i have bee n trying to start a small intentional community here in northwestern indiana. here is my listing on ic.org :
i will be adding to this thread in bits and pieces. please if you have any suggestions or questions, i welcome your additions to this thread.
i, like a few other members here have been trying to form communities...greta, in kentucky and dick, in british columbia, also have land and have done much more than i have to develop it for use as a community. there are others with land who i know are trying like valerie, in california. i know dd was trying to buy land in, i think, missouri and others are interested in starting communities, but the stumbling block we have in commom is...NO CORE GROUP. you can just go so far with plans when there is no group...even a very small one, to make plans and decide things.
this is my delemma. i need a few good people...but where do i find them?
i would really appreciate having people look over my ic. org listing and having some constructive critism anbd suggestions. i eventually plan to set up a blog for little white pines.
This post was modified from its original form on 24 Jan, 9:39
i would like to have a small core group before more plans are made,but
some ideas i have:
a vegetable garden using permaculture principles which would require studying permaculture methods
possibly a daycare using ideas of rachel carlson and maria montessori and/ or nature center located in what is now a large garage
a plan to deal with aging/handicapped members similar to eden alternative
look into alternative sources of energy appropriate for this location
encourage members and help with building alternative housing that would be possible here
study by members of consensus. at least one or two members at least should have formal training
these are some possiblities i have considered. a core group might have many other ideas. getting the basic structure of the community seems the most important thing to do.
This post was modified from its original form on 12 Aug, 18:50
I quite agree Rosemary. Establishing the basic structure is fundamental.
To the list we might add a pond for fish farming.
Consider constructing a green house.
Planting Jerusalem artichokes in quantity. This crop yields high grade alcohol which can be used ito fuel the community vehicle(s) with just a minor adjustments made to the gas engine.
I will add to this list as items occur to me. I am going to take another look at your directory listing Rosemary.
i do want a pond or more...other than the tiny plastic lined one i put in. i think it can direct much of the spring ground to a place where there will be lots of critters that enjoy eating mosquitos. i wounldn't be fishing myself since i am an espiring vegan, but i guess other people might want to. i want either a few chickens or i'm thinking muscovy ducks just for their eggs. a greenhouse is something i'd like. i saw one in mother earth that had chickens in it to eat bugs and use poo for fertilizer. these are things that can be decided after a core group is together and after the community would be operating. it's good to have someone to toss ideas around with.
i have put in a one bedroom apartment in the above ground basement. it is unfinished at this time because there are problems with the toilet functioning. there are several possible problems and i am considering a compost toilet. i am thinking of moving downstairs and posssibly renting upstairs if community does not get started. there are three bedrooms and two full baths. it needs some work before it is ready to rent...painting, new plumbing fixtures, a little electrical work, new locks on doors, new flooring. i had thought of getting someone with skills to live there rent free for a specified time to do the work with me and help me get the apartment finished.
the flowers are doing fine, but vegetable garden...not so good! not a lot of sun on this side of the road...there is a sunny clearing across the road and is probably the best building site. the soil is very sandy, doesnt' have a lot of organic matter and doesn't hold water very well when there is a dry spell. i'm thinking some raised beds where it is sunniest starting with just large bags of soil cut open. i need to learn more about permaculture!
Free or reduced rent in return for skills/labour is an excellent idea. For every challenge there is a solution. It's just a matter of thinking outside of the box, something IC's are pretty much about.
Raised flower beds are a good idea. The soil can be enriched by composting and the natural springs can can be used for irrigation through the use of a windmill if necessary.
Composting toilets are so excellent. The technology has made huge strides and eliminates the need for a septic system.
It really is productive as well as informative bouncing ideas off of others.
re. growing vegies and shade. Here is an article from About.com
Thanks Rosemary and Craig
I have quite a few of the veggies above growing in mostly sun but shade early and late.
I also have some sun chokes to eat, but I bet you are right, Craig, and they would be good for alcohol. I think they give people gas, but to counteract that use ginger.
