The Findhorn Foundation near Forres in Scotland is a spiritual community, organic farm international center for holistic education. It is known around the globe for its sustainable living, ultra small carbon footprint and its legendary vegetable gardens. It is also known for its eco-village and within that village, several round houses made out of recycled whiskey barrels.
The cluster of whiskey barrel dwellings overlook organic vegetable gardens, dancing wind turbines and the sandy dunes of the North Sea’s Moray Firth. More than 40 houses of ecological design can be found at the Findhorn eco-village including a guest lodge and youth building with turf roofs, straw bale houses and earthships using recycled car tires. Near the entrance to the village is an old tin caravan bearing the Gaelic name Tír Tairngire (in English, “the promised land”).
What is now The Findhorn Foundation and Community began in 1962, when co-founders Eileen and Peter Caddy and their friend Dorothy Maclean set up home at Findhorn Bay Caravan Park, on the coast of Scotland. The three hadn’t planned on setting up a community, but they shared an interest in spiritual life and their skills as gardeners attracted international visitors. Some liked it so much they decided to move in.
This peaceful community of 700 people is comprised of herbalists and healers, poets and potters, educators and experts practicing sustainable professions. They live on modest incomes, but they enjoy the fruits of their shared wealth with daily gourmet vegetarian feasts, traded talents and skills, awesome scenery, beautiful buildings, and a flourishing arts scene all part of life in this community. They also sell much of their wares including organic vegetables, homemade bread, beer, cheese, chocolate and even vodka. The community even has its own bank and community currency called the eko.
The community also has its own natural sewage treatment facility, called the Living Machine, which breaks down sewage with an ecological method using bacteria that live on plants contained in large and deep water barrels. The Living Machine is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.