START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
Group Discussions
label:  
  aspects of community
| track thread
« Back to topics
field trips--communities you have visited
7 years ago
| aspects of community

This thread is to discuss (and post pictures of) ICs that we may have visited.  Where was it?  Did you spend any time there?  If so, what did you do while you were there? What were your impressions?  Would you go again?  Would you like to live there?  Why or why not?

This past summer I spent a weekend at an IC near me called "Sirius Community".  www.siriuscommunity.org  I posted a pic of their cob oven in another thread and will post other pics from there later.  I was very impressed w/ their buildings.  They use mostly found/recycled products or the wood from either trees on the site or wood that is gifted by people whose trees they took down (they have their own sawmill on site)...and the woodwork is gorgeous.  It's a much more "luxurious" place than I had envisioned.  They have to answer to that ol' bugaboo "housing code" so they aren't doing much in the way of alternative living structures.  And they still use power from the grid, although there is some solar (both passive and "active") and wind power.

I was also very impressed with their gardens.  While there, I helped in the gardens, composting some older growth and harvesting chamomile...with a knife, one slender flower stem at a time.  (VERY impressed w/ the respect shown to all living things.)  I also got a chance to help in the kitchen, which is huge and commercial-like. 

Oh yeah...and we guests also got to go to a big party that was being held in the "extended community".  Great live music, lots of incredible vegan food, good conversation & intermingling w/ people of all ages...we even watched "Akeela and the Bee".  (When it got dark, someone hooked up a laptop to a big, pull-up "movie screen" and projected the DVD.  Pretty cool.) 

The grounds are very peaceful and beautiful with sort of a rambling layout.  (I got totally lost!!) There are a lot of woods and a pond.   

I don't know that they're open to new membership.  There are only a limited number of permanent dwelling structures and I think those are full.  There is a lot of "temporary' living space that is utilized by interns and guests and people who come for special events/workshops. 

The people I met were all very nice and I enjoyed the weekend tremendously.  I'm sure I'll go back once the weather gets warmer.  But it's not for me, long term.  A bit too "woo-woo" for my taste.  But some good peeps doing some interesting stuff.  They're one of the "10 percent"...been there about 30 yrs.

7 years ago
I visited a community near Taos, New Mexico this summer.  Let me say the climate is perfect for these homes built with desert earth and tires and beer cans and bottles.  I did not spend any time there or meet anyone but I was fascinated walking around these structures.  They do use some electric power from a generator.  The homes seem light and airy and very elegant inside.  The temperature in August was comfortable. Most of the living space was below ground with a solar panel one end.  I'll post the photos one at a time if that's okay.  
7 years ago

The holes you see are not holes - they are beer cans and bottles.

earth house3.jpg
7 years ago
This is the round structure that you see in the first picture in the background. The exposed tires are showing how they built the walls. And of course you can see the beer cans and bottles! Ingenious I think.

Earth house 4.jpg





This post was modified from its original form on 14 Jan, 12:10
7 years ago
The doorway to the right is the entrance to this same house. Very nice lines I think. Such a beautiful home.

DSC_0044 earth house2.jpg





This post was modified from its original form on 14 Jan, 12:13
7 years ago
Lastly a long shot of the house from a distance.  As you drive along the road toward Taos you see these everywhere.  This is an ideal location for this type of community.  I'm sure you can find more info if you google Taos earth houses.

DSC_0041Earth House.jpg



lovely!
7 years ago
hi rachel! welcome to our motley crew. what was the name of this community? the alternative housing group might like see these pictures.
Thanks, Rachel
7 years ago

Those are soooo cool.  I love the idea of recycling tires, but one of my dearest friends has severe latex allergies.  I wonder if the tires would be covered w/ enough material that they wouldn't be a problem?  I don't think I'd want to risk it.

If you haven't seen it yet, there is a link somewhere over in our "we can dream, can't we" thread to pics that were posted in the "alternative building" group.  There are some amazing ideas. Check it out when you get a chance.

Rooooooo!!
7 years ago
*hug* we were posting at the same time!  So, come on...I know you've visited an IC or two.  (You, too, Dora!)  Any impressions?
7 years ago
Hi Pickerill and thanks for the welcome.  I do not know the name of this community.  I will certainly try to find out.  There are many in that area though.  I googled them today.
not many...2?
7 years ago
this one is short and sweet or maybe boring. juian woods in western pa. we dropped by...it looked like a suburb on a mountain.

far valley near athens ohio. i liked it and visited for about a week. stayed with a family that had 2 children. they lived in a small house or cabin with wood stove for heat.used a generator part time for electricity. outhouse. boiled water to wash dishes. used one cup of water to brush teeth. the place was built by a former member and they were building there own place farther in the woods. they had built a large pond, an outhouse and a concrete foundation for the house. they also had a nice little veggie garden. they had a tent piched there and i ask if i could spend a night in it to see how it would be to be by myself in the woods. it was fine until i woke up and had to use the outhouse...no choice...had to go...stumpled around till i found it and hurried back. i was invited to 2 homes of other members. the one i remember best was nicely laid out with a beautiful stone floor in the living room. the couple would go to florida for several years to earn money doing housekeeping and lawn work, then come back and work on there house till they ran out of money. they basically had a very long extention cord to the farm house, but wanted to use solar. i think a couple of the homes did use solar at least partially. several members lived in the farm house each having their own room. one guy made a living making jewelry out of antique beads. two of them were planning to build. the farm had been bought by the founder, his wife and 2 other couple who all deserted him. he started taking in tenants, some of them students and some of them stayed. he built a conventional looking, but attractive home across the road. behind the farmhouse was a small building....combination summer kitchen/ sauna/ outhouse. they had a pot luck every weekend to discuss any business and as a social get together. they had some plans to farm the fields. they had a food coop. earned independent livings. one thing i thought was funny. they showed me the lean-to where the man stayed while he built the home i was staying in...it was very primative with an oil drum stove, but there was telephone line running to it...this was before cell phones. i think this counts as one of the 10 per cent.


