• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

New Intentional Community, Eco-Village, Permaculture Farm looking for start-up members

 
Posts: 19
1
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi everyone,

My name is Kirby Mason, and I'm looking for like-minded folks who are interested in forming a new intentional community/eco-village for permaculture and related community-based activities. We are in the very early stages of planning, and below you can find the basics of what we are looking to do though they most likely will evolve some as we go along.

Location: Central Arkansas - the area of the Arkansas river valley south from the Ozark National Forest to the north side of the Ouachita National Forest and between Ft. Smith in the west and Little Rock in the east. Ideally it will be somewhat near an urban center to take advantage of existing services such as internet, electricity and water. In the future though, we'd like to be able to produce our own electricity and water.

Size & Population: To start, we're thinking of 50-100 acres and maybe 10-20 people but this could vary up or down.

Goal: To form a community of people that can take care of most of the needs of its members in as sustainable, self-sufficient and natural a way as possible. We, as the community, will provide to members: acceptance, belonging, housing, food, opportunities to live, grow and develop in a healthy farming environment, education or help in accessing education, freedom of choice and lifestyle while still offering meaningful service to our community, and probably many more things that I'm not thinking of just this moment that modern society fails to provide or even consider as essential to healthy living.

Membership and organization: We want to keep things as simple as possible while still maintaining flexibility and order. At present we are looking into forming a 501(c)(5) non-profit or an LLC, but other options may turn out to be better. Our goal is that the community is truly that, a community of equals without hierarchical organization or bureaucracy or formalized power structures - more like a collection of families who together form an extended family of community. Therefore we are looking for people who can make an investment of approximately $10,000 towards the purchase of land and necessary equipment and materials to establish "the farm." Regardless of the form the group takes from a "legal standpoint," all adult members will share equal standing in decision making and ownership. We're thinking the total start-up cost might be $150,000-$200,000.

Mindset: All people from all walks of life are welcome without discrimination or judgment. However, we are NOT open to extreme views that throw life out of balance including the following: racism, gun culture, drug use, religious zealotry, exploitative or narcissistic beliefs and behavior and other stuff that makes people want to say, "Chill out." If you can simply live a reasonably healthy lifestyle, accept others for who they are and the choices they make for themselves and generally tolerate and get along with others while making a regular and positive contribution to the community and the necessary work on the farm, then you're in! One example might be that you are a Buddhist but while you certainly are free to talk openly about your faith, you do not try to impress it upon others who are not open to it, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, you do not hold others in contempt or deem them to be less valuable because their beliefs differ from yours. Another example might be that you come from a background as a systems analyst or some occupation where material efficiency is tantamount and while it may bother you that things on the farm are not done in the best possible and most efficient way, you put more value on humanity and community and social harmony than on achieving quantifiable results so that you temper your remarks and expectations and work with others as they are, realizing that sometimes the value of healthy living choices are not always in line with the value of ruthlessly pursued material efficiency.

To get more information or to get involved in the creative process, please contact Kirby at:

Kirby Mason
kirbymason@yahoo.com
1-310-902-0243
 
Posts: 36
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Kirby, I'm glad you started this thread. I know we have talked about this idea and I would like to help form this community so count me in. I live in Arkansas so I'll be checking out land for sale and help out with that for now.


Gene
 
Posts: 9
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think this sounds perfect!  Actually what I have been looking for since 2017 (the year I had to escape my homestead, for reasons I am happy to talk to you about).  The issue I keep running into is most people like to talk about it, not be about it.  I stay hopeful and am still looking to be apart of an ecovillage that I can help lift up.  So, I would like to follow you on this post.  I actually have the experience, so I am not all talk.  
 
Kirby Mason
Posts: 19
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Fae,

I definitely know how you feel. I've been thinking about how to do it for a few years too. Now though it seems like the time has come for me, and with a committed group, we definitely can make it happen. I'll be "interning" at a farm near Russellville, AR starting in a month and really hope that things get rolling soon. So far, we have 3 out of the 10 or so folks we might need to begin.

