As soon as you arrive at Peace Culture Village, you become a member of the community. As such, you will be expected to participate in and contribute to community life. Every morning at 7:30am, the community rises to begin farm work and make breakfast. Breakfast is at 8:30am. After breakfast, we discuss what needs to be done that day and who is going to do what. Examples of daily tasks include cleaning, cooking, weeding, digging irrigation channels, building fences, clearing mountain trails, chopping wood for the fire, planting/harvesting/tending to vegetables on the farm, etc. The general days workflow is written below:
7:30am-8:30am: Community work
9:00am-9:30am: Community meeting
9:30am-12:00pm: Morning work
1:30pm-5:00pm: Afternoon work
We're happy that most of our meals include vegetables that our farm manager Bei and the PCV community have grown from seed. In addition, we are members of a food buying cooperative that purchases food from health-conscious and ecologically responsible farmers. We prepare simple, hearty meals of chicken, fish, pork, eggs, or tofu along with abundant vegetables. Provided advanced communication of particular needs, we are able to accommodate vegetarian guests and others with special dietary requirements.
The difference between war and peace is how we handle conflict. When conflicts come up at PCV, we talk about them. If someone thinks you're not pulling your weight, we'll talk about that. If someone feels insulted or if two people want to shower at the same time, we talk about all of this too. When we talk about conflict, we talk openly and honestly, from the heart. We are always searching for a peaceful solution that satisfies all parties. This search for solutions for and as a community is the essence of peace culture.
The lifestyle at PCV is heavily inspired by Japanese customs and culture. We sleep on Japanese futon, which can be easily folded up and stored when they aren't being used. We wash and dry all of our dishes by hand, and dry our clothes in the sunshine, as is Japanese custom. As required by law in our hamlet, we separate our trash into burnable waste, plastic recyclables, glass, PET bottles, dangerous or toxic waste, unburnable waste, cloth recyclables, paper recyclables, landfill, and raw garbage. We compost everything we can.
Tilling plots of land that have been farmed for centuries is humbling; reclaiming old fields and paddies reminds us of the changes in food production that allowed them to go to weeds for decades. With the goal of eventually supplying most of what we eat, we experiment with growing rice, wheat, and a variety of vegetables organically. We plan to generate our own electricity and become as low-energy, low-resource, low-waste and highly self-sufficient as possible. Our goal is a lifestyle that the Earth could tolerate if all seven billion of us lived that way.