This post was modified from its original form on 14 Jan, 18:40
PW
7 years ago

Yeah...no "burbs" for me. *no*  *spitting*

But the one in Ohio sounds kinda neat.  Are they still in existence?  Rachel, is Athens anywhere near you?  I know that rustic sort of existence turns a lot of people off, but it really excites me.  Especially when you see how, eventually, a flow and simplicity start to evolve and that "difficult lifestyle" becomes easier, in many ways, than what we're used to.  (As an aside, Thomas Elpel wrote an amazing article about money as calories.  It's available here:  http://www.greenuniversity.net/Green_Economics/calories.htm )

Sasha, come tell us about the community you live in now (or one of the others you're familar with).  And Wren, please tell us about Heathcote.  I know we can read all about them on their websites but hearing about them directly from a resident's viewpoint would be wonderful. What drew you to the place you live? What were your first impressions?  Do you expect to stay there permanently? Why or why not?  if not, what's next?

camping
7 years ago

PW,  *loudlaff*  I know all about stumbling around in the dark w/ a full bladder, trying to find an outhouse.   Been there, done that, tho' these days I'd probably just squat somewhere nearby.  (If it's too dark for me to see the outhouse, it's too darn dark for anyone to see me doin' m' "business". *scouting*)  Of course, having a "chamber pot" in the tent that you can empty out in the morning/daylight is also a viable alternative.  Reminds me of my mother's old joke:

What's the difference between a rich girl and a poor girl?

Answer:  The rich girl has a canopy over her bed and the poor girl has a can o' pee under hers.  *rotfl*

7 years ago
Aw Mel *loudlaff*

I live fairly close to Athens.  About 2-3 hours.  In fact I camp there at Lake Hope, my absolute favorite campsite.

Send me some info on Athens.
Far Valley
7 years ago

Rachel, here is the IC directory's blurb on them:

http://directory.ic.org/records/?action=view&page=view&record_id=527

This cracked me up:

Visitor Process: Please phone or email so we can clean up the community room and mow the lawn. Send enough info about yourself to show why you would want to visit a group aiming for sustainablility and harmony. You know.

Folks who only clean up when company's coming.  I'd fit right in.  *loudlaff*

7 years ago
Sounds like my kind of place lol!  I'll check it out!  Thanks Mel!
7 years ago
my visit was quite a few years ago, so things have probably progressed. i think there was quite a bit of leyway in how individuals lived and designed their homes. i think there were some other small communities in the area also.
Some pics from Sirius
7 years ago

My camera was working very sporadically during my visit, so I didn't get pics of a lot of the things that I really wanted to...like the amazing and adorable cob cottage.  But here are a few that I did get.  This is the community center.  The dining room & kitchen are up the stairs, as are the offices.  The meditation room is on the top floor, and there are guest rooms to the right & left of the dining room.  Everything was built w/ found or recycled material.

Sirius Com Ctr

Sirius Dining Room & Kitchen
7 years ago

Dining Room

Sirius DR

Kitchen (That's Bruce, one of the co-founders)

Sirius Kitchen

Sirius Greenhouse
7 years ago

This is Bruce in the greenhouse, answering questions from a tour group of students from Wesleyan University.

Greenhouse

This "frog pond" is part of the greenhouse. It was originally just a place  to collect graywater, or the runoff from watering the plants.  The frogs made their way there on their own.

siriusFrogpond

Meditation Room
7 years ago

The community holds group meditations at certain times but this beautiful room is open at any time to anyone who needs to use it for quiet meditation, prayer, etc.

Sirius Meditation Rm.

Another view:

Meditation rm 2

7 years ago
Mel this looks like an amazing place.  Thanks for sharing these pictures to bring the dream to real life.  It can be done, is being done.  I would like to visit this place.
Ok, Rachel
7 years ago
When you come to visit ME, we'll go spend some time there.  *biggestgrin*
it looks like abeautiful place
7 years ago
i think the mainstream population would be amazed by the beauty of the place...a far cry from the image of a grubby, hippie commune that most people would probably conjure up. i love the water lilies and frogs!
Berkeley Cohousing
7 years ago

Thanks for the welcome Pickril W.

I went to Berkeley Cohousing yesterday for a Sweet Demeter Farm & Ecovillage planning meeting. Their third meeting I think.

Sweet Demeters site; http://redskymorn.googlepages.com/home

Didn't get a tour but had the meeting in their common house. They are very urban, 14-15 units on a .8 acre lot is a bit crowded for me. For those wanting community in a city setting it looks great. Close to mass transit, UC Berkeley, farmers market etc. You wouldn't need to own a car. They are very stable and openings don't come up to often.

Sweet Demeter Farm & Ecovillage is more what I'm looking for. They have a lot of work to do, but they do have people interested and willing to start the planning process. 

The tire buildings in Taos, New Mexico are called Earthships. I don't think that they are in a community per say. But a lot of them are in the same area. They are very unique sustainable structures, most are not hooked up to any municiple services. If built correctly they don't require a heating or cooling source even it the desert heat or when it is snowing outside. They use water catchment. Using their water 4 times, first for food prep, showering etc. then it goes into a system that grows food plants indoors. From there it goes to flush toilets then into a setic system that eventually waters plants outdoors. They have many books on the subject Earthship Vol. 1, 2, and 3. Water From The  Sky, Comfort in any climate all written by Michael Reynolds. A very ingenius man. The Earthships are very appropriate for the climate in Taos but The books do show how to orient the building in different climates. Michael Reynolds has a whole design and building team for those with a lot of money wanting an Earthship. Dennis Weaver had  a 7000 square foot one built  in Ridgway Colorado

7 years ago
thanks for the information about the new mexica architecture.they sound really cool. 
am i getting confused?
7 years ago
i thought you wanted to start a community where you are.

we haven't heard here, much about cohousing or urban communities. it would be interesting to hear more about that community. will you be visiting the ecovillage part and are they closely related to each other? georgia, who is also new to our group, told us in another thread that she lived in a cohousing community. i'd like to hear more about that one also.

