top of page
  • Writer's pictureGreen Silk Road

A summary of where we’ve been so far

Updated: Jan 19

Before Turkey we were in Bulgaria, or Bulgaristan as it’s called in the East. To be precise, we were with Valeri and Sophie, who live with their 2 kids in a country house just outside Plovdiv -the European Capital of Culture in 2019, just in case you missed that : ) One evening a friend just came by with his bagpipe to play local folk songs about the mountains and forest and Valeri started to sing along, a glass of homemade plum flavoured raki in his hand. The song is about the sorrow felt by nature loving shepherds, as they need to leave the forest behind. We had hoped to find local songs and fables, but this one hit the nail exactly on the spot! The idea of a Green Silk Road music album seems more possible than ever.

Earlier that day we did some work in the yard where Valeri practices his Permaculture and exchanged forest and garden seeds from India, Iran and Turkey for local varieties: different types of tomato (big, small, fast, slow, pink, yellow), a range of herbs and grains. This is how I imagined the Green Silk Road.

Before Bulgaria we were in Hungary where friends from India (Aurovillians) are developing an ecovillage. Here we fished in the river Danube, ate goulash on the land soon to hold their dream community, and we held a workshop on the community canvas — a tool for groups converging around a common purpose and identity. This was the first dot on the map when we started drawing our itinerary and it continues to be a solid hub for the Green Silk Road.

Before Hungary we were in Austria where Martin and Petra have completed the birth giving process of an intentional co-housing community and are now advising other groups in their startup phase. They are experts in practical sociocracy and have developed ways to effectively work with the government –both for alternative housing as well as education. Their buildings are zero heat loss (?), their kindergarten is in a forest and a loophole in the law allowed their informal primary school to function in a couple of Yurts on a sports field. This is what alternative communities can look like!

Before Austria we were in Switzerland where every single walking path in the country is mapped and accessible on a Swiss app. The villages overlooking snow capped mountains and crystal clear deep valley lakes are home to specialist engineering firms who sell high end equipment to the watch industry, and everything is bilingual — every sign on every street, shop and public message. Here the cows are grazed in sweet smelling meadows with patches of forest, meticulously kept by local citizen groups, their bells providing a symphony soundtrack. Later on we learn about a group called Amanitas who received an enormous endowment with the mandate to “do something worthwhile”. They set up Happy Bern Lab and deploy all kinds of inspiring initiatives from there. Certainly a place to come back to!

48 views0 comments


bottom of page