The property owned by Keuruu Ecovillage Association is a 53-hectare farm with 25 hectares of organically grown arable land and 17 hectares of forest. There are almost 30 buildings of different levels, four of which are inhabited. The oldest buildings in the village are Väentupa (‘The People’s House’), Vanha Päärakennus (‘The Old Main Building’) and Aitta (Grain Warehouse), built in the early 19th century. In addition to these, the yard district also includes, among others, Kivitalo (The Stone House), Yhteistalo (the Common House), Rajatalo (the Border House), Rivitalo, Barn, Metallipaja, warehouses and Mylly. There are 2 beach saunas on the shores of Lake Kivijärvi. The heated living space is about 3300 m2. Our nearest Town, Keuruu, is 8 km away.
The ecovillage has apartments of many levels and sizes, both family apartments and rooms. Each resident has their own space whose privacy is respected. The ecovillage is home to a multi-professional population, such as mental and physical well-being professionals, people in the educational and cultural fields, people in the technical fields, as well as designers, artists and craftsmen in various fields. We are all united by an interest in an ecological lifestyle and a communal life.
Are you interested in living in an Ecovillage?
We have room for new people in our community. If you are interested in living in our Ecovillage, please contact us via e-mail and tell us about yourself. Most of our residents understand and speak English, but Finnish is our main language, and all of the community's meetings and communication is held in Finnish. Therefore one must learn at least the basics of Finnish language if one wishes to live here.
There are three phases in settling into the Ecovillage:
- two-day visit
- two weeks trial period
- six months trial period
Those interested in moving to the ecovillage must first come for a couple of days, which is possible, for example, during the bee week. For those interested in living here, we also organize two-day weekends. Participation in the bee week is free of charge, the price of a two-day visit is 20 € / day. After the visit, the members of the community decide on the acceptance of a two-week trial.
After the two weeks the members of the Ecovillage have a meeting (normally at the Monday meeting) to decide on whether the prospective member can stay for another 6 months probation trial. At the end of the 6 months members of the Ecovillage have another meeting to decide on whether you can become a member of the community (Keuruu Ecovillage Association and the cooperative). In resident matters, decisions are made by consensus.
Keuruu Ecovillage Association (Keuruun Ekokylä ry) rents apartments to residents as well as accommodation to the Keuruu Ecovillage cooperative, which manages the business.
Orientation housing - 2 weeks
During the two-week introductory stay, you can get to know the everyday life and activities of Ekokylä better. After a two-day visit or bee week, you can express your interest in coming to the Ecovillage for a two-week period. The prices for the test stay are (for two weeks) depending on the size of the room or apartment used:
Rent depending on the size of the room or apartment you are using: for example, living in a 15 m2 room for two weeks costs a total of about 100 euros . Meals in the shared kitchen 60 € (120 € / month)
Trial housing - 6 months
During the 6 months trial, the price criteria for familiarization housing are followed. For example, in a 15m2 room, the monthly rent is 201.5 € / month, including rent, electricity, water and internet payment .
At the beginning of the 6 month trial, the Resident will be charged a deposit of € 150 , which will be refunded if the resident moves away. After the 6 month trial, a decision is made on the possible membership of the association and the cooperative. A lease agreement valid until further notice is prepared for the resident.
The membership fee of the association is € 170 for the first year , and € 50 / year from the following year. Membership fees will not be refunded if a member moves out of the ecovillage.
The cooperative membership fee of € 170 is paid once and must be paid in full in one installment. The cooperative's membership fee will be refunded if the member moves out of the ecovillage.
Second home in the Ecovillage
The Ecovillage can also be considered as a second home. Those interested in a second home will be accepted like other resident candidates. After two weeks of introductory residence, it is possible to live in Ekokylä even for short periods. The second home resident only pays for the weeks when he or she actually lives in the Ecovillage. He can also rent a room permanently if space is available. The second home resident still needs to be interested in the matters of the Ecovillage and have a desire to participate in the community's everyday life. He settles into our large family.. A long-term second-timer can also become a permanent member of Keuruu Ecovillage Association for 1,350 euros. The rent of a permanent member is the same as that of a full member.
