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  Eco-Gardening        
         
 

Why ecology?
Art center is situated in the middle of beautiful natural surroundings, therefore we are trying to behave as ecological as we can. Eventhough sometimes it is not possible to be environmentally friendly, we are researching, developing and implementing ecological approaches in our daily work (economical use of water and electricity, sorting and recycling waste, use of ecological soaps and detergents, etc.), specific artistic or developmental projects (use of environmentally friendly materials and techniques, recycling) and in long term plans (planning of environmentally friendly management systems).

Art center is commited to support, promote and implements sustainable development in its area of impact: ecological farming and ecological building, renewable energies, efficient waste and sewage water treatment, protection of natural environment and bio-diversity, wildlife, and rural development through a sustainable, cultural and socially stimulating way.

Eventhough the projects of Art center are mostly dedicated to the region of Goričko in Prekmurje, Art Center supports global environmental campaings like climate change, GMO-free, fair trade, etc. Art Center is a member of EYFA network - European Youth For(est) Action.

Ecological farming
Art center has its own ecological garden since 2003. In 2010-2012 we are testing so-called lasagna gardening technique. Next to vegetables and herbs we also have currant and goji plants. In 2002 we planted a fruit tree garden (around 40 trees - apples, peach, walnut). In 2011 we built a net to protect our garden produce from hail. In 2012 we built a herb spiral, hay garden bed for potatoes and 5 new raised garden beds.

Read more about our garden on our mini blog.

Art center organizes lectures for local farmers about ecological farming as a part of educational program in co-operation with dipl.ing.agr. Dejan Rengeo and promotes ecological farms in Prekmurje region. Art center is co-operating with association for social inclusion Mozaik, which also runs an employment and educational center (eco-social farm) for the disabled.

Reed Bed system for biological sewage treatment
Art center built a biological system for sewage water treatment in 2012 together with participants of ecological building workshop that took place during July and September.This project will treat the Art center's sewage and serve as a pilot project to promote ecological sewage treatment system in the local environment. Read more about the project on our mini blog.

In most of the villages in Goričko region there are no sewage treatment systems except individual and pontual septic tanks. Different pollutants from the households and other toxic substances such as pesticides and artificial fertilizers end up poluting rivers, soil, natural sources of drinking water and are consequently found in the food we eat. Because of the excessive use of these substances a high number of cancer conditions (especially intestine cancer) is present in the lives of the inhabitants in the Prekmurje region.

Ecological building of the residential part
The residential part of the complex will be build based on ecological principles and heated with the geothermal energy.

The residential building was built till the third construction phase with the voluntary work of a german craftstmen guild Axt&Kelle in 2005.

In 2012 Art center organised a series of ecological building workshops, led by expert for natural builds Stojan Habjanič. Together with more than 30 participants of the workshops we insulated the residential building with clay, straw, reed plates and partly finished northern part of the building with wooden boards as the architect of the complex Ira Zorko planned (See the process of insulation here).

In 2013 we continued with ecological building workshops which included insulation of the residential building floors/ceilings with straw bales and building of a wooden construction for firewood storage (check photos from the workshop on our miniblog...).

Renewable energies
To reduce our emissions of CO2 Art center is trying to be energy self sufficient through renewable sources. Presently our heating is provided by a wood owen, connected with the heating system of the main building (radiators). The wood we use comes from the local forests, which we clean in agreement with the owners and forestry service.

We are also developing the project of self sufficiency in electricity through photovoltaic panels. We intend to be energetically self sufficient by 2013.