This post was modified from its original form on 21 Jan, 17:00
PW
7 years ago
RE Valerie's post. I'll leave it to her to answer your questions addressed to her, but IMO, it's good for people who are interested in starting a community to attend the start-up/planning meetings of other newly forming communities.  It's a great way to get ideas about how to go about it and to talk to others, in person, about the processes they went thru (or are going thru) to make it from dream to reality.
7 years ago
i think so to. it certainly would be useful to me if i decide to continue with my community. diana's book uses a lot of real life examples, but i'm sure actually being there yourself can give you an idea of how you would do it...learn from their successes and failures and realize the different circumstances. visiting other communities and talking to people involved in community as much as possible would be helpful in addition.
7 years ago

Sorry, I didn't mean to confuse. Mel hit it on the head. Plus if our efforts to grow our property into an IC aren't successful it is not out of the question for us to sell and end up somewhere else. 

I don't think I will be going to Berkeley Cohousing again. It is a three hour drive. They are not associated with Sweet Demeter Farm & Ecovillage in anyway. One of the Cohousing members Raines Cohen and his life partner Betsy Morris heard that Sweet Demeter was looking for a meeting place and offered their room to the group because they are very much into helping other IC get started, especially Cohousing as they have a business consulting as Cohousing coachs.

As to Sweet Demeter, they are in the very earily planning/learning stage. No land, no money and a lot to learn. I am on their email list so I will keep in contact with them as they move forward. As I stated they do seem to have some commited people most of which i think they found through their listing at IC.org

I don't know to much about Cohousing, but I think it may be a little more accommodating to aging in community, because of the proximity to the outside community services. Maybe someone that knows more about Cohousing could expand on this in the aging in community thread. 

Re: [Community IRL] Field Trips
7 years ago
Re: Valerie's post on cohousing. There is a very good book on cohousing. Is easy to find. There is cohousing 60 miles from me. Two or three aging ex-nuns bought 30 acres for $30,0000 and charged each person $1000. They hired people to build them some houses, which don't look all that high quality to me, and too conventional for me -- i.e., not green enough. I betcha too, they are all paying the developer through the nose for those houses. My friends just built their own wee art gallery for a couple thousand bucks. I just visited it. I am collecting info on wee houses. Look into it. I want to let people build each others wee houses 800 sq. feet like an apt. maybe -- on my farm. I can do anything except electricity. I just need company! Love theatre, animals, flowers and gardening, trees, insects etc. kids. Greta "
7 years ago
those wee houses are really cool! i was looking at glide houses for a while.

another thing that makes these internet discussions difficult is, we often put several topics into one posting and then someone else posts even at the same time and by the time we try to respond there are several things we may want to respond to and you can't look back to see what you forgot...it's no wonder we misinterpret things!!!
Greta
7 years ago

Some of the "little houses" are really neat.  I think if there were a "common house" for gathering and sharing meals, etc., I could manage to live in something that small.  But I like homes that have a more organic feel and some of the commercially built "little houses" I've seen feel too...I dunno...."manufactured".  Could people build with alternative materials such as haybale and cob on your land?

i had another thought for those who have some land and are hoping to form community on it --  If there is room (a barn or shed or basement) available for storage, you can start now to gather "found material" that future residents can use to build with. I belong to FreeCycle. There are chapters all over the place.  And people are always giving away stuff like lumber, windows, tile, etc. ...even plumbing and wiring supplies.  Furniture.  Cookware.  The list is endless.  And if you can establish your IC as a non-profit, you can probably get a lot of "donations" like these.  just a thought.

BTW, the glass panels in the pic of Sirius Community's greenhouse are glass patio doors.  A lot of people give them away when they remodel...and, even if purchased from the factory, are a LOT less expensive than buying custom made glass that large. 

7 years ago
valerie...that was meant only as a question 'cause i couldn't go back and look...my short term memory isn't as good as it used to be...no value judgement involved. i could end up in another community if my plans for community don't work out here, so i understand keeping your options open. i have several options and will not be devistated if one or the other doesn't pan out. is there any possibility that they would be intereted in your property?

oh dear, that's another thing...i just noticed what the thread topic is...i know i'm not alone in getting off topic...it makes it confusing, but it wouldn't always make sense to interupt and say,"oops, i have to go over to another thread to talk about that"
co housing
7 years ago
there different kinds of co housing, definatly not just older people...usually used by a larger group, often urban or suburban...basically a bunch of individual residences with a common house. shared meals and other activities, i think. georgia could tell us more since she lived in one. i tried to get someone from prairie onion, a forming chicago co housing group to join us.it's very popular in scandinavia where it started.
7 years ago
i just took a peek at the wee house website...they were much simpler when i was looking. i know the glide houses were fairly ecology oriented. i've seen some really tiny houses that someone manufactures that are about the size of an outhouse...might be good for a guest housing or someone who doesn't have a bunch of cats and stuff. my christmas decorations wouldn't even fit.

