Sieben Linden, currently home to about 100 adults and 40 children, aims to be a true village with 300 residents. (All photos:

Its commitment to one-planet living and a spacious rural environment make Sieben Linden an ideal hands-on learning community for classes and workshops.

I returned to Sieben Linden for the Global Ecovillage Network’s general assembly in the summer of 2008. (pp. 178-9 in the book)

Music is an integral part of ecovillage life.

Sieben Linden worked hard to get straw-bale construction incorporated into Germany’s strict building code.

This straw-bale house, with an ecological footprint about 2% that of a comparably sized German home, was built with local materials and no power tools.

When Strohpolis, a 3-story townhouse complex was completed in 2006, it was the largest straw-bale building in Europe

In the early days, Sieben Linden’s pioneers lived in caravans like this one. Today, a few still do.

Sieben Linden works with draft horses for both farming and forestry, which lowers its carbon footprint substantially. During my visit, the horses also played a key role in a funeral. (pp. 143-6)

Sieben Linden’s small ecological footprint, just over ¼ the German average, rests in part on its labor-intensive vegan agriculture and its “Peace Contract” with animals. (pp. 56-7)

Sieben Linden is mostly self-sufficient in vegetables, the mainstay of its organic vegetarian meals.

The lake serves as a source of water in case of fire, a respite from summer heat, and...

...a source of wintertime entertainment.

One might think that Sieben Linden’s focus on material simplicity overshadows all else, but I had some of the best political and philosophical conversations of my journey in this simple-living German ecovillage.

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Sieben Linden

Sieben Linden, named for seven linden trees on the land, is another ecovillage that sprouted in the fertile soil of the East after German reunification.

Founded in 1997, this off-grid community of about 100 adults and 40 children now occupies roughly 200 acres of farmland and pine plantation.

The community’s modest resource consumption and waste production, about 1/3 the German average, demonstrates that we can live within our home planet’s ecological boundaries—even if we live in the affluent world.

Sieben Linden focuses on closed energy and resource cycles; natural building with local straw, clay and timber; organic farming; and draft horsemanship for farming and forestry.

During my visit, Sieben Linden experienced the first death of one of its members. I was deeply impressed by the community’s holistic response to the death: how they treated the body, shared their grief, performed the funeral, integrated the children into the process, and how at this tender time in their community they included even me—a foreigner and English speaker who was in every way an outsider.

Official website (in English):

Sieben Linden Photo Gallery


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