1. Name, location and size of your community?
267 hectare, 133 people
2. What was the necessity behind the establishment of your community?
We considered it necessary to develop an area where a self-sufficient, as well as ecologically sustainable lifestyle can be maintained. In order to accomplish this concept the establishment of an eco-village community seemed to be the most expedient way.
3. How was your community founded? (History of your community.)
The founder of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada asked his followers in the 1960’s and ‘70’s to develop farming communities in accordance with the knowledge described in Vedic scriptures. Members of the aforementioned society were also present in Hungary from the mid-70’s and after the collapse of the socialist regime they had an opportunity to officially register the society and establish its own property. The land was purchased in 1993 from donations of Hungarian donors and society resources. The then 130 hectare land has been gradually growing to its present size due to continuous land purchasing. One of the first aims was the building of the community centre and temple, as well as the developing of organic farming.
4. What are the present needs or problems of your community?
One of the main necessities, taking into consideration our efforts to become completely self-sufficient, is the agricultural production and storing of these products throughout winter time. Important tasks are the reduction of imported goods from light industry as well as achieving self-sufficiency regarding clothes, detergents and materials used for maintaining cleanliness. We also have to address needs for energy, water and irrigation supply in order to accomplish full self-sufficiency.
5. What is the present situation of your community?
Today our community is practically self-sufficient regarding agricultural products; in our gardens we grow exclusively organic foodstuffs.
Not long ago the reed-bed zone sewage system was put in operation, which was designed to solve the cleaning of waste water in an environmental-friendly way. There is no electricity in the eco-village. Electricity needs are covered by renewable energy resources. To achieve more sustainable agriculture we use ox-power as well. (There are 4 different breeds; 46 cattle altogether).
Water supply is provided by a 250 meter deep tube-well; however, all houses have their own wells as well.
Our elementary school is accredited by state. The botanic garden is 12 hectares large, where we have planted a diverse variety of more than 900 plants and trees.
The community is advancing dynamically. We have attained economic and ecologic sustainability of the community. (According to an independent ecological footprint analysis the footprint of Krishna Valley is 1.47 hectare/capita, which means that the community is sustainable.)
6. Which areas of your community need improvement?
It is a great task to provide housing facilities for our growing population as well as to establish secondary education for our pupils. However, the education of our primary school pupils and adult residents is steady.
The question related to firewood self-sufficiency is quite essential. Eventually, we would like to increase our firewood supply from 20% to 100%.
7. How can technology help to solve problems in your community?
We have already established our own sewage system with reed-bed zone sewage system technology. At present, we are making efforts to develop our technology regarding sun and wind energy as well as utilizing biogas processing.
It is a general principle that instead of using high-tech technology we are trying to utilize sustainable technologies in order to avoid dependence on industry.
8. What are the communication tools you use internally and externally?
– Internal communication tools are part of the regular communal meetings. Furthermore, sometimes we give presentations or have informal conversations between each other concerning main events.
– There are various tools regarding external communications. We have different websites (e.g. www.krisnavolgy.hu, www.localhost/ecovalley, www. okovolgy.hu); we publish magazines periodically (Vissza Istenhez Magazin, Öko-völgy Magazin). Moreover, we organize conferences and we give presentations and lectures in sustainability and eco-conscious lifestyle in numerous places. During our ecological conference in 2008 we had 170 participants, whereas in 2009 there were more than 420 people attending the conference. In 2009 we gave nearly 40 presentations in absolutely various venues, for instance in Hungary, USA, Finland, India, Denmark, Italy.
– Annually there are around 30,000 tourists to visit our village, who doing so receive a fully guided tour regarding our lifestyle and customs and get answers to their questions on sustainability.
9. What main activities produce a monetary income for your community?
As we strive for self-sufficiency, the proportion of external and internal economy is crucial from the aspect of economic development. External monetary income comes from tourism (entry fee, program fees, restaurant, gift shop), and in addition from the sale of surplus agricultural and other products, donations from patrons, as well as resources from various applications. The key element of our internal economy is the circulation of money among the 40 departments in the community, but this does not involve circulation in reality.