Whole Village
Newsletter No. 7- May, 2001


The Whole Village newsletter is published on line to keep our friends, near and far, informed on how our project is progressing. For background information and previous issues, please visit our website at: http://www.wholevillage.org .  Click here to view our Membership Policy.  Click here to read our Farm Plan.


Karalane Farm, the site of the Whole Village, is in the northwest corner of the Town of Caledon, Peel Region, just 10 minutes south of Orangeville. The property has a pond, a year round stream, gravel resources, bank barn and equipment sheds, a maple sugar bush, arable land and good building sites. While very rural and quiet, the farm is still less than 60 minutes from Toronto and thirty minutes from Brampton, Mississauga and Guelph.

Site Work

The vegetable garden on the property has been tripled in size this year so that WV members can participate in the planting and harvesting of their own fresh, organic veggies.


An article on the WV has appeared in New Directions Magazine, available at Health food stores in the GTA. WV members have staffed tables at a Volunteer and Alternative Career Job Fair at the University of Toronto, the Erin Health Fair, the Fergus Health Fair, the Festive Earth Society Spring Fair in Riverdale Park, Toronto and the Natural Life Festival in St. George.  There have been 78 people in attendance at our last 5 Orientation meetings, held for prospective members.  Currently there are 164 people on our email Updates list.


Denis gave a short presentation at the BD Association AGM on March 31 in Wroxeter.




On February 23, WV gave a 10-minute presentation at a seminar on Ecological Footprinting, sponsored by the Caledon Countryside Alliance.  The WV proposal was given a big thumb up from the main presenter, Larry Onisto, as an example of what could be done to reduce our ecological footprint.


April 16 a group of WV members took an inspiring tour of Rowanwood, a cooperative community near Orillia, Ontario.  Started in 1985, Rowanwood has eight families living on a 92-acre farm in individual owner built homes.  They are committed to land stewardship, caring for each other, being an extended family and sharing in a spirit of cooperation.


At the invitation of Guy Gilron, Denis and Jeff presented the WV initiative to the staff at his employer, ESG International, a large environmental consulting firm in Guelph, on April 26.  We may approach them for assistance in various environmental areas at a later date.


Much of the organizing and development work of the Whole Village resides with our mandate groups. Some recent progress:


Membership now stands at seven families, one Subscriber (member-in-waiting) and ten Associate members.  Orientation meetings for potential new members and other interested friends are held at the WV site at regular intervals.   If you are interested in attending an Orientation Meeting, the next ones are scheduled for May 27, June 10 and June 24, 2001.  Contact Jeff Gold at 519-941-1099 or email jgold@netrover.com to RSVP and for directions. Personal Orientations can be arranged, and current WV members can also conduct their own orientation sessions for potential participants.

Click here for more information on our Membership Policy.


After consultation with the Planning staff of the Town of Caledon, we have decided to delay our application for an Official Plan Amendment (an essential step in obtaining official permission to build on the site) for six to eight months.  We will use the intervening time to build up our membership and increase our networking efforts with groups and organizations that support our goals of land stewardship, conservation and community.  Once we complete the purchase of Karalane Farm, we will immediately undertake a variety of agricultural and stewardship activities.


Our $20,000 grant under the Affordability and Choice Today (ACT) program has finally been activated.  ACT is jointly sponsored by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Canadian Home Builders Association and the Canadian Housing Renewal Association. (For more information see: http://www.actprogram.com/english/welcome.asp).  This grant will support our work with the municipality and region, groups of interested citizens, various provincial ministries, and other relevant authorities, to develop a set of zoning regulations which would allow the kind of positive development we propose, while continuing to control destructive development activities.  It can be used to retain professional consultants to conduct impact surveys, environmental and engineering studies, prepare official plan amendments and rezoning filings and maintain comprehensive documentation on our progress.


Design Group
Following a series of three Design Meetings and an all day Design Workshop, Denis Bowman, WV member and architect for the WV community, completed the third variation of residential site plan number six.  Denis and his coworkers have met one of our key site design goals by putting the homes, related roads and infrastructure on 5% of the property.  Every home features a south facing, private courtyard, with access both to the outdoors and to an interior gallery.  Three clusters of homes are connected by the gallery to the common areas at the heart of the community.   Denis and his team are working on perspective drawings and elevations showing what the Whole Village will actually look like.


