East Coast – Sustainable building and living

“Gokula and his wife Vilasa have been Krishna Farm residents since 2001 and have, over the last years, built their own self sustained, off-the-grid mud brick home, surrounded by lush organic gardens and a bunch of happy cows.” Quote from their tour notification

Two times a month they are happy to give tours to all who are interested in sustainable building and living.

Gokula and Vilasa leased the ground from the Krishna Village for 99 years and spent so far $73k (51.000€) on it. They estimate to need another $10k (7.000€) to finish it till next year. They were happy to move into the big house last year after five years of living into the small one room cabin next to the house.

Used water is going through these four tanks and gets cleaned so that they can use it afterwards for watering their plants.

The house is based on the system of Vastu, an indian/hindu equivalent of Feng Shui. This mud hole will be the new toilet. The old one inside the house was not in harmony with the five elements.

A small part of their garden. Gokula presented proudly the coconut palm, which unfortunately will need a lot more time until it give something back to them.

To generate their own water pressure they will build a water tower of 5m hight next to the house.

To get the water into the tank in the first place, Gokula bought this recumbent bike system which pumps the water from their ground tank into the tower.

Their washing machine needs nothing more than water, muscle power and some patience.

The bricks consists of 80% mud from the local ground and 20% concrete.

All electricity comes from two solar panels on the roof, which deliver enough to power some LEDs for the room light and recharging their mobil phones.

A bit inconspicuous but the hole in the ceiling leads into the small tower on top of the house. This gives the house more light and air circulation.

The kitchen to the left is the only room which is not yet finished.

Also the wood of the window frame comes from local trees.

The floor is polished with local honey.

Here the playground for him…

…and for her. Vilasa is working on fabricate textiles on her own. So far she succeeded with wool.

Their working roles are easy to tell. The daily business with cooking, cleaning, washing, picking and planting are made by Vilasa. Gokula, however, can focus on the building of their home. They seem quite harmonic this way.
Also because they are not the youngest anymore they roughly work 4h per day on it.

The next step for them will be getting more land and starting to build a small community. Gokula has a nice vision of their future life and it seems realistic that they will manage to do this.

I wish you, Gokula and Vilasa, good fortune for your life project and hope you will inspire a lot more people with your sustainable living!

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