Eco Living or “The People who left the City”

Part 1: Kokopelli Eco Community

Words / Photos – Joanne Olivier

As the cities get busier, the traffic gets nastier and the air gets more polluted, more and more people are choosing a new way of life – packing their worldly goods and moving to small plots, eco communities or just somewhere out of the rat race. It takes planning, guts and a little bit of money. We want to do this too, one day, which is why we are putting it out there, so we can will it to our power.

Kokopelli is an eco community 1 hour from JHB, just outside the little town of Magaliesburg. Named after a fertility deity, usually depicted as a “humpbacked flute player who has been venerated by Native American cultures in the Southwestern United States. Like most fertility deities, Kokopelli presides over both childbirth and agriculture. He is also a trickster god and represents the spirit of music”. Thanks Wiki Wiki. There are 4 separate people living at Kokopelli, and each is responsible for their own plot of land. The communal veggie garden is run together, and they have retreats and workshops and the like on specific weekends.

We want to escape the city for a weekend, so we booked in Nadjas Log Cabin. Her house is further down the veld. As she lets us in she comes with 2 dogs and a cat that proceeds to spend the entire weekend with us. Nadja is an Intuitive Art workshop facilitator and Vedic Art Practitioner. Her dream is to live life within nature. With endless stretches of bushveld and trees and mountain scenery, I can see she has got it right. As she tells us about eco living, she smiles and says, “We don’t iron here”. I don’t see a need to, really. The farm is home to snakes, porcupines and if you listen closely you can hear the wild coyotes howling as the sun sets.

If you’re looking for a weekend retreat and to taste the little temptations of living an eco friendly life amongst nature, then book yourself a night in the log cabin. The cleanest log cabin I have stayed in, Nadjas arty ways are evident in the tiny features and decorations around the cabin. Complete with fireplace, bedroom, braai with an incredible view and more, this is the ultimate retreat. Nadja also shares the farm with fellow Kokopellians – Bertus – a filmmaker and presenter, who says “For many years I was passionate about the ideas of sustainable living, until one day I realised I should stop dreaming and just DO it. That’s when I stumbled across the Kokopelli community”. Also sharing the farm is Maria, a Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist and intuitive Counselor. Founded by Alan Potter, the farm has options for plot sales, so if you are ready to exit Mordor and head for the hills – visit and then enquire here.