The focus of PermaLot is not to have members, rather to be a network between people contributing to the mission of PermaLot o.s.
In effect many of the activities function as a symbioses with the other parties mentioned here. This means that it's quite possible that we'll consider you a 'PermaLotian', even if you have not paid a membership, or been here for a while...perhaps you have never been here and this is first time you surf by?!
Fact is that PermaLot owes it's existence as much to the makers of the web pages, as to the Brontosaurus youth coming only for a weekend or two, or the helpful graphic designers, our co-operating organic farmers, the fund raisers and all the others who came to help either as volunteers or through a paid course.
To give you an idea we'll introduce some of the activities of the key people as of spring 2008:
2,5 hectare mixed extensive orchard consisting of old varieties. Species include apples, pears, cherries, plums, quince, nuts, rowans, sandthorn, mulberry along with many bush varieties.
1,5 hectares: Pasture for sheep, ponies. Sheep are for meat wool and grass cutting, ponies for ecotourism, transport.
0,5 hectare: Onion and strawberry for cooking/self pick
0,5 hectare: Will be planted with herbs for cooking/drying
0,5 hectare: Reforestation scheduled for autumn 2008.
1. Recently a small commercial kitchen incubator was constructed. It will function as a much-needed facility for production of certified products such as jam, dried fruits, spreads and breads. It will be possible to rent the facility for production of other organic non-meat products
2. In connection with the kitchen a small (5m2) organic shop is established, selling local products as well as bulk organic products and fair trade luxuries.
3. A mobile juice press has been funded and will start production during Autumn 2008. It will first of all make apple juice from the PermaLot orchards, however it will also be available for locals directly at their gardens. As part of the pressing process the set-up allows for making pasteurized juice and store it in ‘bag-in-a-box’ containers, best know for wine.
Currently this is limited to the various arranged events, however during 2009 a simple un-staffed caravan site will be established between the trees in the new extensive orchards. The target group are some of the 120.000 tourists visiting the nearby (1,5 km) Bouzov castle every year.
In this connection pony rides and mountain bike rental will be offered
1. The first legal ‘real’ strawbale house in C.R. is under construction and will function as a demonstration house of natural building and renewable energy for Olomouc region. Currently the construction phaze includes national and international educational workshops and internships.
2. The adjacent old farm house is the frame for courses in permaculture and related topics, private education in classical guitar and English. It is the intention that this house will function completely as an educational center, once the new house is finalized.
3. During Autumn of 2008 one of the first ‘forest kindergartens’ will start. It will take place in the adjacent nature, as well as in a specialized straw bale cottage constructed in September.
4. In longer term perspective it is intended to utilize the place for permanent training vocational center for natural building for CEE countries.
Max Jensen is one of 2 business representatives at the Local Action Group Moravska Cesta.
In addition plans are being drawn for the construction of 8 zero energy houses in the local area, including IT distance work opportunities to attract young modern families.
Ing. Petr David
He functions as manager of the old PermaLot orchards, which means responsible for pruning, caring and harvesting of the fruit. He is the owner of the majority of the sheep tending the grass here. In addition he functions as an accredited consultant of organic agriculture and is also an inspector for one of the 3 organic certification agencies in C.R.
Slowly starting to produce Biodynamic vegetables and speciality salads, partly in large poly-tunnel, which enables them to grow during winter. This production is in process of being enlarged to an additional 2 hectares of certified organic land owned by the Jensen’s.
Petr Vanek functions as the webmaster for PermaLot, and helps out with the computers etc.
Radka Vanek will manage the forest kindergarten together with Radka Jensen Vaculova.
Petr is one of the initiators for a small CSA box scheme ( http://www.bouzovskezahrady.cz ) for his vegetables, milk/cheese from a nearby farm, and our sourdough bread and fruit products, along with potatoes from....:
A third local organic farmer couple with speciality in potatoes and grain. They cooperate through machine service and in sight possibly through investing in machinery for making wood pellets for heating.
In addition to the above players, the Hajda family bought property in Podoli to join the efforts part time. We hope the property they invest in would be possible to rezone for the above-mentioned 6 new low-energy houses.
PermaLot has for long time received good distance support from Komár and Lenka for graphical design, MiRyz Soft for accounting, Honza for wood working and Brontosaurus events, Franta and Verča who helps with cooking at events.
PermaLot also have an official system of Support members, Prospective members and Full members, however we have to admit that we don't really stick to it...
Support members are people who like the idea of PermaLot, are curious and -hopefully- help as volunteers at various events.
Prospective members are those who has been coming here often, are trying to stay here for a longer period and are in process of deciding if they would like to settle permanently here and vice versa. Welcome!
Full members are lifetime members.
[-kind of like dating someone, getting engaged and finally; getting married!]
All members pay an annual fee of 200 CZK for office expenses.
Becoming Full members:
There is a trial period of around 6 Months for Prospective members to allow sufficient time to get acquainted with the project and the people. Within this time the existing Full members makes a decision together with the applicant, whether the "marriage" is suitable,
It's a difficult process, taking the time to understanding individual peoples needs/desires/hopes/dreams/expectations, is definitely a two way thing. We'd like to keep track of our progress in this direction with an aim to improving what and how we do things to make this communication more transparent. We are trying to introduce a process known as 'the Forum' to aid transparency of personal issues as they arise, and to gradually build trust between people.
This process will take effort and commitment to work, however we feel that the importance of transparency of personal issues and the trust which may then be built upon, is vital for the long term growth/stability and quality of life in a community. The Forum is something which a community in Germany, www.zegg.de use and teach.
Max Vittrup Jensen
Max is a retired globetrotter and Human Ecologist with a heart for networking, eco-building and community. His experiences are very diverse, and he has a habit of always coming up with new projects which take a small army to execute! He's known for his sharp tongue, and his constant attempt of being witty, traits which are not always appreciated! He's holds the esteemed title of being the chairman of PermaLot. Max left Denmark back in '89, though still studies there through distant education (Msc in Environmental Management).
Leonard and Helena Broekman
Our 2 board members who currently lives in Tasmania, Australia.
10 years ago Len (an Australian) left his post-doctoral research fellowship at the Lawrence Berkeley Nat. Lab in California to live amongst communities in the New Mexico Mountains, since then he has learnt about communities, alternative technologies and sustainable lifestyles from around the world. His travels brought him to a small Moravian village in the summer of '99 to help Max build a cob cottage. There he met the love of his life, Helena.
Helena, (from south Moravia), who had coincidentally lived in Australia for couple of years before meeting Len, became interested in alternative lifestyles after doing a permaculture course at Crystal Waters (Australia) in '98.
During their yearlong honeymoon they visited various permaculture communities and developed a talent for artistic tiled mosaic floors that have since become much sought after. For one of their mosaics, money was given with the intention that it went towards 'the community they always talked about establishing in the C.R'.
Soon after revisiting Max they fell in love with the project and Svojanov, and, both inspired by Max‘s personal development, decided to invest their community money into PermaLot. They now help advice some on distance and visit once in a while.
Radka Jensen Vaculová