Our energy and technical consultant, Greg Allen, has produced a Communal Sustainable Infrastructure Review, following extensive consultation with Whole Village members.  This document provides various strategies for producing, storing and distributing heat and electricity.  It also outlines several different options for water and waste management.  Greg’s work will help us choose which type of infrastructure to incorporate in the Whole Village.  (This document is available by request from jgold@netrover.com ).


An informal meeting was held April 26 with Don Carr, a long time employee of the Ministry of Environment.  He explained in great detail the current Provincial requirements for Community Water and Sewage Systems and explained how they might impact our design strategies.  After recent events in Ontario around water quality, the regulations have been considerably tightened


After a lot of preparatory work by our housing consultant Jon Harstone, ably assisted by WV friend Dave Connell and the Legal/Financial Mandate Group, the membership spent two full days working on a comprehensive Business Plan.  The Business Plan includes a detailed cost summary for the whole proposal and a wealth of background information on the members, the WV initiative, related projects in other jurisdictions and much more.  This is an essential document for project planning and other purposes.  The Business Plan will be a key component in our presentations to financial institutions, government agencies and prospective members.

Following the recommendations of our lawyer, Brian Iler, we have decided to set up a Registered Cooperative to administer the affairs of the Whole Village community.


The Communications Mandate Group coordinates all outreach, maintains the web site and email lists, produces the newsletter and handles all media relations.  The members of this group are working on a promotional video that will tell the WV story in an engaging, concise and informative manner.  Laszlo Kramar, a soon-to-be member of the WV, is creating a CD-ROM about the Whole Village that will have images, text, audio and video.


Farm/Land Stewardship

The WV Farm/Land Stewardship Mandate Group has been working closely with Denis, Michael Schmidt (our Biodynamic farm consultant) and Brad Peterson, our recently acquired landscape architect, to refine the land use plan for the Whole Village farm.  In this plan new shelterbelts and windbreaks define the fields for a seven-year crop rotation regimen; cattle are pastured in a series of ten paddocks created with electric fencing to allow the use of Management Intensive Grazing practices; pastured poultry follow the cattle through the rotation; sheep and goats graze the upper slopes of the on the northeastern hills, while the steeper portions are anchored by intensive planting of fruit trees and berry bushes; the small field along Shaws Creek Road is earmarked for a heifer pasture, and a range piggery slotted for the main field near the wetlands.  (Pigs love to wallow in the mud!)  The foundations of the barns will be stabilized and the surrounding area graded to move surface water away from the barnyard.  Brad and Denis are working on a comprehensive site plan integrating all of these elements with the residential landscape design.


Wildlife Biologist Ken Cornelisse, from the Ministry of Natural Resources, gave a presentation on March 18 about the Upper Credit River Rehabilitation Project.  The UCRRP is a partnership between the MNR, Credit Valley Conservation, the Izaak Walton Fly Fishing Club, Ontario Streams, Trout Unlimited and the Upper Credit Trout Club.  This project is enhancing habitat and encouraging stewardship on the Upper Credit from Charleston Side Road upstream to Alton.


We have begun consultations with the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy to set up a comprehensive Conservation Easement on the WV property.   We will soon be meeting with the current owner of the land to discuss the tax savings she could make by placing an easement on the title prior to completing the sale to the WV.

Wellness, Arts and Culture

The members of this group are looking at home-based businesses in the WV, the possibilities of creating a wellness or therapeutic centre as part of the village, facilities and amenities to be included in the community building and what similar resources exist in nearby communities.  They are also exploring ways to finance the proposed facilities.


Our third annual Whole Village May Day party was held Saturday April 28, 2001 at Karalane Farm.  It started with a wonderful potluck lunch and continued on with an exhilarating and lighthearted dance around the May Pole.


For more information, please contact us at:

Whole Village Ltd.
20725 Shaws Creek Road
RR 1 Alton
ON, L0N 1A0

Phone: (519) 941-1099 Fax: (905) 833-2813

E-mail: jgold@netrover.com
Website: http://www.wholevillage.org