if they can deliver.
  14. Elwez

    Wind Power

    Just browsing Amazon, I can see a couple that look interesting and have reviews. This one is rated at 2000 watts: https://www.amazon.com/Missouri-General-Freedom-Wind-Turbine/dp/B00P1PH138/ref=sr_1_3?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1539303626&sr=1-3&keywords=wind+turbine&refinements=p_36%3A70000-500000&dpID=41KCuwjmnnL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch This one is rated at 1000 watts: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GHALO60/ref=twister_B01GHALO4W?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 I think both could pack into a suitcase or two fairly easily.
  15. DKoshuba

    Wind Power

    What is the output of those turbines you are looking at?
  16. Elwez

    Wind Power

    I see an array of wind turbines for sale online. I'm willing to bet I could buy a turbine and split the parts across a couple of suitcases. I will look into packing one on my next trip down there.
  17. DKoshuba

    Inspired by ReGen Villages idea?

    Anna B, thank you for sharing an interesting article. Finally, they provided some more information. Please understand me correctly, I do not want to criticize their project, I love their idea and I am trying to learn from it as much as possible. But according to the information revealed in this article, does anyone sees any flaws in their plan or is it just me?
  18. DKoshuba

    Wind Power

    I have seen a few windmills on Ruta 5 on the way to San Fernando. I think it was on Copec gas station. That is the size of a windmill you are looking for. However, I was not able to find reasonably priced units yet. Like everything in Chile, if it is rare, they will try to charge you 5-7 times of what it is worth. I do not recall now, it has been a while, but I remember in one store they asked something crazy high. I think it is a great idea to start asking on the forum for tips where we can get stuff. Eventually, we will get an answer.
  19. Elwez

    Wind Power

    As of now, the plan with our property is to power it strictly with solar panels. We've seen solar power all over Chile, from rooftop water heaters, to panels on rooftops that power homes and condo's, to solar panels in the fields that power the vineyard pumps. In addition to solar, we are thinking about adding a windmill on the property to diversify our power sources. We think it makes sense. If we go through a long period of time with cloudy skies, we can always rely on the wind to keep the lights on. There is plenty of wind out on the property to generate power, so we know it can produce energy with the right windmill. However, the only windmills we've seen in Chile are large industrial ones on Routa 5 just south of La Serena. Does anyone know if Chile has it's own supplier of windmills and wind powered parts, or will everything need to be imported from abroad? Anything imported comes with a built in cost, so it would be great to know if there is a local supplier. Thanks in advance!
  20. Elwez

    Hello

    Thanks Rufina. We hope to see you guys soon with a South American summer trip down there.
  21. Anna B

    Inspired by ReGen Villages idea?