if you need housing fairly quickly and have a lot of other things to be concerned with...which it seems you do...maybe modulars would be a good solution. 
Re: [Community IRL] Field Trips
7 years ago
MEL, Hi. Oh, you think just like me. . .I have salvaged and recycled building materials for years.. I am a carpenter and love re-using doors and windows. OH YES: I would love it if people wanted to do natural buildings on my land. We could build a house of cob, a house of log, a house of straw, of clay, of rocks, of recycled wood, underground house, Earthship tires, cordwood [providing we use stretchy masony that does not shrink and leak]. I visited a "natural" house at Pomona College that my niece helped build, and it looks like the hobbit house. It is earthquake resistant and warm. I want to attend the Nature Buildings Conference in Asheville NC in June just to try to learn more about these. Its at Warren Wilson College, I think. Yesterday I visited a minature solar art studio that my friends just built using salvaged windows and doors. They sat it on railroad ties, in case they ever decide to move it. It is adorable and warm and solid as a rock. LET ME CLEAR THIS UP FRONT: I am definitely not trying to start a CULT. I am quite familiar with cults and their devastating effects on people, the way they destroy identity and freedom. Sounds like Roland was in a semi-cult community. Thank goodness, a few of you people do recognize the danger in cults. I am not trying to lure people into an exploitative cult on my farm. I am 60 and trying to seek a Realistic way of legally setting up a nature sanctuary and theatre retreat center with on-site ordinary jobs. Those people who are seeking an open - purposed IC will not be interested, but that's ok. This just happens to be the kind of IC that I am interested in myself. Lots of ICS have an orientation towards a particular activity, like education, child care, or making hammocks! Just so happens I am looking for theatre people who like gardens and green. Back to Mel's reply: There are full-sized houses on the farm, if people want a full-sized house. Founders can set up shop in these houses, and we can gradually add what we decide to build: For example, green-power community house with community kitchen; stage and studio, the gardens. The existing houses are all re-wired and plumbed, but I think we ought to convert them to composting toilets and off-grid electricity. Engineers have told me already that solar and electric power can easily be generated on the site. The houses now have oversize septic tanks, which are bad for the environment. I don't think that visiting writers need a full-sized house necessarily, and wee houses [up to 800 feet] are as big as the apts. that people pay $2000 for back in NYC or LA!!! There's enough houses on the farm for a core group: [3 fullsize farm houses, and one 48-ft. square cedar cottage, horse barn, 2 rm. house, garden shed, and 2-br trail that probably ought to be sold, but could be used for awhile till something more natural replaced it. GRETa P.S. IF LEEDA SEES THIS: I TRIED 3 times to answer your reply for a friend to add you to my friend list and I get messages, no such person, no reply possible, etc. Did you leave the list? Thanks for the green star etc. My computer is in the shop, so I am having trouble getting to library to answer you too. I love to read your messages. . .think we have other things in common besides theatre. Dislike of cults, for ex. "
Re: [Community IRL] Field Trips
7 years ago
MEL, Hi. Oh, you think just like me. . .I have salvaged and recycled building materials for years.. I am a carpenter and love re-using doors and windows. OH YES: I would love it if people wanted to do natural buildings on my land. We could build a house of cob, a house of log, a house of straw, of clay, of rocks, of recycled wood, underground house, Earthship tires, cordwood [providing we use stretchy masony that does not shrink and leak]. I visited a "natural" house at Pomona College that my niece helped build, and it looks like the hobbit house. It is earthquake resistant and warm. I want to attend the Nature Buildings Conference in Asheville NC in June just to try to learn more about these. Its at Warren Wilson College, I think. Yesterday I visited a minature solar art studio that my friends just built using salvaged windows and doors. They sat it on railroad ties, in case they ever decide to move it. It is adorable and warm and solid as a rock. LET ME CLEAR THIS UP FRONT: I am definitely not trying to start a CULT. I am quite familiar with cults and their devastating effects on people, the way they destroy identity and freedom. Sounds like Roland was in a semi-cult community. Thank goodness, a few of you people do recognize the danger in cults. I am not trying to lure people into an exploitative cult on my farm. I am 60 and trying to seek a Realistic way of legally setting up a nature sanctuary and theatre retreat center with on-site ordinary jobs. Those people who are seeking an open - purposed IC will not be interested, but that's ok. This just happens to be the kind of IC that I am interested in myself. Lots of ICS have an orientation towards a particular activity, like education, child care, or making hammocks! Just so happens I am looking for theatre people who like gardens and green. Back to Mel's reply: There are full-sized houses on the farm, if people want a full-sized house. Founders can set up shop in these houses, and we can gradually add what we decide to build: For example, green-power community house with community kitchen; stage and studio, the gardens. The existing houses are all re-wired and plumbed, but I think we ought to convert them to composting toilets and off-grid electricity. Engineers have told me already that solar and electric power can easily be generated on the site. The houses now have oversize septic tanks, which are bad for the environment. I don't think that visiting writers need a full-sized house necessarily, and wee houses [up to 800 feet] are as big as the apts. that people pay $2000 for back in NYC or LA!!! There's enough houses on the farm for a core group: [3 fullsize farm houses, and one 48-ft. square cedar cottage, horse barn, 2 rm. house, garden shed, and 2-br trail that probably ought to be sold, but could be used for awhile till something more natural replaced it. GRETa P.S. IF LEEDA SEES THIS: I TRIED 3 times to answer your reply for a friend to add you to my friend list and I get messages, no such person, no reply possible, etc. Did you leave the list? Thanks for the green star etc. My computer is in the shop, so I am having trouble getting to library to answer you too. I love to read your messages. . .think we have other things in common besides theatre. Dislike of cults, for ex. "
Re: [Community IRL] Field Trips
7 years ago
Hi Pickeril, Was this reply for me? There are already 3 fullsized houses and 3 small housing units on the farm, plus a barn where I kept horses. So there is no hurry about adding houses to sell to raise money.. There is no mortgage hanging over the place and the taxes are paid up. I wasn't planning to sell off these big houses. I am not trying to make money off co-housing or a regular ecovillage where everybody owns a lot. I am trying to figure out a way to provide a place for theatre people to live on a green site and work on new plays. I already have a list of playwrights, and I thought we could put them in wee houses and the founders/operators take the big houses. I think these big houses can be used as the nonprofit core buildings for a theatre retreat. Founding members can use them for residences while developing paying ordinary on-site jobs in the retreat. One house is very suitable for a temporary office and community kitchen for the core group, because it is close to 3-4 acres of gardening area. But the other houses could be lived in. People can build larger houses for themselves if they want to move the horse in under them!. But I had in mind using wee cottages [800 feet???] for the visting playwrights. None of this is written in stone, like the 10 commandments. The group would decide the DETAILS. I just need a few people passionate about theatre. I've seen summer stock theatres that used two-story log apts. to house all the actors in one building. We could have a mixture of big and little residences on this place.
7 years ago

