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thoughts on my Intentional Community idea...  RSS feed

 
Joel Berg
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HI Everyone!

For years I have been looking to homestead but have found recently the power of community.

When I went searching to join an “Eco Community/intentional community” I found there existed really only three major types. Please excuse the generalizations but they fell into three basic categories:

1) Religious based.


2) Yoga centered, healing crystals, vegan…. (Which are all very wonderful..…)

3) Major capital investment or retirement based luxury gated communities. Normally found in places like Costa Rica filled with very upper middle class where 50,000USD + was your “buy in” to join.

However, what if you don’t fall into these three types of intentional communities? What are you left with? From my research not much.

Our Project & Goal:

The “Down to Earth project” seeks to create a sustainable eco-community guided with Down to Earth principles.

--Technology where appropriate.

--Permaculture methods.

--A well rounded diverse community accessible to all with true ownership.[/list]

A Little Background:

The Down to Earth Project. Who we are & how we are different:

-We are the 25-35 generation that was told go to university at any cost, debt is normal, and work hard and you will get ahead in life.

-We watched massive ecological and social decay happen within our lifetimes…and struggle on how to make a real difference in our every day lives.

-We are the “average Joe” who wants to be a part of a true community without the debt, religion,spirituality…

-We want to grow our own food, create our own power, and have time to do the things we love.

-We want to show the world there is another way to live outside the traditional money economy and rat race.

If we were to describe the perfect community it would look a little like this:

--5 couples or 10-15 people in total. (Could me much less at the beginning depending on resources.)

--15-20 acres of land with good access to water in a climate that is stable with a short to non existent winter.

--Each couple/single would get one acre as their personal space with a small habitat of your choice (Yurt, tiny house, cob house…)

--The remainder of the 10 acres would be used in the community for food production, animal grazing, energy collection, community enjoyment…

--Each person would contribute approximately 25 hours per week to the community with the remaining time for your personal development/projects such as writing, art, music, research…

Are there more people out there like me? I would love to hear thoughts/critiques/suggestions. I just started a website to start trying to form my idea on a platform so I can find like minded people.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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If you haven't read the book "Creating a Life Together" by Diana Leafe Christian, I recommend it. It discusses why intentional communities succeed and why they fail (most fail).



 
Gordon Shephard
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Have you looked at the website for the Fellowship for Intentional Community? They currently list 1735 communities in the U.S., including ecovillage, cohousing, communes, and co-ops, as well as communities with religious affiliation.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I'm not seeing mention of how the community will make a living (make $). Has that been thought out?

 
Joel Berg
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Tyler Ludens wrote:If you haven't read the book "Creating a Life Together" by Diana Leafe Christian, I recommend it. It discusses why intentional communities succeed and why they fail (most fail).




This is on order getting shipped to me currently! Thanks!
 
Joel Berg
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Tyler Ludens wrote: I'm not seeing mention of how the community will make a living (make $). Has that been thought out?



The idea would be if we own our land and homes outright we would need very little in terms of cash economy to survive. Each member would be able to have a part time job or their own biz/project on the go.

 
Kate Nudd
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Joel,Hello
I love your idea and it is what I have been looking for and,like you, I connected with many communities 'directed' by those categories you listed but they weren't a fit for me.
I am a Canadian in my 50's and woke up several years ago to begin letting go. ( and I admit there was always a pull toward the 'simpler life'( and others will say I do live a simple life) but I just got on the 'train' with everyone else).
Are you planning for 'Down to Earth" to be in Canada? If so,would you consider an older participant?
Are you aware of the Possibility Alliance in Missouri? What you describe sounds similar to their lifestyle.
Thanks
Kate
 
Thomas Pothitakis
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Location: southern new hampshire
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I have had the same feelings as you about most of the communities out there. I want a place I can live and work to better myself and the people around by doing all the basics needed to live a self sustaining life. I want to focus all my mind body and soul on the actual lifestyle and not conform to a group with a certain belief . I still want to go online and download music but I want to create my own power to charge the laptop. I still like buying and selling off eBay and I would like to have a candy bar without feeling like its wrong. I understand everyone has their own beliefs and lifestyles and will never go against them. Which is why I'm having trouble getting to a community that fits my way of life. Your down to earth project sounds great. Hopefully it will all begin sooner then later for you. If so I'm interested in a work and live in position if you have it available. I can pitch a tent if I have to! I am here to talk and share ideas feel free to message me.

Best of luck
-Tommy
 
Kate Nudd
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I wish to edit my previous reply by eliminating the sentence...'what you describe sounds similar to their lifestyle.'
Adding that the 'giving' values that the Possibility Alliance exhibit are in tune with mine.
Joel,I value your idea in that it allows others to remain their unique selves within a framework of 'simple living' for the basics.
Your desire for a steady climate unfortunately rules out Canada.
I believe in your idea and wish you the best.
Kate
 
Joel Berg
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Kate Nudd wrote:Joel,Hello
I love your idea and it is what I have been looking for and,like you, I connected with many communities 'directed' by those categories you listed but they weren't a fit for me.
I am a Canadian in my 50's and woke up several years ago to begin letting go. ( and I admit there was always a pull toward the 'simpler life'( and others will say I do live a simple life) but I just got on the 'train' with everyone else).
Are you planning for 'Down to Earth" to be in Canada? If so,would you consider an older participant?
Are you aware of the Possibility Alliance in Missouri? What you describe sounds similar to their lifestyle.
Thanks
Kate


any age would be fine!
 
