Longomai: when political activism leads to the fields…

I arrived in Longomai for just a few days and I ended up living there for month because it is the perfect place to learn how to live in a community and be more autonomous…

It is really hard to sum up what is Longomai in a few words. It is a unique place because of its age, the large number of people living there, their way of living and of course its history of political and social activism… They don’t like to be called an ecovillage, or a farm, or even a community, as they feel to be a commune, fighting for social rights since 40 years…

Longomaï has been created by French, German, Austrian and Swiss activists who wanted to put their idealism into practice. They left their towns to settle on a 250 hectares land in a desertified region. Beginnings have been very hard, living in a very small old house, in the cold and without enough to eat… Step by step, they learnt about farming while they also animated a free radio, helped migrants and fought for the local school to stay open. Often criticized by the press, accused to be a sect or the host illegal migrants, they successfully resisted until nowadays.

Today about 120 people are living in three beautiful stone farms and numerous eco-constructions (yurt, caravans, woodhouse…). A network of smaller farms also emerged around the first place, specialized in specific fields (whole clothes, wood harvest, wine making…). In total, about 200 people are living sharing the same ideals in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and even Ukraine and Costa Rica…

Everything is shared : meals, work, money and parties. Thanks to generous supporters from Switzerland, Longomai can afford to continue its social fight while hosting friends from other communes or visitors seeking alternative ways of living… So here is a brief presentation of Longomaï, but there is so much more to say… in a next post 

Click here ot see some pictures:

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Terre rouge: hosting at the end of the world

In the south of France, near Die, at the far end of a mountain path, you will find a magic place called Terre Rouge. It is a vast stone house with some other stone buildings waiting to be renovated, surrounded by forests, gardens, fruit trees and a few chicken and donkeys.
Gilles and his daughter Luna are living there since 16 years. Since 6 months, Aurore and Joseph joined them with their new born Isaïe. Even if the place is isolated, it is always full of visitors. People in holidays can rent some rooms to enjoy the mountains, whereas many woofers are helping with the garden, the cooking, the care of Isaïe or the construction of a wonderful yurt. Friends of all ages are also passing by to enjoy a great evening around the fire, a nice Moroccan couscous or a bath in the river nearby. Even the neighbor often brings his goats along with a good goat cheese or a few mushrooms. He likes to give advices from another age: “if everybody use to eat neetle regularly, we could close one pharmacy out of three !”.
The place is full of life with his long table full of visitors joyfully talking under the peer trees while the chicken are eating the rooted fruits on the floor… Each visitor brings his own energy and his creative ideas. It makes the place very rich, even if some cohabitations are sometimes a little tensed…

And here are the pictures:

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