Not really on topic but in response  to wee houses. Have you ever seen Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, most are under 100 square feet.  Very cute some even on wheels.

http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com

Re: [Community IRL] Field Trips
7 years ago
Tumbleweed houses: Yes, I have seen them. I think that's a bit too small personally, especially for writers staying to visit 6 weeks or so. The ones I saw on line looked to me like they were made of fresh cut evergreens, and I have a problem with that. The guy who makes them knows my neighbor a little bit. It's about money, I think. Plus, he charges twice for those things what I could make one for easily. greta "
GRETA
7 years ago
Greetings Greta,

I ran across this man while searching for a community on the IC site some time ago, and he seems to build what you are talking about. He seems like a very likable man, and appears to have the skills to help build a community. Here are the links.


http://directory.ic.org/records/?action=view&page=view&record_id=20759
http://paulandrewanderson.org/come-unity.html
Re: [Community IRL] Field Trips
7 years ago
Hi Robert & Kathleen, Thanks for the tip. I will keep Anderson's web location on file. I think I have already found a carpenter to help me do the work on the farm, but not sure. I will have to study his site carefully. I am recoiling from reading about the present and past Christian persecution of the Indians, and I am part Cherokee. It would be hard for me to talk to him now. greta "
Paul Andrew Anderson
7 years ago

Dear Greta,
We will presume to know, at least somewhat, how you may feel, concerning “Christians”, in fact, it is one of the main reasons why we no longer call ourselves “Christians”, and we generally avoid so-called “Christian communities”, (although we know they are not all alike nor all bad), but we truly believe, this man is different. If you will please take the time to read and study just this one page, you may come away with a totally different impression of him.
http://paulandrewanderson.org/come-unity.html
We certainly did! This man is not just a “carpenter”, Greta; this multi-talented man may be the epitome of a “community builder”. (We have never met this man, nor talked with him personally, and are only promoting him based on our "gut instinct".)
We would also like to remind you, it was not the “Christians that have most contributed to the devastated condition of Native Americans today, but the UNITED STATES government, which broke virtually every treaty that they ever made with them.
It is for this cause, and others, that we have severed our affiliation with both the governments of men and organized religion(s), both of which, in our humble opinion are “cults”.
It is for this cause that we found it mildly amusing, (and maybe just a bit disturbing); when we evidently wrongly presumed that Mel was worried that we might be “culling cult members” here; nothing could be further from the truth.
Mel, if you are reading this, please forgive us for misunderstanding you, it was just that we had never seen you put anything quite like that in anyone else’s welcome post. But, assuming we have your forgiveness, that is all ancient history. Let’s all put it behind us.

.

This post was modified from its original form on 24 Jan, 14:35
tumbleweeds
7 years ago
those are the ones the size of an outhouse. if you have the time and people power it would probably make more sense to to do alternative buildings.
lets return to the thread topic...field trips
7 years ago
has anyone visited or lived in a community they could tell us about?
New Mexico houses
7 years ago
Hey Rachel.  I just saw that there had been an article in an old issue of Communities Magazine called "When Adobe Pueblo Meets Star Trek" by Diana Leafe Christian.  I wonder if it was about those houses you posted pics of. *laugh2*
OK...back on topic
7 years ago

sorta..*wink*

I orginally named this thread "field trips" to encourage people to look into what ICs were physically near them and to arrange a visit.  I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Sirius and while I'm quite sure it's not where I want to end up living, I do think I'll go back.  If nothing else, I can learn some things there (like some organic gardening skills or cooking for large numbers of people) that will benefit me when i eventually do end up where I'm meant to be.  (Actually, the one thing I was disappointed in the most was that there is no actual building going on there now.  I so want some hands-on experience in building..especially w/ cob or strawbale or slipform stone. Will keep looking.)

While the reality may be down the road a bit for any of us, we can start right now to experience a little of what community living is about by visiting one that is near us.  If you're ready to roll up your sleeves & work a bit, it's VERY inexpensive (maybe even free)...plus you get good food, a peaceful environment and some education.  I was able to find a community that allows weekend visitors so I didn't even have to take any time off. 

I hope others here will see if there is a community near them...even if it doesn't fit their personal needs...that they can visit.  I'd really like to hear your experiences...both about the community itself and what the visit did for you.