Joel Berg
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Thomas Pothitakis wrote:I have had the same feelings as you about most of the communities out there. I want a place I can live and work to better myself and the people around by doing all the basics needed to live a self sustaining life. I want to focus all my mind body and soul on the actual lifestyle and not conform to a group with a certain belief . I still want to go online and download music but I want to create my own power to charge the laptop. I still like buying and selling off eBay and I would like to have a candy bar without feeling like its wrong. I understand everyone has their own beliefs and lifestyles and will never go against them. Which is why I'm having trouble getting to a community that fits my way of life. Your down to earth project sounds great. Hopefully it will all begin sooner then later for you. If so I'm interested in a work and live in position if you have it available. I can pitch a tent if I have to! I am here to talk and share ideas feel free to message me.

Best of luck
-Tommy


Exactly this "I still want to go online and download music but I want to create my own power to charge the laptop. I still like buying and selling off eBay and I would like to have a candy bar without feeling like its wrong"

Basically I want our group to be able to live free of debt and have enough time to do the things they love.

I will for sure message you as things progress!
 
Dale Hodgins
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Basically I want our group to be able to live free of debt and have enough time to do the things they love.


I think 25 hours of community work per week would be excessive. Some people don't manage that much in total. They would be slaves to that obligation. Other than that, I think a comunity that is not fixated on navel gazing would be great.
 
Joseph DeCota
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Location: Winnemucca NV
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Joel,
Are you still online?
Are you still following this thread?
Are you currently working on your land?
Basically - How is your project progressing?

I have 40+acres in North Central Nevada and was thinking the same as you!
I've tried listing my project on ic.org as the High Desert Permaculture Research Institute but I've not gotten any serious people to join me.
Maybe it's because of the vacant land and starting from scratch - I don't know.
Anyway....
I'm curious about yours and would be able to come and participate in some way. I have my survival gear and live 100% off-grid and on the land for 3 years now.
Let me know where your at with this please!
thanks
decotajoe
 
Edward Jacobs
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Joel Berg wrote:HI Everyone!

3) Major capital investment or retirement based luxury gated communities. Normally found in places like Costa Rica filled with very upper middle class where 50,000USD + was your “buy in” to join.



How do you own land, build individual houses, put up fencing, build a barn, purchase animals, put in a garden, pay for water and electricity, buy machinery, and generally cover all the basics for living for less than $50k each?
 
Jonathan Overlin
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We have 80 acres in Central Iowa- havent gotten much traction either- I guess most people don't have the money/time to invest...


here is our idea about labor, etc....

http://www.permies.com/t/9794/community/Forming-Intentional-Community-Central-Iowa
 
Franco Smith
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Joel
Any headway on this idea? Places?
Your finding of 3 types closely mirrors what I have found, which is not exactly what I am looking for, I just got the aforementioned book and reading now...
Cheers...
 
Zoe Lynn
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Location: Florida
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Hmm, do you think that's enough land?

Your ideas are great, but I would think you would want a little more acreage if sustainability is your goal for 12ish people.

 
leila hamaya
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well seems the OP might not be around anymore, but i like the underlying thinking of this.

i definitely agree that community projects should encourage more autonomy and sovereignty for the members, and that it is hard to find. i also think that having very clearly stated obligations is important, instead of the vagueness and overly demanding unspoken assumptions and weirdness that seems like a too typical trap communities fall into. it should be that whatever is required is crystal clear, simply stated, and then what you do with your time off is yours alone to decide. i think that outside of extreme cases, the kick out game should not be so much a part of community projects, though i think one of the invisable threads of this is the absurdly overinflated price of land and (so called) "real" estate...none of this helps. neither does the fact that we are coming from a sick society where domination, elitism, and other really negative behaivoirs are not just tolerated but rewarded....

its my opinion that more and more people are realizing these things and theres a movement away from the commune models, and especially a fear of negative group think and off balance power dynamics...

although i have lived in five intentional communities projects and none of them have fallen into any of those categories, thouh it has been my theme in searching that i would only want to join a community which offers a LOT of autonomy and recognizes self sovereignty.

i suppose the fourth category of anarchistic communities isnt mentioned, or the more come as you are type intentional (and unintentional) communities. but i suppose this starts to be more like a co housing situation. i continue to think that a "neighborhood" is a good way to go about forming a community, without some of the weirdness and pretentiosness that could happen, and with good solid boundaries. i think there is a reason that humans evolved to habitation in neighborhoods, though i wish, and it is needed, for their to be more sharing and connection among the neighbors...
 
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