Tucson Tortolita Eco Village

TTEV Vision
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Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival
Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival
October 7


TTEV Eco-village

On the ground and in process

The TTEV Eco-village is underway. We have the land to develop homes for 5 families with two plots sold.

Our goal is to create a resiliant community that uses a sustainable earth based building design we can replicate at will in multple configurations. Using an earth based building plan is a sustainable low impact approach. Having a flexible set of designs takes it to the next level of reduced costs.

Sustainability is something of a myth in actual practice. For example; when we look at the solar industry we forget it is only possible because of big industrial and energy intensive processes. That doesn't mean that solar is not desireable in a sustainable context. It does mean that that the technology could go away if big industry does. We should be aware that any technology is potentially unsustainable

A big part of our push for sustainability is in building methods and use of the land in general. We have compiled a set of references to websites promoting several green building techniques in Approved Building Methods. There are also several types of green references are found in Links.

As our plans progress we will continue to make them available for your consideration in your own community. That does not mean they will be free, but you will be able to evaluate the concepts and see if they are applicable in your situation / area. Our achitects and engineers will be more than happy to adapt the plans for your needs at a much lower cost than a one-off.


Our Mission: Community

The mission we have accepted here is to form community. Not just in our little corner of Avra Valley, but the greater Tucson region as well. We envision a historically viable system of family, clan, guild, and tribe in community with self aware others of like mind and heart.

For example; many of the tribes native to the Americas, before the European immigrations, were entirely open to new people without regard to ethnicity. They did require that new people fit in or they were directed to another community! However, they did not mandate where new people fit in so long as they contributed to the general good.

Our community is about making connections to develop and share information that will enable self reliant and resilient lifestyle. Ultimately resiliency is about; knowing the truth about the playing field, circumstances, what other agendas are in play, being able to adapt, adopt and evolve. We believe that understanding these aspects, no matter how outside the bounds of ordinary reality, is critical to playing the Game of life we are engaged in.

We envision our community as the people, the ecosystem, plants, animals, spirits of the land, and the outside forces stimulating evolution or devolution. Like the native tribes of old we recognize that oneness of spirit and spirituality will encourage diversity without adopting dogma.

Many years of research have gone into planning a community that we believe will be here 10, 20, and maybe even 50 years into the future, no matter other events. Be it a utopian future, or one that has to pass through the worst TEOTWAWKI that is survivable we plan and are planning to be here.

Much of our research can be found on our website TTEV.org. Feel free to use anything you find there to help build your own community. If you have insights to share with us we eagerly await your input. Our mission is designed to evolve as circumstances arise and thus become a quantum community.


An Intentional Community

We say a community is a gathering of like-minded peoples from individuals up to families, clans, and then tribes. At the TTEV we are planning to address all the issues that confront communities proactively thereby making ours an intentional community. Our intentions will form an evolving process that takes into account our living planet's needs for the 21’st century.

In order to make this work we will all be involved in the building, sustaining, and evolution of this Eco Village. Aspects of the community that will be planned from the start are the crucial ones. It is failing to look at, acknowledge, or plan for these processes that seem to be tripping up society throughout the world today. These processes to be addressed are “ Green Shelter,” “Food,” “Water,” “Recreation,” “Spirituality,” and “Health Issues.” It isn't that we intend to force anyone to “do” anything but rather to help all “become” all that they can be as part of an integrated community. Take a moment to review the information on this page to determine if our vision is compatible with yours. If you find a kindred spirit here, feel free to come and explore our vision.


A Place For Your Spirit

Tucson Tortolita Eco Village a place for your spirit. It could be said that it is based on spirituality rather than expedience or political ideologies. Yet there is no real ideology practiced or in place other than the founding members all believe that a return to what has worked in the past is better than to blindly continue the failed policies and practices or our times. We intend to promote community values such as; spirituality as opposed to religion, tolerance of different view points so long as they support our member’s rights to evolving spiritual values and any practice, technique, or belief that supports this lifestyle. This means different things to different people, and that is all to the good.

Consider that native populations lived in harmony with the land, themselves and nature for thousands of years by recognizing the place of spirit in their lives. Our shaman's experience leads us to understand why that was such a successful model for living together. Promoting similar beliefs in our own community can only enhance our chances for success. It isn’t just back to the Earth, but back to the ideas of our ancestors that balanced need for growth and evolution of individuals and tribes, and of what worked to live in close harmony with our environment.