Rosemary, I cannot remember hearing of any IC's near Boston, though I bet there are some. There is the place Mel and I have been to, Serius in Pelam, but it is on the Eastern side of the CT River valley and must be about 1 hour and 45 mintues drive from Boston, at least.
I will ask around, and also ask Mel what she knows the next time I see her at a poetry gathering.
45 minutes IS close to boston. there are several cohousing communities in boston area 2 in jamaica plain where my daughter lives, but they are expensive and to to much part of the city for me. i've looked at all the ones nearby that are listed on ic.org.
the one I have been two is an hour and forty-five minutes away from Boston, or closer to 2 hours away. I think they are vegetarian, though. I do not think it very expensive, but it is not located near any mass transit. They do practice permaculture at Serius (if I am spelling it right). It is an interesting place, with self entertainment every so often, and after meals everyone is expected to help clean up which is a social time. I have thought about going there for a little while as a retreat, but cannot afford anything right now, also busy with my pets and my plants.
If you make it over to Serius and would very much enjoy hearing your impressions Glenn.
And thanks Glenn. I hadn't heard about taking ginger for gas.
sun chokes? they have a pretty sunflower too, don't they? i love ginger!
i think my problem is the soil and my inexperience. can't easily get anywhere to get large bags of soil for a raised bed and it will take time to get the soil in better condition. i need to learn morte about organic, safe ways to keep little tiny critters from killing off my plants. the bigger four legged ones haven't been too much of a problem.
vegetarian is fine with me...i'm on my way to TRYING to become more vegan. i love cheese and eggs and all the dishes one can make with them...
mel hade put some lovely pictures of surius...not sure that is spelled right either...seriously...on the "field trip" thread, but also mentioned that she thought they were a little woowoo, which i am not! expensive and not near transportation are definately minuses.
I bet sunchokes (or Jeruselum Artichoaks) will grow anywhere, Rosemary.
I also have never tried ginger for gas per se, but think maybe I will if trouble by some in the future. I was told that sunchokes have a lot of a particular gas producing ingredient (I forget the name of it) and that ginger helps cut its effect. When I baked some sun chokes I dug up after a frost last fall, they did not give me gas, though I ate a certain abount of dirt, not having cleaned them well enough.
I spelled Sirius wrong. It is spelled Sirius and in a web search can be found. Somewhere on this site I wrote about a visit to it, but cannot remember where it is posted. Under "field trips" early in the posts you Craig can find several Pictures Mel Dark Deer took of it.
I like the place, though it is rather communal in nature. People who live there long term buy or rent places there, as I remember. But for a reasonable price one can stay and check it out in some guest rooms off of the large round shaped meeting hole with the large oak beams. The kitchen is also there.
i forgot which thread this was. it's about the community i am trying to start here...i haven't given up yet and would like to keep the thread positive and directly pertinent to that effort. could we post information about other communities in "finding a community" or " what do you want in a community" threads. there is also an "alternative gardening" thread. i know how easy it is to get off topic and then later we have no idea where to look for something. it does make conversation a bit awkward and it's my fault for not bringing things back to the thread topic sooner...sorry.
anyway when i give up on the idea of starting a community here, then i will be looking for a community which i will post in "what are you looking for in a community". i hope everyone will use that thread so that we can help each other and i think it will help clarify for ourselves what we need and want. at this point, i'm not thinking that specifically about what or how to grow a garden so much as how to attract and find the right people to join me in a core group for "little white pines". once i can do that, there will be much to do getting agreement on so many other things as discussed in diane's book. after that is when i will be going to all those other threads where we have slowly been storing away all sorts of good information
i have invited others who are trying to form communities to start a tread about their community, but i'm the only one so far to have one.
This post was modified from its original form on 27 Aug, 20:58
i'm sorry if i'm being a pain. i certainly don't want to discourage anyone from posting by making them uncomfortable! let me know if this is in any way a problem for you!
Quite right Rosemarry and it's not a problem at all.