Please get in touch to talk more!

Thanks,

Kirby
kirbymason@yahoo.com
310-902-0243
 
Gene Short
Posts: 36
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Kirby,

I've been looking at land in the area of the River Valley of Arkansas and it seems to go for around $2000.00 an acre. I think that it might be better to look for an old farmhouse(to fix up) with electricity and water and maybe fewer acres. I'll keep searching and hopefully more people will want to get on board with this endeavor.

Gene
 
Gene Short
Posts: 36
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kirby Mason wrote:Fae,

I definitely know how you feel. I've been thinking about how to do it for a few years too. Now though it seems like the time has come for me, and with a committed group, we definitely can make it happen. I'll be "interning" at a farm near Russellville, AR starting in a month and really hope that things get rolling soon. So far, we have 3 out of the 10 or so folks we might need to begin.

Please get in touch to talk more!

Thanks,

Kirby
kirbymason@yahoo.com
310-902-0243



I've read a couple of posts on here about having 20 or even 200 people come together to form a village or community and I think some of the ideas in those posts could pertain to what we're wanting to do. I think others are out there that want to do this but are afraid to do it because of the differences in opinions of how it should take place. Finding like minded folks to pursue this is probably the hardest part of achieving it. I saw a video on here about a family of 4 making $20,000.00 a year on 1/10 of an acre and it impressed me very much.

I think some of the things we're looking for is  to feed ourselves first, store foods for the winter months, and sell the rest to others  in the surrounding communities. In the video the guy called it homesteadville where his family lived next to him and their families and others lived there next to one another. If they do it on 1/10th of an acre could you imagine what ten or twenty acres would be like and having others right next to us doing it.

With 10 people in a large enough house with existing infrastructure and 10 to 20 acres I think they could make enough money to pay the bills and even recoup the startup investment easily. Just my 2 cents.

Gene
 
Posts: 4
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Kirby,
I am looking to start a community in the St. Louis area in the not too distant future.  Not quite in your location, I realize. But I have to say I really liked the "Mindset" paragraph and plan to plagiarize it when I start making posts. Good luck and let me know if you ever make it up to St. Louis area, would be interested to hear your experiences.
Tim Ely
tely5@yahoo.com
 
Kirby Mason
Posts: 19
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Tim, plagiarize away!
 
Kirby Mason
Posts: 19
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
LOCATION UPDATE: We are now looking for land in Northwest Arkansas. If you're interested in getting in on the ground floor, don't hesitate to talk to us now! Check out our posting on ic.org for pics of the property we are looking at.

https://www.ic.org/directory/independence-farm-community/

Thanks!

Kirby
310-902-0243
 
Posts: 20
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My idea of an ecovillage/intentional community in Northwest Arkansas.

Who am I?
Early fifties male with a wife and 2 kids.
I have a decent job and want to start out as a weekend project and go from there, but others would be more than welcome to start out full time.

Why?
Many reasons.
A place to experiment with alternative eco conscious building, living, food growing, cooking, etc.
Enjoy nature and the simple things in life. This doesn't mean going without TV, radio, internet, etc.
De-stress and simplify.
 Sit around a campfire at night.
 Play a board game.
 Go swimming, kayaking, hiking.
Start out minimally and add slowly. The goal is to not have to work dawn to dark.
Pool resources as going at this alone would be very expensive and time consuming.