    This is an article I found on www.fastcompany.com The world’s first “high-tech eco village” will reinvent suburbs ReGen village, in the Netherlands, will collect and store its own water and energy, grow its own food, and process much of its own waste. Also: no cars. [Photo: ReGen Villages] By Adele Peters5 minute Read A half-hour commute from Amsterdam, a piece of farmland is slated to become a new kind of neighborhood. Vertical farms, along with traditional fields and orchards surrounding homes, will supply food to people living there. Food waste will turn into fish feed for on-site aquaculture. Houses will filter rainwater, but won’t have driveways. A “village OS” tech platform will use AI to simultaneously manage systems for renewable energy, food production, water supply, and waste. The 50-acre neighborhood, which will be nearly self-sufficient as it collects and stores water and energy, grows food, and processes much of its own waste, was initially planned for construction in 2017. The developers, called ReGen Villages, struggled with red tape–the area, on a piece of land that used to be underwater but was reclaimed in the 1960s when a seawall was constructed–has regulations that make it difficult for someone other than an individual homeowner to build on land that is mostly used for farming now. But after the project finally got government approval this month, it’s ready to take its next steps. [Photo: ReGen Villages] “We can connect a neighborhood the way it’s supposed to be connected, which is around natural resources,” says James Ehrlich, founder of ReGen Villages. If the project raises the final funding needed to begin construction, what is now a simple field will have new canals, wetlands, and ponds that can soak up stormwater (the area is seven meters below sea level, and at risk for flooding) and attract migrating birds. The land will be planted with trees, gardens, and food forests. Vertical gardens inside greenhouses will grow food on a small footprint. The 203 new homes, from tiny houses and row houses to larger villas, will provide needed housing in an area where the population may double in 15 years. The houses range in cost from 200,000 to 850,000 euros. As cities become increasingly expensive and crowded, Ehrlich believes that this type of development may become more common. “In the last few years, we’ve really seen that the market has shifted and that there’s a hollowing out of cities,” he says. “They are really expensive and the quality of life is going down, and as much as millennials or younger people really want to be in the city, the fact is that they can’t really afford it . . . the trends are really moving toward this kind of neighborhood development outside of cities.” –– ADVERTISEMENT –– [Photo: ReGen Villages] There’s also a need to rethink infrastructure so it works more efficiently, with a lower environmental footprint. The new development considers everything–from electricity to sewage–as an interconnected system, and software links the pieces together. Electric cars, for example, which will be parked on the perimeter of the neighborhood to keep streets walkable, can store some of the extra power from the neighborhood’s solar panels and other renewable energy. The neighborhood works differently than most. Because of the expected arrival of self-driving cars in coming years, and to encourage walking and biking, the houses aren’t designed with parking; a new bus line along the edge of the neighborhood, with a dedicated bus lane, can take residents to the town of Almere or into Amsterdam. (As in other parts of the Netherlands, separated bike paths also connect to the city.) Water will come primarily from rain collection. The on-site farming, including raising chicken and fish, will supply a large portion of the local food supply. If neighbors volunteer for the community–to garden, or teach a yoga class, or provide elder care, for example–the community will use a blockchain-based time bank to track their hours, and then provide a discount on their HOA fees. [Photo: ReGen Villages] A “living machine,” a system that uses plants and trees to filter sewage, and a separate anaerobic digester, can handle the neighborhood’s sewage and provide irrigation or water reused in energy systems. A system for processing food and animal waste will use black soldier flies and aquatic worms to digest the waste and create both chicken and fish feed. Other household waste–like cans and bottles–will be handled by the municipal recycling system, at least initially. It’s a design that Ehrlich believes is feasible elsewhere, though it may not easily fit into existing regulations, and it would need political support. (Some other “agrihoods,” neighborhoods with built-in farming, do already exist, like Kuwili Lani in Hawaii, which also uses renewable energy and harvests some rainwater.) “We know that governments around the world are in a desperate situation to build probably over a billion new homes around the world,” he says. “It’s a terrible housing crisis. At the same time, they wrestle with a number of things: the commercial interest of farmers, the commercial interests of traditional real estate developers, material companies who have a way of doing things that they’ve been doing for 100, 150 years. Most of the rules on the books relate to this district-scale thinking–of grid-based electricity, of district-scale water, of district-scale sewage.” Financing is another challenge: While typical real estate developers look for large rates of return and quick exits, ReGen Villages plans to stay involved in its developments and get long-term, single-digit returns. The company is still raising the last round of money needed for the new development. Because Almere has regulations that don’t allow for high density, the initial development will also be more expensive. But once it’s built–something that Ehrlich expects to happen in 2019–others can follow more quickly. “We have access to a lot of really big money that’s waiting for us to finish the next pilot, and so we need the proof of concept,” he says. The company has plans to build future developments near cities like Lund, Sweden, and Lejre-Hvalso, Denmark, and it ultimately hopes to bring a low-cost version of the neighborhoods to developing countries. “We can imagine going to rural India, sub-Saharan Africa, where we know the next 2 [billion] to 3 billion people are coming to the planet, and where we know that hundreds of millions of people are moving into the middle class,” he says. “And [we want] to get there as quickly as we can to provide new kinds of suburbs, new kinds of neighborhoods.”
  22. Rufina

    Hello

    Hello Elwez, it's a bit strange to call you that, when I know your real name😉! It was a pleasure to have you and your beautiful family close by and to get to know you better! We really enjoyed spending time with you guys and completely fell in love with your cute baby! It's great to see you here, on the forum....and to read your thoughts! We will try to keep you posted on the progress of your house construction in this forum, so other people also may get to know the process.
  23. Elwez

    Hello

    Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum, but not to the project. My wife and I have purchased a lot in the neighborhood and plan to move into our new home in September of next year. We had our first child in Santiago in July, and we just finished our requirements for permanent residency. We just got back to the States from a long stay in Santa Cruz, but we've really fallen in love with the area and look forward to our return to the O'higgins Region. I look forward to reading some of these posts...
  24. OffGrid Thinker

    Inspired by ReGen Villages idea?

    Finally, Regen villages posted an update about their progress. Found several articles online. They plan to break ground by the end of 2018 with the first houses to be constructed in 2019. The rendering pictures have been changed and it looks like they will have much bigger property.
  25. Rufina

    Job opportunity

    Currently, we have found a few people for construction work (and we are looking for more) but we are still looking for someone with permaculture experience. If you have a background in permacultural gardening and you are interested to work in a sustainable community, please contact us. We know you are out there. 🙂
  26. Hello Karen, welcome to the forum!
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