I went to your Little White Pines IC web site, and think it is well designed and thought out, including for what the community may be.
Always wondering how I would fit in to a more communal setting when I like some solitude, I especially liked the following comments about LWP's.
Glen and All,
Having a place of solitude where I can get away from the bustle of the household has always been important to me particularly in this house where the common area of the living room and kitchen is essentially one 20X24 foot room. How it's done in this small house is bedrooms that share no common walls where each can retreat and mess around on their computers, play music, watch a video, or whatever. The former guest room where the 3rd member moved into nearly a year ago is a just too small so I'm attaching a walk in closet where she can keep most of her stuff and have the room clear.
However there are some personalities that I think no amount of space would give you enough distance from in a communal situation, that type of personality that always needs someone involved in their lives. Often the need is expressed in a manner that feels negative to this introverted personality, they always need help with something, have some sort of complaint or suggestion about how something should be done, or are never quite satisfied with a situation that isn't exactly how they would like it. The worst expression for me would be someone who always need to be in control of the group situation in some manner. I think the key to having personal solitude amongst others is having people around who are self sufficient in personality, they don't need others to be a certain way to make their lives complete but like sharing life with other autonomous individuals to make their shared lives even bigger, easier, and more secure than they would be alone.
When I attended some meetings years ago with a group attempting to organize a cooperative living situation the conflict with extroverted and introverted personalities was very apparent. In meetings the extroverts tended to design the agendas, introverts did the exhaustive reporting details, and then after the meeting it was the extroverts that wanted to do silly games to create a group unity while us introverts rolled their eyes. I remember thinking if this is what the final community will be like I want no part of it. I think to maintain some solitude in a group make sure it's all introverts :-)
It's only 3 adults in this house so decision making is easy, no one here likes hard and fast rules or being told what to do or tell others what to do, basic courtesy is the foundation of behavior with tolerance thrown in to complete it. There are no expectations of others getting involved in our individually generated projects though some projects like gardening end up involving all of us. People end up doing pretty much what they enjoy in the garden and somehow all gets done and what doesn't get done seems to be no big deal.
There would be a balance of individual privacy and solitude, as needed, with the opportunity to share in work and play with fellow members and friends nearby."
i wanted to add to my post, but it wouldn't let me:
if someone really isn't fitting in and decides to leave, that person should be given the time and help needed to find a new situation that would be a better fit. hopefully, little white pines would have potential new members visit on a few occasions and then have a trial period so that both the community and the potential member would have a fair idea about how they would fit in. most communities do this and it makes good sense. at present i would want to get to know anyone who expresses interest in coming here through email/telephone conversations and i have invited people to look at this group and join if they are interested. then later come for a visit when we are more comfortable with each other. i have had people contact me who just want to come right away or those who ask a lot of questions that have been answered inthe ic listing or who write a long autobiography about themselves. i respond to everyone, but i want to be careful who even visits here. greta has told be of visitors she has had that have just used her as a place to stay and wasted her time. i want people who are seriously interested, but i'm, so far, not getting anywhere. anyone have any suggestions?
This post was modified from its original form on 29 Aug, 20:04
That is a very good idea Rosemary. I think that an exchange of several e-mails followed by a telephone conversation should be a prerequisite before a visit. If the intial visit, say a weekend, proves mutually positive then a date could be set for say a visit of three weeks. At the end of that time both the visitor and other members could sit around and discuss the next step.
Rosemary, I am trying to think of Internet sites that might provide a potential source for like-minded visitors. I will look around Care2 and make a few enquiries as well if you like.
ic.org is about the best sight, but there seem to be a lot of woowoo and unrealistic people there. i don't think i'm being unrealistic and i certainly am not woowoo. anyway, no one seems to be interested in little white pines even at the point of just discussion. it does seem hopeless and pointless for me to continue with a hopeless situation.
i wish i knew why i'm not hearing from people who seem to be plausible, possible people to join me. what am i doing wrong? what can i do right?
time is running out...
