Nautra, regenerative community is in existence to help build and help people live up to their full potential while enhancing the natural environment. This can be achieved through the practice of permaculture, which is based on three core principals: care for Earth – so all life can continue, care for people – by providing the resources necessary for existence, and return of surplus – so systems remain productive and stable.
Natura is currently developing a 30-acre parcel of land located a short walk to amenities in the Town of Bridgewater, on Nova Scotia’s south shore in Canada. The community will consist of sixteen detached and semi-detached residential units and shared community buildings including: a community kitchen, a year-round greenhouse, a recreation center, a wood/metal workshop, a retail store, and, a treehouse. Many shared outdoor spaces will be developed such as: food forests, contoured and raised bed food gardens, an engineered wetland, a natural swimming pool, a playground, a sports field, a court, and walking/biking trails. Members of the community will be free to grow their own food and make their own products, which can be sold at the community store, one of many business opportunities. This community will be less dependant on motorized vehicles with it’s nearness to amenities so walking, biking, and vehicle sharing can be practiced which will help to lower the carbon footprint. Residents living here can live a holistic lifestyle in harmony with nature.
The houses and most shared buildings in this community will be off grid using clean, renewable energy sources for power generation including: passive/active solar, wind, water, compost heat, hydrogen, and plant-based biofuels. Natural building construction will be employed including: hempcrete, straw bale, light straw clay, earthbag, earthen floor/wall finishes, rammed earth, cob, stone masonry, round pole timber framing, branchwood, and the use of reclaimed lumber. Natural resources found on the site will be utilized for building construction as efficiently as possible.
Water conservation methods will be practiced including: rainwater capture for potable water usage and plant irrigation, grey water recapture and reuse, and the use of composting toilets.
Forested areas will be well managed using such practices as: tree harvesting for lumber and poles, decomposing logs for horticulture and mushroom cultivation, transplanting of smaller trees to be removed, silviculture for healthy tree growth, cultivation for coppicing of select tree species, planting of food forest areas, and planting of deciduous trees for summer shading, planting of coniferous trees for weather protection and future harvesting, and planting of vegetation for erosion and flood control.
Small-scale agriculture will be a main focus for the community providing most of the food consumption needs for the residents. Fruits, berries, and vegetables will be grown in abundance using the permaculture principles with no petrochemical pesticides or herbicides needed. Food needs will be met throughout the year using such methods as: growing out of season in year-round heated greenhouses and using other season extenders like hoop tunnels, unheated greenhouses, and cold frames. Food preservation will also be practiced using such methods as: cold room storage, freezing, dehydrating, and canning to ensure abundant food stores throughout the winter months. Seed saving will be practiced to ensure a supply of quality, non-GMO seeds for healthy food production. Beekeeping will be done in the community for honey production to be used on its own or in other honey-based food products, as well as products made from beeswax. Small-scale livestock will also be kept for eggs, meat, and dairy needs. Healthy soil will be produced and maintained in such ways as: screening topsoil from excavated job sites for use in gardens, aerobic and anaerobic composting methods, and the production of biochar.
Transportation for community residents will be more efficient and less polluting than conventional means. Walking, biking, carpooling, and vehicle sharing will be practiced and encouraged. Types of motorized vehicles may include: electric, pedal/electric hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell/electric hybrid, biofuel/electric hybrid, compressed air, and biofuel conversions. All types of electric vehicles can be charged on site with clean renewable energy. The community will be committed to staying on the leading edge with the use of cleaner and less polluting means of transportation.
Natura Community Co-op will also be a learning center and provide education and training in many areas such as: permaculture design, organic food production and preserving, natural building, and alternative power generation. Natura Community Co-op aims to be a model neighborhood for sustainable, holistic living, which will help people to reconnect with nature and more fully realize their own humanity.