Policies and decision-making
Decision-making seeks to be a transparent way to find a solution. Decisions are made by majority vote and consensus, depending on the matter. We have also studied and applied principles of sociocracy in our decision-making processes.
All matters concerning the Ecovillage are discussed at a weekly residents' meeting called The Monday Meeting. It acts as a resident’s council, agreeing on broad areas of community action. The meeting has a rotating chairperson. Efforts are made to prepare things well in advance. Any resident can bring their own topic to the Monday Meeting alone or with other residents.
Everyone chooses their own tasks and joins different working groups (including for kitchen, gardening, agriculture, property management, cleaning, construction, repair and refurbishment, office, accommodation and food service work). There are no leaders.
Decisions on admission as residents are made on the basis of consensus.
K rules, ie what is not allowed in the Ecovillage
Over the years, the ecovillage has developed four so-called K-rules, which all residents and visitors to the community are expected to respect in order to support the harmony of community life. They prohibit converting, quarreling, use of intoxicants, and groping. In other words, the use of drugs, mental and physical violence, conversion related to an idea or religion, and activities that violate the physical integrity of another are prohibited.
In the case of intoxicants, a reasonable use of alcohol without disturbing other residents is permitted in the resident's own home. There is zero tolerance for drugs, including cannabis, in the ecovillage, which means that their possession and being under the influence in the ecovillage is completely prohibited. The use of drugs in the ecovillage is a ground for terminating the lease.
Housing and ecology in practice
- The ecovillagers are constantly practicing community skills by learning compassionate interaction. The ecovillage is lived as a community where much of everyday things are shared.
- Communality (shared food purchases, shared orders, shared dining, common areas, including kitchens, living rooms, library, saunas, fireplace room, gym, weight room and shared appliances) saves resources and energy. We strive to work together to keep the communal facilities clean and in order. The aim of sharing is to reduce energy and other consumption
- Room temperatures are kept low. Some of the premises have basic heat during the winter. Lamps are energy saving lamps. The lights are not kept on unnecessarily. Various forms of energy saving are being researched and developed.
- Aiming for the use of perpetual and renewable energies (wind, solar, wood), purchased electricity is green electricity. In one building (Väentupa or The People’s House), electricity is generated solely by solar panels.
- Wood chips and pellets are used to heat the premises and water. During the summer, some of the water is heated by solar panels.
- The fields are organically grown. Over 10 years of research has been done on roof cultivation by cultivating one's own vegetable land using cover cropping. Much of the roots and herbs and grain are grown in Ekokylä's fields.
- The greenhouse and vegetable garden are irrigated with lake water
- Purchased food supplies are purchased as locally as possible and organic. We have good relations with local organic farmers whom we buy staples like potatoes and carrots from.
- Vegetarian food is preferred. From the beginning, the food is made from organic ingredients without additives.
- Ecological detergents are used.
- Waste is sorted and recycled.
- There is a Free Shop/ Swap Shop with used clothes and other items. Ecovillagers use a lot of recycled clothing.
- Carpools are used. Ecovillagers often share rides which is another fantastic way of using less fuel.
- The ecovillage has its own land filtration plant
Waste sorting and recycling
- Organic kitchen waste is composted and used in the field for food production
- Paper is collected in a paper collection, cardboard and dirty paper are burned
- Glass, metal, batteries, hazardous waste, small machines / electronics (remove usable parts first) are taken to the village at various collection points
- Clothes and usable goods are first taken to your own flea market, then the rest to the village for various collections. Cotton textiles are collected as carpet weaves in our own weaving mill.
- Scrap iron is taken to a scrap collector (use what you can)
- Timber is used as a building material, the rest is burned
- Construction waste is delivered for incineration for energy production