Growing a village
We are growing a village. A community with people who care about the earth, about people and about the future.
A village in the heart of Croatia, living sustainably in harmony with nature. A self sufficient community that includes and embraces, and where people ask themselves how they can contribute the best.
Years ago we took a risk. We decided to move from city life in The Netherlands to country life in Croatia. We closed down a webdesign studio and a blacksmith workshop to start hospitality in Croatia's stunningly beautiful nature. Designing an edible landscape and gypsy wagons for guests to enjoy. We are working towards a place that is built of natural materials and is a joy to be in.
Now we are growing a village so that we can live more self sufficient, live and celebrate life in freedom and cooperation. A caring village where young and old live and share, in harmony with nature. A community designed for the coming 7 generations.
We want to bring continuity to Mr?enovi?i to become a community-village for like-minded people. We want to live a healthy, independent life, eat from the gardens and celebrate Mother Nature. A village where you can grow old, where local elderly have a purpose and a good quality life.
World Wide Help to make the world a better place
From the beginning we have hosted young people from all over the world as volunteers. They came to us to learn about permaculture and a self sufficient lifestyle in harmony with nature, living and working together and celebrating work well done. Over 220 volunteers came to our top of the hill. People from Nepal to Tasmania, from Japan to Canada and the America's, from many places in Europe and Croatia.
Experienced craftsmen like chefs and carpenters started staying here for a project. They sowed, planted, harvested and cooked delicious food, constructed the most beautiful greenhouse, a living fence around the garden, terraced garden beds on a slight hill. Hectares of land have been cleaned by hand. Slowly and carefully, not to damage the rich forest. And now, after all these years there is an edible landscape with paths winding around with lots of shady places where people can camp and relax.
All these volunteers with different cultural backgrounds, family backgrounds or different stages in life had one thing in common: they asked themselves how to make this world a better place.
The visionary craftsman, the permaculturist, the chef and the artist
Who is this "we", you might ask yourself. We are a family that is originally from The Netherlands, and we moved to Croatia in 2009 to live in closer harmony with nature.
Peter is the visionary craftsman that designs and constructs all objects on the terrain. Therefore our rabbits live in a “palace”, the chickens have their “castle” and the greenhouse is an upside down boat in an ocean of green.
Barbara studies and teaches permaculture in a holistic way. It leads to well designed systems for people, animals and the land, and a year round abundance in the garden that provides the tastiest food for the kitchen.
We have chefs coming over for periods of time, so our son Nol (17), an aspiring chef, learns to cook the most worldly and delicious meals.
Fleur (11) is an artist of life. Her creativity and fun is an inspiration for all.
Together we create, finish projects and celebrate the moment with our family, volunteers and anyone that is a joy to have at the table.
We live by a set of principles that have proven their value over time. We can explain them in words or give you real life examples from daily use. We manage all projects from those principles. In so doing our results fit with who we are. Celebrating a job well done is a great way to spend the end of the day. Together with harvesting food directly from nature that means also we are grateful for the gift that life is. Being together in the kitchen and preparing all meals to decorate the table and enjoy the fruits of our labor is incredibly satisfying.
Growing a village called Mrdenovici
It is a time where more and more people realize that cooperation, hand work and creating beauty together, brings freedom, fulfillment and joy.
We too are looking for a helpful, cooperative and regenerative culture as democracy is meant to be. A village in the heart of Croatia, living sustainably in harmony with nature, with a culture of care for the earth, for each other and care for the future. A self sufficient community that includes and embraces, and where people ask themselves how they can contribute the best.
A village life with clear values, heart driven, caring and including.
A healthy lifestyle with home grown quality food and drinks.
Cooperating people to find small, simple and smart solutions.
The future is under our shoulders!
The time is ripe to grow a cooperative co-owned village
Over time we have experienced rural life has various challenges. Having enough winter-wood, growing and conserving enough food, maintaining the land in a great shape as well as running a household with animals. All is fully entertaining and fulfilling as a way of life.
A family has limited capacity to meet all those needs, but in a village work and produce can be shared.
We are looking for new partners in our village. People with skills to grow towards a self sufficient life in harmony with nature. People with personal and material mastery to join us in a value driven community. We assume material mastery as known. Master carpenter etc. Personal mastery is necessary to contain potential frictions. Being able to cooperate and create an enthusiastic atmosphere, even when things get difficult, are important traits to make a cooperative initiative thrive.
Young and old living together
Imagine you're growing old and you are put away in an elderly home. You're living with old people, rickety and sick and it smells that musty smell. Everything is taken care of and you only have to wait until you die.
Now imagine an alternative. You hear the wind rustling in the leaves while the early morning birds beckon you to a new day. The animals are being fed, the young cats are scuttling about and the dog is curiously nosing and playing with them.
Under the eaves of a roof some chairs stand in the shade. A cool drink in a carafe. There is an old man playing dominoes with a visiting family member. The fountain clatters in the natural pond and directly under the surface you can see the carp hunting. The ducks are paddling about from their duck island and a woman is swimming her morning rounds.
A place of peace in the middle of nature. A place for all generations to celebrate life.
No masks in our forest
The year 2020 would have been our year of plenty. We had built our first gypsy-wagon. For style purposes there was an old style goat stable built, and a new space for the growing population of chickens and rabbits. And sheep, in combination with a border colly.
We started the year well with a few guests and volunteers, and suddenly there was a lock down. Everything came to a grinding halt. Getting nails or wood suddenly wasn't possible any more. Corona slowed us down but with the materials already on the land we continued building.
And we experienced this feeling of freedom on our 12 hectares of edible landscape with unrestricted outdoor life. No masks necessary in our forest. We could just do what we wanted and we even went on holiday, to the other side of the terrain.
Reaching out to grow a village
The restrictions in the rest of the world inspired us to bring our vision out in the open. We are growing a village with people who care for the earth, for people and for the future.
We aim to have a number of families here in the next few years. There is space enough to have elderly care as well as a few younger families.
We're looking for engaged, passionate people with a shared vision. People with a drive and dedication to cooperate towards a thriving community.
Are you interested in joining us? Write to us about you, your drive, vision and values.
Next step next door
Besides engaged, passonate people with a shared vision, we need to build and re-build. Therefore we would love to welcome builders and funders.
The first space we need is a workshop so that we can work on constructing new houses, furniture and other beautiful things.
We also need group space for creating community, permaculture courses, personal development sessions, yoga or aikido classes.
Apart from that, spaces for animals as well as land for grazing.
Next there is housing needed. We will build tiny homes to rent out to people who stay here for a few months and get to know the place and the people. The tiny home can be a good start to experience our village life and see if you fit in.
In the meantime other housing can be built, and renovations can be made to two bigger houses in the village. Renovations so there are apartments for elderly and caretakers.
Funding for sustainable village growth
Our calculations and decisions lead us to invest up to € 84.000,- in these new developments.
Our first short-term goal is € 4000,-. This money will be used for our architect Ana-Marija Unkovic to participate in Ecovillage Design Education, a 5 week program that will provide her with the knowledge and practical skills to design our and other eco villages.
The second target is €18.000. This money enables us to build a big and beautiful barn as a workshop to start building the rest of our beautiful village
The third target is to build a natural water body in the heart of our terrain. A greywater filtering pond to bring water-security, biodiversity, and to cool down in hot summer months.