Costs?
The goal would be to get enough people to keep the buy in low. Maybe $5000 per share that would leave some extra money for building the pond.
If people want to join after the land purchase they can still buy a share or a they can lease a small plot of land and additional land if needed.
All share holders may also have to pay small monthly dues to cover insurance, taxes, road maintenance, etc.
There would also be no land speculation which means this is not a way to make money buying and selling shares. You would buy in
 and then maybe there would be an agreed upon inflation rate such as a few percent a year. Goal is to keep costs low so living is affordable
 for all. This is not a front for a land development. It's a way of life.
Example.
 Dancing Rabbit Land Trust - https://www.dancingrabbit.org/about-dancing-rabbit-ecovillage/our-land/dancing-rabbit-land-trust/

How to operate financially?
Host workshops
Sell food and crafts
Rent tiny house parking spots
Dues
Airbnb

Where?
Northwest Arkansas.
 Plenty of rain.
 Mostly mild winters.
 Lots of sunshine.
 Affordable land.
 Close to jobs, entertainment, farmer's markets, lakes, streams, and hiking.
Optimally this community would be no further than 1.5 hours from the Bentonville/Rogers Arkansas area.
 Example.
  A preferable area would be an area between these Arkansas towns south and east of Bentonville/Rogers:
   Mountainburg, St. Paul, Kingston, Ponca, Alpena, Oak Grove. Maybe also up into Missouri around Table Rock Lake.
A plus would be land next to the National Forest, a creek, or lake and have plenty of buildable and tillable areas as Arkansas can be hilly.

How?
Get a group of people to buy shares and purchase the land under a land trust who would then become members of a
 board of directors to manage finances and manage the land based off all member input. No one leader and no one religion.
Build natural small houses and raise food using vertical, hydroponic, aquaponic gardening, greenhouses, etc.
Raise chickens, fish, etc.
Plant a food forest.
Income sharing with community businesses.
Use renewable energy.
Composting toilets.
Waste reduction.
 Example of recirculating shower. Goal is to reduce wastewater.
   


Who?
People excited about off grid living and ways to reduce.
Motivated people who want to live inexpensively and have access to clean water and nutritious food in a chemical free environment.
Non smokers and light drinkers. No drugs.
People who want to start living in a community on a weekend basis as like me you may have a job you do not want to leave at the moment.
People ready to build a home and live in the community full time.
People experienced in setting up a land trust and creating a community.
Family friendly.
Nonviolent.

Pets?
All domesticated animals will not be allowed to run free as the native critters have enough predators.

Weapons?
The goal is to have a safe family friendly environment so how to do handle guns, etc.
Just allow hunting rifles, bow and arrows, knives?
Allow hunting only and no target practice?
Don't allow guns and hunting?
Bow hunting only?
I don't own a gun but would like to do some archery. I'm not a hunter.

Design?
Build a 1-2+ acre pond and use for drinking water (treated/filtered), swimming, fish farming, irrigation.
Build natural small houses (wood, stone, cob, strawbale) around the lake.

Example communities?
These are communities I have visited.
East Wind - https://www.eastwindblog.co/
 Community wide business that provides food, clothing, housing, medical, and a small stipend.
Dancing Rabbit - https://www.dancingrabbit.org/
 Natural buildings, alternative energy, food production, ponds, etc.
Arcosanti - https://www.arcosanti.org/
 Community business.
 Interesting architecture.

Example houses?
This is an interesting house design that I would like to do in cob covered strawbale.
 

Cool cob houses.
 https://www.californiacob.com/
Self-Sustainable Ecocapsule
 


Of course I could go into way more detail.
A key thought of mine is it's much easier to reduce needs than to build more infrastructure, etc.
For example, living minimally can reduce the need for solar panels, water heating, refrigeration, etc.
 You could eat a raw food diet a few days a week and then when the sun is shining cook with a solar oven which eliminates the need for cooking fuel and possibly refrigeration.

Anyone have similar interests?

 
Fred Tenny
Posts: 20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anyone considering Northwest Arkansas at all? Do you have any questions about the area? It's a nice area with lots of forest, lakes, rivers, what I call mild winters, long summers, and medium sized towns with about anything you need.
 
Kirby Mason
Posts: 19
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Activity is resuming on this post. Several people are organizing a meeting in the Bentonville area for Sept. 26, 2020. Please contact us if you'd like to join in on this first face-to-face organizational meeting!
Thanks,

Kirby
 
Kirby Mason
Posts: 19
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi all!