a commercial community
7 years ago
down the road from me is a community started by a couple...i thinkhe's an arcitect. they bought tryon farm and called their community tryon farms. they are building houses in clusters in different parts of the land...woodland , meadow, dunes...and plan to keep about 2/3 in it's natural state. someone in the community made the farmhouse...a beautiful brick victorian into a bed and breakfast. they have community activities and i think it's an interesting cross between intentional community and a commercial development.
tryon farm website
7 years ago
http://www.tryonfarm.com/main.html
sorry it's 3/4 of the land preserved. i thought about moving there before i bought this place, but it's not cheap, not much storage space, and no individual land at all around the houses for a little kitchen garden. the houses are well designed...i liked the most expensive one with the roof deck and cordan steel siding in the woods.
 i guess, it's sort of a yuppie community...i think some are just summer homes....i know! but across the road is an entirely separate development...summer homes starting at $300,000! they are scattered through the woods and from what i can see from the road, they look nice...hell, they should look nice!
Re: [Community IRL] Field Trips
7 years ago
Hi Robert Kathleen [attenshun other anti-cult people too] Glad to hear you too are aware of cults. I have a whole collection of books about freeing yourself from cultic influences, which as you note can include govt. and oppressive institions [including some religious groups] I wrote down this man's website address and will read it. I am at the library, where I only have a little time to read things on the computers. I got my computer back from the shop yesterday and will try to get online at home. I have nothing against Jesus, but against organized religion. I considered for a year trying to become Catholic, because I admired the scholars, theologians and philosophers behind their doctrine. Then I began to hear the bad stuff -- friend of mine recently told me a psychotic Catholic cut the tongue out of his wife's aunt because she was Sioux trying to use her native language. That the Catholic church owns more land on the Sioux reservations than any other church [while children there are presently living in cardboard boxes]. Etc. No point in belaboring the issue. . .I could talk at length at what happened in my area. The history of the bounty hunters who tracked down Indians, murdering and raping 100 women and children near my present home during the Wahoo Falls massacre. I never heard this stuff till recently and I LIVE in this area. They scalped the public areas of the women, but of course, you don't hear that. Makes me hate white people, even tho' I am "white" more than less, and their religions. I see first hand how scared my grandma and grandpa were of white people: They passed themselves off as white, because of white surnames. Greta "Care2 Groups: Community IRL Mailing List" wrote: --- Dear Greta, We will presume to know, at least somewhat, how you may feel, concerning “Christians”, in fact, it is one of the main reasons why we no longer call ourselves “Christians”, and we generally avoid so-called “Christian communities”, (although we know they are not all alike nor all bad), but we truly believe, this man is different. If you will please take the time to read and study just this one page, you may come away with a totally different impression of him.paulandrewanderson.org/come-unity.htmlWe certainly did! This man is not just a “carpenter”, Greta; this multi-talented man may be the epitome of a “community builder”. (We have never met this man, nor talked with him personally, and are only promoting him based on our "gut instinct".) We would also like to remind you, it was not the “Christians that have most contributed to the devastated condition of Native Americans today, but the UNITED STATES government, which broke virtually every treaty that they ever made with them. It is for this cause, and others, that we have severed our affiliation with both the governments of men and organized religion(s), both of which, in our humble opinion are “cults”. It is for this cause that we found it mildly amusing, (and maybe just a bit disturbing); when we evidently wrongly presumed that Mel was worried that we might be “culling cult members” here; nothing could be further from the truth. Mel, if you are reading this, please forgive us for misunderstanding you, it was just that we had never seen you put anything quite like that in anyone else’s welcome post. But, assuming we have your forgiveness, that is all ancient history. Let’s all put it behind us. --------------------------------- Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
has anyone else visited a community?
7 years ago
does anyone have a "field trip" for us to take to a community you have visited?

i look forward to dd telling us about his visits that he will be taking soon.
7 years ago
Pickerill I couldn't find the earthships!  The link is wrong or something?????*cryingbig*
i'm sorry...let me try again
7 years ago
it seems okay now...but i don't trust it.

http://www.rockymtsolar.com/earthships.htm

This post was modified from its original form on 07 Feb, 14:51
7 years ago
Aw thanks Rosemary it worked this time.  Now that is simply amazing.  
IC websites
7 years ago

California:

http://www.edenvillage.net/

http://willowspringsnsj.org/wp/

Ohio:

http://www.wisteria.org/index.htm (psst...Valerie.  This sounds a little like what you're trying to do...I think??)

My Communities "Tours"
7 years ago
I have been on three distinct communities tours.  I will start to talk about them in this post but probably finish up in subsequent posts.

My first tour was in 2002 when I went to the mid-atlantic region.  I visited Twin Oaks, Acorn, Abundant Dawn, and Earthaven.

Twin Oaks is a very active community with some interesting architecture, culture, and facilities that others are still dreaming about.  With so many people living in such close quarters (think of living in the same house with 100 other people), a person has to have a "thick skin."  I enjoyed being able to participate in the work there as well as in the social life.  The food is really good and there is enough variety of work to keep renaissance souls like myself nicely occupied.  The people are friendly (or aloof) and the dogs rather useful.  I came to appreciate the border collie there one occasion when we had to mend a fence.  We were on the inside with large steers gathered around.  The collie earned his keep that day, for me, by keeping the cattle at bay.  I enjoyed the idea of using work credits as the form of currency and not having to worry about finding outside work in an increasingly difficult economy.  I stayed there for the 3-week visitorship and did my best at maintaining the 40 hours of work a week required.  I have come to appreciate community-based businesses and a credit system that doesn't rely on the almighty dollar (ask me my views on economics).

The challenges for me were a less than clean kitchen, the focus on work hour credits - contradictorily - (rather than just getting the work done), and a just a slight bit of arrogance on the part of some successful communtarians.  I had trouble finding enough work to keep me occupied due to my shy nature and lack of community experience but I did repair a number of vacuum cleaners on my own initiative.

Acorn is a progeny of Twin Oaks and has an interesting business in seeds.  They are a much smaller community of about 20 folks and they also know how to put together a great meal.

Abundant Dawn had one interesting feature.  They were comprised of Pods where each pod has a unique culture and economy.  They didn't seem as robust as Twin Oaks or Acorn but nice people and some interesting architecture as well.  Nice land too although I only spent a short weekend there and didn't explore much.

Earthaven has a bright future full of resourceful people and great natural resources that are being gently utilized.  I found their focus on money a bit disconcerting but what can you do in a debt-based society (groan).  I enjoyed working some on mudding their housing and I like their community buildings.  At last report they were not receiving visitors but when they do, I would recommend visiting them.  Diana Leafe C. lives there.  They had a good use of micro-hydro and solar technology.  Their  use of a council to make decisions is based on the number of people who can stand in a circle and still see the faces of the people across the diameter.  Quite interesting.

That was my first tour.  The second was out to Michigan and Ohio and I will talk about that in the next posting...
Hi Andrew
7 years ago

I wanted to comment on some of your comments in previous threads..you have posted some good thoughts.. and I know that I probably speak for many in this group when I say that your experience and insight is welcomed and appreciated.  I think it would be wonderful if each of us could actually experience reacting with a community.  I am sure that a few weeks of "hands on" interaction would be worth a million virtual ideas!  I had to smile at your vacuum cleaner repair work.. that is the sort of thing that I would end up doing!!  I look forward to hearing about your other adventures!!