How long is your growing season? How cold does it get in the winter, and is there enough local forest to burn "deadwood" to keep warm?
Have you considered bio-diesel? From the little I know It is a lot cheaper and easier once you set up. When you ferment anything to make alcohol you then have to distill it- and you only get about 10% yield from the "mash"- which is left over.
For the bio-diesel all you need is a press of some type to extract the oil.
Of course the vehicles or tractors do cost more- but pay for themselves.
Elie diesel first invented the diesel engine just so that farmers could make their own fuel.
Hang in thier, Rosemary.
Think of how long you have kept this care 2 site going. Not many of them last this long.
Before thinking about an IC, I have bene searching for someone who intentionally would like to spend more time with me (and I with them) than anyone does now. How can I know what the future will bring.
Predicting it is projection or speculation.
I do have reading to go to tonight. I do not think it will take many props at all to dress up like a dog.
Thanks for sending all of us some bats, and don't exclude the possibility someone, or some people will find Little White Pines to be a great idea.
Unusual weather here. For the first time in memory we have not had any frost by Halloween. After midnight on Nov. 1 I expect we will get some.
well, if i were younger, i could hang in, but i've given it a good try, i think. none of my present friends are, for various reason, interested in community here and i understand. if i could drive, as i had hoped i would be able to by now, it would be a lot easier even if i weren't trying to start a community here. i'm almost 70 and already it isn't as easy to do things i once was able to do. i think i am, so far, doing well, but atrophy is setting in!
if i move closer to my daughter, i haven't seen communities of great interest to me around there. i'd be game to join a new forming community or even help start one if one were near there, but so far the closest i've seen that i might be interested in is heathcoate.
maybe in another life...
oh, what is "reading" and where are you going dressed as a dog???
this group has wonderful people in it who i greatly enjoy hearing from if only occasionally. i keep it going...barely...because it would be admitting defeat, in every way, if i didn't.
you should be able to find people around you that you can relate to in a possitive way. friendship is a thing that grows and deepens as you know a person better. i think the problem often is that we don't let people know us and we too easily reject people before we really understand them. nobody worth knowing is going to be easy to get along with all the time which is why i think it is so important to allow enough personal space and the choice to be left alone when we need it. we also need the social aspect and moral support of others. as carol channing said in "free to be you and me", there are things we have to do that just aren't fun, but they can be, if we do them TOGETHER...and simple, ordinary things are too. http://www.lyricszoo.com/marlo-thomas/housework-carol-channing/
community is not utopia, but i think it can be better than feeling alone in the world.
this group is basically in a holding pattern at present. i presently am trying to fix up the upstairs of my house which is 3 bedroom, 2 full bathroom that i would like to rent, either to a family or to rent separate bedrooms. there are locations on the property that could be homesites. i am living in an above ground basement apartment that is separate from upstairs. the idea of a real intentional community is not materializing. i'd like to find some good, reliable people to rent here and maybe that could evolve into a community.
i wonde if any of the people who have passed through this group, either with land and plans to start a community or those who were interested in finding a compatable community have been successful or whether they ever will be or have they all given up...
marti has the closest thing to a community. we had i lovely little group here for a while.
i've been in contact with the laporte conservation trust and am thinking about an easement with them. they would help with management of land and there would be some limits as to what i could do with the land. also some tax breaks. each property is different so i don't know what limits they would want or how much help i would get to keep the land in it's natural state.
i am hoping to find some compatible people to live upstair or who would be interested in building alternative homes of some sort here. i'm open to possabilities as long as they are the right people.
i just re-read through this thread. it WAS a good group and we did have good time for a while, but , as far as i know, none of us have found a community. that is sad, isn't it? i wish all of those who came here are well and have found some part of what they were looking for...
i am giving this little white pines a last try and then this spring will list my property for sale...most likely at a substantial loss...and hopefully will find a plausable place to rent in michigan city. i, like most people need some sort of community...people to relate to and something constructive and outside of myself to do.
it was fun while it lasted...