Arranging a Visit

Investors are encouraged to come out and get a flavor of our community. If you are local and interested in a tour, contact us to make arrangements.

Currently we are in a transitional phase working thru legal issues involving the death of our founder. Consequently tent camping, motor home and trailers can't be accommodated for short stays. We expect to resolve these issues.


Community Principals

General Principles:

1. Everything that is done at our eco-village is in keeping with Sustainability, Resiliance and Self Reliance. Rethinking how to promote Harmony, Health, Peace and Conscious Evolution is a core goal of our efforts. We are a “Desert People" and need to keep that concept firmly in mind at this intentional community. We are proud to be a working, living, evolving incubator or this emerging concept and consciousness.

2. All designs for structures of any kind, and any alterations to the land will be agreed upon by a majority of the community members prior to execution. Plans may be approved, modified, or rejected with suggestion of how to improve the design. In fact you can pre-submit a plan for consideration before you buy into the community. The “General Guidelines & Owners Manual For Development” will be given to all potential purchasers of lots. But the above statement is in keeping with the spirit of what we are trying to achieve here in this lush desert community.

3. Here are some guiding principles that are held as self evident in this type of “Intentional Community.”

A. Everyone and everything is created and held as ‘equal’ in this community. Practical consideration included in the concept of sustainability dictate that a measure of common sense holds sway. That would mean that if a tree had to be removed in order to develop a property, and there was compelling reason why this was so, instead of prohibiting its removal, it would be either be relocated or replaced two for one. We would also attempt to relocate any plant communities under this tree, for a tree is an island of life in this desert.

B. The principle of “Living in Harmony” within our ecosystem dictates that not only do we try and get along with each other, the land, and the creatures here, but also thinking carefully about all changes we propose or do to this relatively fragile environment. For instance, a tall TV antenna may get you better reception, but it also impacts your neighbors ‘view-shed’. Or having a dog-run, for your dog is all good and fine, but if a neighbor is down-wind and can smell it, then it should be kept clean and not easily visible unless pleasant in appearance. Or, by not wanting to throw anything away, one keeps 4 non-running cars on the property; and they are parked under tarps near the garage. Besides the environmental concerns of leaking gasoline and oil, this practice is unsightly, and impacts the view-shed of all in our community, and so must be carefully planned into the environment.

If you have a disabled vehicle or two, the vehicles should be kept in a garage, which ideally would be made of sustainable materials and designed appropriately. Rethink use and impact. This is basically called “Permaculture,” and we are serious about practicing it here. Junk just lying around will not be condoned, though some allowances may be made of individual situations or temporary situations.

C. The entire premise of “Beyond Sustainable” means we will be looking at that concept as a general guideline for the building of any structures or modification of the environment within which we live. So adobe brick, cob, concrete, steel, or straw-bale would be an example of what we could look for, rather than wood frame stucco. There must be some esthetic appeal to the structure as well in keeping with this entire theme.

Permaculture techniques would also need to be explored and planned in so that extra run-off water from the roof would first be “harvested for reuse, and any extra would be redirected into a basin where a garden might be cultivated, or harvested from the roof and mixed with gray water from the house to water a household or even community garden, and so on. Rain harvesting will be a requirement, as it should everywhere in this desert.

D. Planning for sustainability requires an adaptation from normal societal dwellings and situations. For instance, what would happen if all electricity was suddenly unavailable or because of politics, global scenarios, or temporary instability became too expensive? This must be planned into this entire eco-village equation. Or what about a future social unrest where we had to put up many more neighbors than our community had planned for? Where would we get food and water, and how would we dispose of the extra waste?

All compelling questions that we are trying to plan for in the name of sustainability. Making common cause with like- minded groups as well as a compelling educational component must also be planned into this intentional community. There are already ways to deal with this if planned into our community’s infrastructure at the beginning, and as we evolve as a community we would certain find even more ideas, solutions, and possibilities. That is why we intend to be an incubator, a functional educational experiment, and a testing ground for these types of ideas, and will test them as to what is practical, feasible, and doable.

Concepts we all abide by:

It is important to remember that as a desert people and a new wave of sustainable civilization, as we know it, our current society may not be as secure as others pretend it is. Our ancestors had to live within their means and we are here now because enough of them did so, got creative, and were able to pass these genetic, practical, and spiritual concepts on to us. We will start down that road and hope we are never suddenly forced to do anything so extreme as having to survive in a totally hostile world.