This post was modified from its original form on 09 Feb, 18:40



This post was modified from its original form on 09 Feb, 18:44
Andrew's Second Community Oddyssey
7 years ago
In 2003, I went on my second community trip, this time to Michigan and Ohio.  The core of that trip was to visit Sunward Co-housing.  On that trip I also visited Ecovillage at Ithaca, a starting community near Buffalo, and The Vale.

The difference between Sunward and Twin Oaks was like night and day.  They both has their positive aspects and were "right" for the people living there (always the upside to living in a place where you have a say in how it runs).  Sunward has all the hallmarks of a condo complex with a few extras.  A nice dining center and kitchen, comfortable public space amongst the buildings, a welcoming group of people.  I showed up late for dinner the day I arrived yet they still hade food and gave me a rousing welcome.  How many communities will do that?  They had a nicely appointed book collection (Twin Oaks, TO, actually had libraries), a recreation center for playing movies, etc, and laundry facilities.  It was clearly ideal for children with cars kept on the outside (as is typical of co-housing).

Visiting wasn't structured, as at TO, and I struggled to find a reason for being there.  I stayed twice, once for one week and the second time for a few days.  Most people commuted to work althoug there were a few businesses located in the community.  So, it held a quieter space than TO.  Physically, the community wasn't so much grown as manufactured.

Ecovillage at Ithaca (E@I?) was also built around the co-housing concept but within an ecological framework and semi-rural setting.  I only went for a  tour but it showed all the highlights.  I like the idea of growing so much food in one place and they are clearly set up for when agriculture has to localize (like now?).  I thought I would see more alternative energy and was disappointed when I didn't but it was good to see the alternative building going on.  I took plenty of pictures but I can't seem to find them on my computer and haven't went digital yet.  I can share them if this group decides to have a communities conference/ gathering.

While I was at Sunward, I chanced upon a listing for a communities conference in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  So I headed south and gathered with people from around the country for a fun and informative weekend in which workshops were held to educate people about community aspects and How Things Are Done In Community.  It was nice interacting with people on that level and getting to know new people.  While there, I signed up to attend the FIC Board Meeting (which lasts for 4 days).  It was held a community called The Vale, a closed community of 5 families.  I had exposure, first hand, to consensus decision making, a first.  Good food again.  Kind of stressful though as my path from there wasn't clear and I was being semi-nomadic, even then.  I wasn't keen on returning to Massachusetts but that turned out to be my clear option and I took it.

That was the end of my second community tour.

At other times I have visited and "lived" at other communities.  Odiyan in California.  Sirius in Massachusetts.  Nyingma Center in Berkeley, CA.

Odiyan was a buddhist retreat center of the Nyingma tradition.  Based around the discipline of Work, Odiyan was made for the workaholic.  As visitors/volunteers, we had to work for 6 days from sun-up to sun-down and do cleaning on Sunday.  As heavy construction it was grueling work but the location was beautiful with clear views of the Pacific Ocean to west and south.  We all had to pitch in and cook and I experienced the joys of working with a dough hook, convection bread oven, and commercial grill.  Making crepes for 40 was a singular experience and making coffee for my work mates the biggest challenge I had.  I stayed there for 5 weeks and would have stayed longer if loan collectors weren't being a nuisance and if my back had stayed strong (stainless steel beams are HEAVY).

I also stayed a weekend at Sirius and have visited at various times since I lived in Western Mass for 44 years (until last September in fact).

Questions?
Andrew
7 years ago

*thanks2*  It's so nice to hear about communities from people who have experienced them first hand.  I'm so jealous of you!  It would be so wonderful to have the freedom to do that sort of exploring.  Of all the communities that you've visited, is there one that stands out?  One that resonates with you more than any of the others?  If so, why? 

Economic Ecovillage - CT & PA
7 years ago

There aren't too many listings for ICs here in CT, but I came across this one, which is really more of an idea at this point...a way to help people save up funds to start or join an IC.  It sounds interesting and very generous.  I don't know how far they have got in actually finding land.  The website says they were looking for land in CT, but it's ridiculously expensive here so I don't know that they've made any progress.  Anyway, take a look at the site and let us know what you think.  I've been in touch and have told them about our group and they say they're looking forward to interacting with us.  And I hope to talk to them by phone or in person at some point soon. 

www.economicecovillage.org

sounds interesting...
7 years ago

i'm not quite sure i understand how this works or if it would work.
so, a person stays in one of these locations for a number of years working and saving money to be able to build a home in the actual community? what kind of work would they be doing? after they join the community there will be work there to earn an income? what sort of legal contract is set up for this? what is there vision statement. who makes decisions? i guess there is a lot to find out before committing to this.

yes, interesting
7 years ago

I hope you talk to the them soon, Mel, and let us know what you learn. I used to pass by Glastonbury a few times a year traveling back and forth from MA to my parents house in NY. It is not too far from where I live now.

Sounds Close enough to some of My Ideas that I may adapt some of thier ways to my plans
7 years ago

Without directly Copying or plagariseing them of course.!



This post was modified from its original form on 28 Feb, 23:14
7 years ago

I'm just finding out about them, myself, so I have a lot of the same questions as the rest of you.  From what I gather, a person will continue to work at their regular job (or find work nearby if they are relocating)...both of the sites are near towns where work is available...during the couple of yrs that they are saving up to buy into the community.  The required 4 hrs w/e work is probably the same sort of work that is required in any IC (or the work that we have to do at home after we get home from our "paid" jobs).  In Diana Christian's book on joining an IC, she tells people to be prepared to WORK, so this seems like good preparation.  It seems to me like they are in "phase I", which is concerned w/ saving money to buy the land/get the IC up & going and to immerse themselves in a "learning phase" so that, when they do actually start the IC, they will have a better grasp on some of the things, like building skills, that will be required.  I guess I think of this part as another way to get a "core group" together.  

