Our Story

145 Alunisu hr door Vera Duivenvoorden

“ Perhaps it is an unusual story that a psychotherapist from the USA and a veterinarian from The Netherlands choose to leave their careers and follow another path toward simple living in small rural village in Romania. ”

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Provision began as an experiment in food sovereignty; we wanted to see how close we could get to being responsible for our food as were the original builders and occupants of the house we have come to call home...


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Founded in 2009 - an enormous life transition.  Robyn coming from the cities of New York and Atlanta and Lars from the Dutch culture.  We were born into different stories and different lives than the one we decided to immigrate here to live.  


Finding Village Life.  Our journey involved all the elements you might expect: travel to distant lands and cultures, discovery, heartbreak, devastation, joy, determination, etc…  There are so many gratitudes, even for those who stood in our way and tried to stop us, for this is how we came to learn about Nonviolence.  And we want to give a great deal of credit to the place where we found the most inspiration of all the ecovillages and lands we have visited over 4 continents and 12  years: La Borie Noble, the original Communauté de L’Arche in France which was founded by Lanza del Vasto who was a student of Gandhi.  This is where we found friends with whom we are connected by a path and a purpose greater than all of our individual stories.  This is where we collected the seeds that would grow into Provision.

Building family and farm.  When we first arrived to Alunisu/Magyarokereke or  “Hazel Village” as we sometimes call it (since this are the meanings of both the Romanian and Hungarian names) we thought that we were still on our pilgrimmage and believed that we would be here long enough to have our archetypal journey to wisdom and then go back home…. We spent the first years chopping wood and carrying water.  Also when Carsten was born and then more animals came - Daisy, our first goat (so that Carsten had enough milk to drink), and Roybu, our first horse…. We thought that we would be here for 3, maybe as many as 5 years.  During year 6, we forced ourselves to leave for 9 months only to find that we were…homesick.  For Transylvania and our life in this village, the life-project that we had begun.


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Learning from the village.  We have always recognised the true wealth in this village; clean air, water from the mountains, common lands, gift economy and other systems for sharing, skills and knowledge…  It was sometimes strange for us when we heard from them that they have considered themselves poor…  True, they might not have had so much in the way of financial resources, yet they have a wealth of knowledge that allows them to live from the land and keep their animals warm and fed through the winter season.  This stands in stark contrast to people living in the inner cities in America and elsewhere who might have not even had the opportunity to step off the concrete and would not know how to live without industrial food, clothing and shelter.  We were a bit like that when we arrived!  

Provision’s first course in 2012.  Inspired by what we found here, we wanted to share the wealth - in all directions.  By pulling people here and arranging for them to learn skills from people in the village, we could get financial resources into the village while also letting the people here know that their knowledge and expertise is valuable.  Our guests could leave with a more complete understanding of food, food politics, agriculture, peasant culture and how life is supported through agroecology.

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Provision is the door - the village is the school.  One of the missions of Provision is to create the possibility of cultural exchanges between villagers and guests coming from all over the world.  We believe that everyone can be enriched through diverse and respectful contacts and connections.

Small growth, finding its way “organically."  We came here not knowing that we would stay.  Like seeds that have been blown in the wind, we feel that our roots have found fertile soil here.  We have come here to offer our gifts to this place as well as to receive the gifts of being here.  We find ourselves now part of the web of gifts that make up this community.

Expanding... in 2015 a number of houses close-to or adjacent to our initial Provision house came up for sale.  We were able to purchase a guest house which sleeps up to 5 people, a volunteer house which sleeps 5-6 and a house that serves as our group space with 2 rooms for up to 15 people each.  

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We have been inspired by the beauty of Transylvania: its stunning mountain vistas, pastoral countryside, the purely natural buildings that are still in existence, the abundance of subsistence farms, the open-air markets, the flocks of animals that graze on common land attended by shepherds, by the omnipresence of “Van Gogh” haystacks, by the carts pulled by horse or by ox, by the hard work that the people do to keep their houses, animals and fields tended…

We experience that a subsistence farming (smallholding / homesteading) lifestyle has a relatively low environmental impact, while keeping those practicing it in close contact with the earth and natural cycles and systems. We hope to inspire others to choose for a more or even more complete self-reliant (in terms of physicality: helping more of us to become producers or prosumers rather than only consumers…). We believe that it is a healthy way of living; for our own body and mind, as well as for the world we live in. We hope, in this way, to move ever closer to a MORE JUST and SUSTAINABLE WORLD, and see Provision as our way to contribute to this big task we are all facing.

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