We currently have 8 people lined up for a face-to-face meeting in Northwest Arkansas on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 to promote the formation of the community. Topics we're going to discuss are:
1. Like-mindedness
2. Entity types for the community (501c2, etc)
3. Land type, acreage and location
4. Cost per share and paths to membership
5. Decision making process
6. Benefits and obligations of membership
7. Community income and individual income

Please contact us for more information and/or details so you can attend!

Kirby
310-902-0243
 
Kirby Mason
Posts: 19
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Also, check out the posting on ic.org

https://www.ic.org/directory/independence-farm-community/
 
Kirby Mason
Posts: 19
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We've updated our name to "Northwest Arkansas Eco-Farm" at least for the time being.
 
Fred Tenny
Posts: 20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good morning all. We welcome any thoughts, new ideas, comments and suggestions for the Northwest Arkansas Ecovillage/Intentional Community. Our ideas are not written in stone. Are you interested but have hesitations? What are your concerns? We do NOT have a strict theme, leader or a required religion. Just good people making decisions as a group who want to live healthy, grow organic food, laugh, de-stress, build alternative small homes, be environmentally friendly and share the cost of land. Some will live on the land full-time and others part-time. If interested in joining the group conversation please send me your name, email address and cell # as we are currently conversing in a group text chat. Thanks and have a wonderful day!
 
pollinator
Posts: 285
66
dog trees books bee medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Fred Tenny wrote:Good morning all. We welcome any thoughts, new ideas, comments and suggestions for the Northwest Arkansas Ecovillage/Intentional Community.


Hi Fred - are you and Kirby working together, or are you looking to organize your own IC?
 
Fred Tenny
Posts: 20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good afternoon Annie. Kirby and I are working together. Are you interested in our community?
 
Kirby Mason
Posts: 19
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Fred and I and 6 others are part of a group that is meeting face-to-face on Sept. 26 near Huntsville, AR to talk about forming a community.
 
Posts: 2
Location: Rogers, AR United States
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's the topics for this first meeting:
1. Trust/Like-mindedness
2. Ownership entity types - 501c2, 501d, etc...
3. Land type/acreage/location
4. Cost per share, paths to membership
5. Decision making process
6. Benefits and obligations of membership
7. Community income and individual income
8. Housing options
9. Fun stuff and goodtimes
 
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've been chatting with these folks for the past few days and there's some interesting ideas floating about.  Great discussions too.  Still very much in the early forming stages but seem to want to get their metaphoric ducks in some sort of row before pulling the trigger.  Not a bad place to start really.
 
Posts: 6
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The name changed? Can we get the current IC.org link? I may refer some people to it.
 
Fred Tenny
Posts: 20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good morning Paul. You can read about the community here - https://www.ic.org/directory/independence-farm-community/
Please let us know if you have any questions.
We look forward to hearing from interested people.
 
Kirby Mason
Posts: 19
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi all!

Our first face-to-face meeting is scheduled for Sept. 26, 2020 near Huntsville, AR. We'll be discussing the topics listed above. Please contact Fred or Kirby to be added to the chat group leading up to the meeting or for more information.

Happy Days!

Kirby
310-902-0243
 
Fred Tenny
Posts: 20
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just an update on the Northwest Arkansas Eco-Farm.
We currently consist of a group of 21 people in Facebook chat discussing all aspects of this project.
Once we purchase land, members will have the opportunity to take part in but not limited to alternative building/energy techniques, fruit and vegetable growing, crafts, and
wild harvesting in the beautiful Arkansas Ozarks.
You don't have to have these skills but should be motivated to learn.
Come join us and let's make a successful community of eco-conscious friends.
If you are on Facebook you can hit me (https://www.facebook.com/ftenny/) up to be added to the chat.
We will also be meeting face to face on Sept. 26 11:00-2:00ish at Withrow Springs State Park north of Huntsville, AR.
If you cannot make it, please send an email to Sam at sl.smith944@gmail.com to be added to the Zoom list for the online option.
 
