Krishna Valley Indian Cultural Centre and Eco Farm in Hungary is one of the largest and oldest ecovillages in Europe. It is a member of the Global Ecovillage Network of Europe, and its research institute has an observer status in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Krishna Valley representatives cooperate and share their experiences with a wide range of inter- national organizations, including universities and higher educational institutions.
The 280-hectare farm was established in 1993, with the purpose of educating people about the values of ancient Vaishnava culture, self-sufficiency, organic farming, cow- protection, vegetarianism, and natural, God-centered lifestyle. The center of the community consisting of 150 monks and families is the Radha-Syamsundara temple, surrounded by agricultural lands, a cow protection project with sixty cows and oxen, a botanic garden, homes, a school, a guesthouse, a pure vegetarian restaurant and other guest facilities.
. Our aim is to create a model of an alternative way of living that does not harm the environment but that harnesses natural resources instead. By being a practical example of such an operational farm community, we are able to demonstrate the importance of leading an environmentally friendly lifestyle and to educate others regarding the methods for doing so. The goal of our Eco Valley Program, therefore is to show those interested that one can achieve a quality way of life that is sustainable environmentally, economically and socially.
To achieve self-sufficiency with environmentally friendly agriculture methods, we apply the following principles:
1. We strive to cultivate crops that will provide all the community's nutritional needs. We have fruit trees, vegetables gardens, grain and bean fields as well as pasture and hay fields for our cows. We preserve our produce for the winter months, storing them in our 160-m2 underground food cellar. We only apply traditional storage and preserving methods and de-hydrate without additives.
2. On our 110 acres of land, there are more than 950 different species of trees and bushes, which enables us to preserve the values of nature and to find and research new varieties of edible plants.
3. Our cow protection project houses more than 50 herd members and saves them from slaughter. The oxen help us cultivate our land and provide us with an alternative for using tractors and heavy machinery. The cows provide us with milk.
4. For us, being self-sufficient means not being part of the national grid. Therefore, our electricity is produced by solar panels, our water is supplied by wells and the processing of wastewater is done with a reed-bed sewage system without the use of any chemicals or electricity.
We believe that the key for change is taking the initiative. Understanding the severity of climate change, depleting natural resources and other environmental problems, we are offering an alternative. Reconnecting ourselves to the land and trying to avoid using any harmful equipment or substances, we strive to lead a lifestyle that is not merely non-harmful for the environment but that actually nurtures it and us within it. We hope that by doing so we can become an inspiration for others. In this way, we also act as an educational center for those interested in becoming more environmentally friendly and finding ways to live in harmony with nature.
Krishna Valley Indian Cultural Centre and Eco Farm in Hungary is one of the largest and oldest ecovillages in Europe. It is a member of the Global Ecovillage Network of Europe, and its research institute has an observer status in the United…