But it never hurts to look at this ‘Beyond Sustainable ideal and concept and see what we can do about it right now in a practical, working, and effective way. We are not alone in this. There are many other people working on solutions to our current and future problems and we intend to tap into this wonderful source as well. From the University of Arizona and the local college and school systems, to the innovative scientists and pioneers of this fast learning experience that our technology has made available to us we are taking heed.

All our ideas are not necessarily unique, but in many cases we are the first or one of the first to try and make it happen in a practical and affordable sustainability manner. As an example, sustainable energy, water, and food sources and their use, always dictated how many people could live, how and where until very recently, and became the basis of life of our ancestors. But now thanks to social conditions having to do with global economics and technology we are living on the surpluses of the past including fossil fuels, mono culture commercial food systems, and energy generated out of our control and far away. And it is time to look at this cause and effect cycle that makes the average person feel helpless to make a difference.

But that will change here at Eco Village #1, and in other pioneering communities across our great land and even on distant shores. It is time we reformed intentional communities and started living and acting as we really are…. A Desert People. A community of desert peoples.

We will know we are desert people when….

When we hold everything as sacred and interact with it sustainably. When we accept that water in the desert is very limited, very responsive to energies, very necessary for life, is alive, and thus must be treated with the highest respect for us to have a future. When we develop the mechanisms and the systems to not use more water than we have or produce. When water from washes is caught and harvested and not just run off our roofs, our properties, through the wash into the gutters of uselessness. When we learn other ecological and alternative ways of living within our budget of rain, and producing clean, life-giving water in a renewable sustainable way.

When we start taking back control of our own health by eating what is practical, healthy, sustaining, and good for us rather than what is offered to us as ‘food,’ by interests that care more for profits and control than what is going on inside our sacred bodies. When food is once again lovingly cultivate at a local level rather than imported through wasteful distribution channels controlled by factors outside out input.

When our energy is part of a sustainable system that we can have a major impact on by our choices and actions, rather than at the whims and mercy of others far away.

And finally when we start taking responsibility for all our actions, recognize that ultimately everything anyone does affects all other beings and things around us. And when our very thoughts, beliefs, and actions allow us to retake control of those crucial factors above and do so in a peaceful and harmonious way, knowing all our many neighbors may not be as lucky or prepared as we in our intentional community at Eco Village #1 and other Tucson Tortolita Eco Villages are.

Practicality often trumps beliefs, but beliefs drive practicality, so just as becoming an intentional sustainable community may be the key to our happiness and perhaps our children’s and grandchildren’s survival… so too does the idea of practical or beyond sustainable have its place in our belief systems. Everyone can make a difference, and at this community everyone will be strongly encouraged to making that difference. Becoming the change we hope to see is the only practical way for this change to evolve into in the fist place. That is what we plan on building here.

Still other related principles:

When we utilize our resources in balance with nature, i.e. grow a certain percentage of our food, energy, and harvest much of our water and other resources that we use. When we develop harmony and balance with our environment, interior and exterior, in as many ways as is possible, and honor our ancestor’s ability to do this in a practical way. When we start with the children in the schools and educate locals and people from elsewhere to live in balance in the desert. When we are committed to dream and develop a vision for a community of people and their descendants to be at one with and supportive of the desert in a sacred exchange for loving and harmonious living.

Specifics of Living At Eco Village #1:

Property ownership will be in individual lots zoned by the county as RH, which means a lot of things, but specifically that homes must be on at least 4.13 acres. With the above principles and basic ideas in mind, if you intend to live in our community, you are agreeing and acknowledging that in order to protect all that we are about, you will find legally binding conditions, covenants, and restrictions (CC&R’s) that attach to your property. They were developed to ensure protection and proper care for the land and all its inhabitants from rocks to rock stars. It is about quality of life and conscious choices for each and every one, all and everything.

When reselling or leasing your property it is your responsibility to inform the new residents all that goes into being a resident of this intentional community. As part of these CC&R’s, present community residents will have the first option to purchase or lease your property. Though you may price your property at whatever you feel is necessary,.you are obligated to obey any and all CC&R’s. Please be sure you understand them and are willing to become part of our community before signing any contract on any property, whether for lease or sale.



Copyright 2017 Tucson Tortolitas Eco Village