 I wonder, too, what the legal structure is....whether a person would get any of these "savings" back, should they decide not to buy into the IC.  But, in reality, it's not much to think of forfeiting it, as it costs easily $1000/mo to live in CT.  They would have probably spent that much on food & housing, anyway.

I think they have some pretty clear info on their site concerning their intentions ("vision") for the community, considering that they don't even have land (here) yet.   I know from what I read on their site that they're planning to be a teaching ecovillage, that there will be a common house for shared meals & meetings, and that they hope to have some on-site businesses so that there will be income-earning potential there.   http://tinyurl.com/2goe5a

Plans for the PA site seem more advanced, to the point of actually having a permaculture design drawing.

http://tinyurl.com/ypowyk

And Rod, I don't think they'd have any problem w/ you copying (and/or modifying) their plan.  But, of course, I'm just assuming a bunch of stuff here since all I really know is what I've read on the website.  I'm hoping they will come talk to us, themselves, here so we can learn more about their plans first-hand. 

Re: [Community IRL] Field Trips
7 years ago

Hi, I noticed Mel's post about expensive land. Twenty acres plus a barn near Asheville, N.C., a big homesteading area, is $1,000,000 now!!!!!!!! Why don't ALL of you all come down here sometime and stay with me and research eastern Ky. This is still a third-world country with third-world land prices, and there is NO ZONING CODE. You can get a 100 acres for $40K or something. Yet, it's near the tip of the Shenandoah Valley, the Blue Ridge Parkway, about a half dozen state parks, nature conservancies and lakes and rivers etc. It is NOT near a university town, but there are a half dozen community colleges within 30-40 miles, plus several small colleges, and a big branch of University of Virginia. I was just talking to a friend of mine about us recruting somebody to come here and set up an office in the local tourism or economic sustainability office and become an entrepreneur who recruits artists for an art colony. Ashland, Oregon did that, and that area was just like this one before Ashland became famous -- mining, logging, forests, high unemployment. You could put a loft upstairs and an art gallery downstairs, in the town of Whitesburg. HEY: I am about to sell land for $200K, and I get 25 Per cent to develop my farm into the playwrights retreat. PLUS, I just met a woman I can work with who is building a children's theatre. . .she is a college professor who bought three dilapidated buildings in the middle of a big city, and is turning them into a community center, needlework center and children's stage. It looks like the kids are inner city abused kids and that sort of thing, and mixed ethnic groups etc. I would love bringing those kids to my farm someday. Greta p.s. If you see this Leeda, don't FORGET: you said you can COOK. "

Kentucky
7 years ago

Gretta, I receive real esate lisitngs from a couple of realtors in Kentucky and property costs are definetly less than most of areas on the east coast. I have thought about Kentucky for a long time and long before the community bug bit me I considered moving there. I live in northeast Pennsylvania and I'm getting tred of the long cold winters up here. The climate is a little more freindly in Ky. I think it would make an excellent location for an IC. I am interested in solar power and wind power. Solar is certainly more viable in Kentucky than where I am now. Wind depends upon location and elevation of course.

I had a interesting experience once. I was driving west on 64 coming down out of West Virginia and as I came upon the rolling hills of Kentucky and without even thinking about it I let out a sigh and said "home". Funny thing since I was born In New Jersey.  I truely believe I lived in Kentucky in a past life, I think just before the war. Civil war that is. Well enough of that.

Gretta, I would like to discuss your plans and vision for your community. It sounds like you are a do-er and have a firm vision in your mind about what you want to do. I have a lot of ideas also. I don't know if its legal on this site but I'll give you my email address.

singular@pa.net

I would like to talk to you in more detail.

Dora

gretta.. try this
7 years ago
try some
Another Good Area is Red Boiling Springs Tennessee; Prices May Be Higher butThey hold the National
7 years ago

"Folk Medicine Festival" There mid Summer and the area has alot of alternative minded People including a few Hippy's from the Bloomington Indiana Area.! The Way it Was Described To me is The area is like The Nashville Indiana area in the 60's and 70's with Artists, Healers, Big Organic Farms; Etc.! I've Been there a couple of Times; a friend (She was a 1/2 Cherokee named "Yassi  Woodcarver" Did Drums with Carvings and Animals) Bought 80 acres in the country on the edge of a New smaller Reservior and a small place in town for $55,-$60,000; She Got To Meet Willie Nelson in his Bus and Give him a Hug and Kiss after a concert at Deerpark music Center; Cause another friend Was The Local News paper Editor.!

 Another friend inherited it after Paying her Dying Hospital Bills of $39,000 and leveraged his way into a couple of Commercial Lots, One For a Gallery, one for Rental.! He is another Drummaker/Carver/Paint Artist named "Tree" Its a little ways SE of Laffayette Tenn a Little SW of Dale Hollow Lake a big Res on the Tenn Kentucky border.

what's new with the economic ecovillage?
7 years ago

mel, do you think you could plan a field trip there? there probably are other members who would be interested. would you consider it for yourself, rather than DR?

has anyone visited any communities to tell us about?
7 years ago

i need a good inspiring field trip...what with meadowdance down the drain. do you think the economy is having a negative effect on people thinking about community? don't answer that here...start a new thread. tell us about that great community you visted...

anybody want to tell us about communities they have been to?
6 years ago

mel d started this thread awhile back which i found very interesting because i don't have much opportunity or the finances to travel. it's a good thing to visit different places if you are able to or at least to try having a correspondence with a community you might be interested in.

5 years ago

i'm reactivating and keeping this tread current in case anyone has visited or will be visiting a community they could tell us about. i think it is helpful to hear personal accounts good , bad or indifferent.