What is Waderby Orchard?

Wäderby Orchard is a model for ecological civilization. Ecological civilization entails nothing more than seeing humans as part of an ecosystem which is necessary to sustain their life and personal thriving. The harmony of that ecosystem in turn depends on other factors within it, but particularly those elements which give and sustain our life, such as clean water, air, and food to keep us nourished and alive. These elements on Earth are in turn part of a greater cosmic ecosystem.

Wäderby Orchard basis its practices on the principles of permaculture and forest gardening. Permaculture entails working with those elements present in any natural landscape to understand how its natural processes affect one another, and using the natural processes themselves to sustain an ecosystem within a given environment. The forest garden was developed as a subcategory of permaculture, and focuses on the introduction of biologically diverse plants and animals which will both benefit natural processes (such as water purification) as well as produce useful resouces such as fruits, vegetables, plants used in cleaning products, spices, and more. Because forest gardens rely on planting trees, they do not have the ecologically destructive effects of both traditional agriculture as well as ‘ecological’ agriculture which limits uses of pesticides and other growth hormones. Both traditional agriculture and ecological agriculture relys on ploughing the earth and impoverishes the soil. Forest gardens include trees, bushes, small shrugs and what is call crop cover which can include vegetation as short as grasses (for example alfalfa).

The forest garden would ultimately change our relation to the natural environment proximately, and using modes of compost as well as earth cellars and storage, would create a self-replentishing system.

The center of Waderby Orchard’s proposed plan of civilization would be a new kind of university or universal schooling. The university would itself be embedded in a forest garden, which could be used for education of the children and demonstration (even engineering projects take place in gardens, for example in pumps). Waderby Orchard’s model for education would entail as much philosophy and history as possible at an early age, and beginning with the research techniques of university so that children could guide their own studies, with teachers standing in as guidance counsellors and lifetime learners. There would also be a greater emphasis during early learning of practical application of one’s knowledge and skills to creative and collaborative projects. For example, as early as possible, mathematics would be connected to engineering projects such as the construction of a bridges.

The current model of civilization might be envisioned as follows. One’s house would be about the size of a cottage with about two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom. Whether one had a tower was optional. Each cottage would ideally exist in at least 1-2 acres of land. Each cottage would be in a small ‘village’ of six cottages. Those cottages, across the generations, would be designed to house one’s children and one’s parents as well as one’s spouse’s extended family. Between these six houses there could be two larger greenhouses as well as two larger earth cellars, aside from small greenhouses and earth cellars which each individual would have for personal use.

Meadows would exist as corridors within the forest gardens. ‘Universities’ could hypothetically connect about twelve of these villages, making the potential enrollment equivalent to around 120 of these cottages. Nothing in this model is obligatory. It is easily conceivable to have cottages further removed from others, even being larger, differently formed or having different functions. All that would be needed would be to find the resources and means to construct and maintain such an edifice.