Posts: 55
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am interested, as I am wanting a sustainable ecologically compatible intentional community, apart from urban civilization. I am poor and I am vegan. This can exclude me from many things that I might consider. But as I want to live in simplicity with least demand on the natural world, growing what is needed, there should be a place for me to do that, even with others, which I would like.
 
Kirby Mason
Posts: 19
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi all,

Here's an update to our discussion topics for the face-to-face meeting on Sept. 26, 2020.

Discussion Topics will be:
1. Trust/Like-mindedness/Skills (Kirby)
2. Ownership entity types - 501c2, 501d, etc... (Gene)
3. Land type/acreage/location (Carollee)
4. Cost per share, paths to membership (
5. Decision making process (David)
6. Benefits and obligations of membership (
7. Community income and individual income (Hope)
8. Housing/Community Space (Fred)
9. Fun stuff and good times (
10. Animals (Carollee)
11. Community businesses/worker coops (Joanne)
12. Community norms

Contact us here or Fred Tenny (high school yearbook photo) on FB or Kirby at kirbymason@yahoo.com
 
Fred Tenny
Posts: 20
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
***Northwest Arkansas Eco-Farm update***
We currently consist of a group of 27 people in Facebook chat discussing all aspects of this project.
Come join us and let's make a successful community of eco-conscious friends.
If you are on Facebook you can hit me (https://www.facebook.com/ftenny/) up to be added to the chat.
If not on Facbook, you can send your cell # as we also have a text chat.
Meeting location change - We will be meeting face to face with all who are interested on Sat., Sept 26, 11:00 - 3:00ish, AQ Chicken House, 1207 N Thompson St, Springdale, AR 72764.
If you cannot make it, please send an email to Sam at sl.smith944@gmail.com to be added to the Zoom list for the online option.
 
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I replied to your Facebook post.  My wife and I live in Newport, AR.  I have been following land communities, The Farm, cohousing, IC.org, permaculture for many years.  I have been looking for a group of like-minded people in ARkansas.  So I am glad to hear of this start-up.  We have an affiliation with a retreat center in Marshall, AR; and we have considered the cohousing/land community outside of Fayetteville (Ozark Land Holding Association).  You have my permission to put me on a mailing list if you like.

jofoy2009@live.com

Joelyn K. Foy, Ph.D.
Data Analyst
Arkansas State University - Newport
Kansas State University Alumni
Native Texan/TAMU Aggie
former range ecologist
currently data analyst and educational researcher
 
Kirby Mason
Posts: 19
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just 3 more days to our first face-to-face meeting, Sat. Sept 26, 2020 in Springdale, AR.

Please contact Kirby if you are interested in attending in person or by Zoom!
 
Fred Frank V Bur
Posts: 55
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I responded through purple moosages
 
Fred Frank V Bur
Posts: 55
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well I tried. The Zoom call on the phone just ended, I felt like that was not all the meeting, so I went to my email to see if there was any message sent about reconnecting, and there was not, though I checked every few minutes afterward. I figured it might be that I was cut out from the call because what I had said was not accepted for inclusion of me to be desired. I went to where written dialogue was shown on a separate window, and found I could follow that, and it did go past the call I had. Then audio of it started on that window, and I could listen to it with following what dialogue was written, parts were hard to hear and I could not follow where the written dialogue had missed it. After that I went back to my email, and found a message which showed that when I saw it I was really too late for a second call through Zoom now to make it. I fear that now it is just too late to be involved with this at all, as I missed what is essential for being involved. So after trying, that would be it, and there is no involvement to have.
 
Fred Frank V Bur
Posts: 55
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I really feel bad, I tried for the communication, it was a failure, and I only see I don't have that opportunity still.
 
Posts: 16
Location: 7b
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am curious as to how the first face to face meeting went this last September. How are things moving along?

Thank you,
Pamela
gift
 
My PEP Badge Tracker: An easier way to track your PEP Badge Progress
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic