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cameron richardson
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Hey everyone, I have been lurking the permies forums for months soaking up all the knowledge I can. Over the past couple months though, I've been looking more and more in the intentional community forum. It draws me in I think because I am one of those interested in permaculture who have grown up in a suburban setting and I want to surround myself by others with similar values. Also, I know it will be more then a couple years before I can afford a decent plot of land myself. One of the perks to an intentional community is the opportunity to buy land in bulk and save money for everyone. It is just frustrating seeing so many people on just this one website talking about the same idea, just on different scales and in different states.

My question is fellow permies, how many of you are considering joining an intentional community? Would you consider traveling to join a community? And what is the number one thing holding you back from joining another community or starting your own? Also, what are some good resources for looking up intentional communities? ( I'd like to recommend Creating a Life Together by Diana Christian )
 
Miles Flansburg
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Cameron, have you seen this website?

http://directory.ic.org/

 
Linda Sefcik
Posts: 72
Location: Central Oklahoma
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As for the link given:
http://directory.ic.org/

The only resource that would load information was the Maps folder.
NO search result. error occurred

I just posted a suggestion on the earlier thread about "why communties don't work"
and... I think it's been done it many places... but...
what about the idea of finding abandoned towns with a workable standing infrastructure ??
A group of people can take a township and begin turning it into a permaculture community,
using the mainstream technique of owning/leasing your own plot.
People can come and go in such a structure without the dissolution of the entire community.
People can believe how they please... with the general idea that... they get along like adults can do.
Most townships are incorporated, and thus... in that incorporation... set general guidelines.
The guidelines would be... to encourage and develop a permaculture lifestyle.










 
julie mcneeley
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Where would one find abandoned towns?
 
Linda Sefcik
Posts: 72
Location: Central Oklahoma
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I started a thread -- ideas on creating communites -- er, something...
back there..... <<<<< a notch in the forums

To answer you, though.........
almost every town in america has a wikipedia page --
some/most have their own home town pages --
on those pages you can see the census reports on population...
number of households vs number of living units
decline in populations... over decades...

and often... those who are left in these little towns are the old residents.
Sometimes... houses are simply put up for auction... for a few thousand dollars.
There are no bidders. Family's want to not have the liability or repairs... if they show up.

Often... I'm doing a google earth search... and see... little little towns...
some aren't even incorporated or have listings.
You can find clues... to declining and dying towns.
Pick an area you like, and research.
Find the "county assessor" to see if there are "tax" irregularities.
Look for houses owned by someone out of state.
Some county assessors may have lists of houses that are
slated to be demolished, because they owed taxes, no one paid,
and no investor bought them. The county will often demolish
rather than assume liability.
Any future buyer will have to pay the cost of that demolition.
But... might be able to cut a deal... just to get the property off the doles.

Many homes sit abandoned in nice little communities...
they are just too far from the jobs.

 
David Williams
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i know first hand there are MANY towns that come and go , usually when the resources have diminished, mining towns, work camps ,places along railways slowly "dry up" there's nothing wrong with them , but the original reason for their existence no longer exists in modern society 90%+ of people move to larger communities , many towns here in Australia still stand with 20 + buildings in livable state , just no one in them....youtube "ghost towns" in your state and see what turns up ... then look to the reason why ? , sure your don't want to move to a Chernobyl , but we have places that were built for hydro electric , once the project was complete , people moved on... things of those nature are what you should look for ... as the old adage goes "one mans trash is an others treasure"
 
Julia Winter
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The intentional communities website does indeed work, just not when you access it via that link. Try this one.

You can search for intentional communities by state, and then send an email to ones that you find interesting.

Another place to look is cohousing.org
 
Kitty Leith
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Location: Oakland, CA
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And what is the number one thing holding you back from joining another community or starting your own?


Many things:

Money - Student loans for children's education mean I can't save for a share in a community or purchasing my own property, not for a long while. I actually looked into some intertional communities in the past and they were (at least the Washington State ones I checked out) built new (way beyond basic needs to magazine worthy luxurious) from scratch and came with a heavy price tag. Those who are economically challenged are not considered. Those who could benefit most from sharing resources are locked out due to the reality of how property is purchased.

Privilege - Back when Co-Housing first started becoming trendy it seemed to me that people who were claiming they wanted to make the world a better place were actually running away from the most pressing problems where they already lived: that creating a model under hand-chosen conditions isn't really much of an accomplishment, and that community is everywhere around us wherever we are at.

Lack of diversity and claustrophobia - I find it quite creepy to be surrounded by people who think completely the same about everything and being stuck with them. It would be like living with your HOA only with restrictions on your personality. I would hate to be the nail pop that would have to be hammered back into place...

Family - My children are big on social justice issues, which means they will always be urbanites and they don't have cars and we wouldn't see each other very often. But I can see I will have to move eventually if I really want to do 5 acres, as even 1 acre is just not affordable in the city.


Would you consider traveling to join a community?


Yes.

But as I said, I don't really want an Intentional Community. All I want are good neighbors who are going to be okay with me practicing permaculture and who are willing to share resources now and then. Naturally, having several permies next door would be awesome. It'd be great if they had different perspectives on things. Having a community workshop/toolshed would be great. A Community backhoe/excavator. I need help once in awhile. I like to help once in awhile. That kind of thing. But I don't want to spend every week discussing changes to by-laws, and I don't want to ask everyone's permission if I decide to cook bacon.

For me it would be great if I could get owner financing for a share from a permie with more means than I have. Or, if we want to really talk about community, it would be great to turn new neighbors onto permaculture.

I seem to remember liking that one thread about why intentional communities don't work, and I think reclaiming an abandoned town sounds interesting too. I like the idea of a thread that loosely links people. We don't need to be defined by each other.
 
George Lafayette
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Location: Lafayette, CA
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cameron richardson wrote: Also, what are some good resources for looking up intentional communities? ( I'd like to recommend Creating a Life Together by Diana Christian )


Best resources: Diana's book is great. its really the only book I recommend

OK, now I'm going to recommend "myself" - I live in one of America's longest lived intentional communities. We've been an ongoing experiment in living together pleasurably since 1968. We support ourselves by publishing our research in the form of courses - on how to live together pleasurably http://www.lafayettemorehouse.com. A lot of long lived ICs in have been created using our information.

And, for what its worth, we have 20 plus acres and we are just miles from San Francisco and Oakland. No one in our group wants to farm our land beyond our dozen citrus trees. There is an opportunity here for the right people.
 
Glenn Koenig
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We live in a great little, mostly abandoned town in Kentucky not far from Louisville it's called turners station and could be SUCH a great little community https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turners_Station,_Kentucky
 
John Rogers
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cameron richardson wrote:
My question is fellow permies, how many of you are considering joining an intentional community?


Me!

Would you consider traveling to join a community?


Yes, in the US or Canada only, and only to a place I found geographically suitable for my wife and I. (in other words, even if I found a suitable group of people in an established community, I wouldn't move to a geographic location I didn't like).

And what is the number one thing holding you back from joining another community or starting your own?


I've been researching this and kicking around ideas for a very long time. The number one thing holding me back from starting my own is finances. The number one thing holding me back from joining another is rules (such as no horses, no smoking, no drinking, no eating meat, etc.)

Also, what are some good resources for looking up intentional communities?


It has already been mentioned, but ic.org is the only reliable one that I've found.
 
lyla moore
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Hi John, What type of geographic location are you and your wife searching for? When we were searching for peoperty we researched nuclear sites, toxic waste dump sites, prevailing weather conditions, then selected from the few areas we felt were relatively "safe".
 
Lacy VanCam
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My family are interested in starting or joining an intentional community
 
lyla moore
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Hi Lacy, What area are you and your family interested in? Location, location, location, everyone has a different idea of where the best place to start is. When I first started reading this forum I thought wow lots of people that think like I do. Well, not quite. I thought about starting an intentional community, then read all of the difficulties and complications and decided not for me. Sooo... Instead we are starting a self-sustaining permaculture farm with several "partners". We have purchased 17acres near Fence Lake, New Mexico. If you are interested or would like more details email me at lylamoore56@yahoo.com
 
allen lumley
pollinator
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Lyons Mountain N.Y., near rob roy ! It's a dying town that has lost its local school in I think, the last two years !

I would think that a check at the state level of schools closed in rural area in your target state would be a great tool for finding land-for-sale opportunities !

For the Good of the Craft ! Be safe, keep warm ! PYRO-LOGICAL Big AL - As Always, your comments and questions are solicited and are Welcome ! A. L.
 
Diana Butterfly
Posts: 4
Location: South East Florida, USA, zone 12b
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I've been looking. My big thing is weather. I find most IC's are somewhere where it falls below 32F at some point. To me that is a major turn off. I would like to find something in the tropics, in the jungle regions of the world.

Cuisine is also something I look at. I know this may sound lame but if you done half the world travel I have you'd know the food your community prepares needs to be within the likeness of everyone or less you eat your stuff alone.

Next month I am putting feet on the ground to look at some possible locations in Costa Rica. October I have plans to be in Venezuela. Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, and El Salvador are also options.

Aside from weather and cuisine I also look at how the country is managed. Like the USA is horrible for health care and you cannot even make your own drugs legally (antibiotics / healing medicine) to distribute. In 2001 I lived in Mexico with a tribe (not quite an IC but the same thing really) and loved everything except for the people trying to kidnap me for ransom. The corruption was real bad too.

We all have what we would like. That is why it is so diversified.
 
Krystina Szabo
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Just found "permies" site. Yes I am sympatico with This Movement. For all the reasons. However, I am frustrated because I have 200 beautiful acres in Danville, Virginia, and nobody to help me. PLENTY of land and equipment!! Not much money. Nobody else to share it with. 40 acres of hayfields grown into weeds, and I have all the equipment to bale hay. All the wooded trails overgrown, but nice to know the bears and other wildlife can hide. A stocked pond overgrown, had to beg someone to get the paddleboat out of the middle where someone had put it out and rain had bogged it down. Nine horses who can't eat all the grass, and I can find Nobody to ride with me. A 90-foot raised hoop greenhouse with the door ripped off. Houses falling apart. My own dump truck that needs the airbrake fixed, and I need help switching out the tractor implements. I have always wanted to Live The Life with others. What others? People like the idea of the country, but there is noone with interest, much less mechanical or agricultural skills. Just freeloaders, one of whom is in my home now so I can come and go. Now I am just getting ready to sell it all--though nothing is selling here--and find a small farm in Monroe, Michigan to be with my children. I would prefer finding someone(s) in Monroe to share a new, fun farm with. How to do this? I must be able to travel due to sick parents. Is there someone with a farm in the Monroe, MI area who would share? Could I find AND trust someone(s) if I can sell in VA and buy a farm in MI? Where are People?
 
allen lumley
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Kristina Szabo : Wow, Just know that you are not alone, finding this site will connect you to many people who wish they could have your problems ,I hope and trust
that you will make connections through these pages. Good luck to you ! Allen and Martha !
 
Dustin Wilkinson
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Hey, YES I will consider traveling to a eco community... In fact I am moving to Klickitat county Washington in August & would LOVE to chat with anyone who lives in the area or who would like to organize in & around that area... Projectperfectdayz@gmx.com
 
leila hamaya
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Suki Leith wrote:
And what is the number one thing holding you back from joining another community or starting your own?


Many things:

Money - Student loans for children's education mean I can't save for a share in a community or purchasing my own property, not for a long while. I actually looked into some intertional communities in the past and they were (at least the Washington State ones I checked out) built new (way beyond basic needs to magazine worthy luxurious) from scratch and came with a heavy price tag. Those who are economically challenged are not considered. Those who could benefit most from sharing resources are locked out due to the reality of how property is purchased.

Privilege - Back when Co-Housing first started becoming trendy it seemed to me that people who were claiming they wanted to make the world a better place were actually running away from the most pressing problems where they already lived: that creating a model under hand-chosen conditions isn't really much of an accomplishment, and that community is everywhere around us wherever we are at.

Lack of diversity and claustrophobia - I find it quite creepy to be surrounded by people who think completely the same about everything and being stuck with them. It would be like living with your HOA only with restrictions on your personality. I would hate to be the nail pop that would have to be hammered back into place...

Family - My children are big on social justice issues, which means they will always be urbanites and they don't have cars and we wouldn't see each other very often. But I can see I will have to move eventually if I really want to do 5 acres, as even 1 acre is just not affordable in the city.


Would you consider traveling to join a community?


Yes.

But as I said, I don't really want an Intentional Community. All I want are good neighbors who are going to be okay with me practicing permaculture and who are willing to share resources now and then. Naturally, having several permies next door would be awesome. It'd be great if they had different perspectives on things. Having a community workshop/toolshed would be great. A Community backhoe/excavator. I need help once in awhile. I like to help once in awhile. That kind of thing. But I don't want to spend every week discussing changes to by-laws, and I don't want to ask everyone's permission if I decide to cook bacon.

For me it would be great if I could get owner financing for a share from a permie with more means than I have. Or, if we want to really talk about community, it would be great to turn new neighbors onto permaculture.

I seem to remember liking that one thread about why intentional communities don't work, and I think reclaiming an abandoned town sounds interesting too. I like the idea of a thread that loosely links people. We don't need to be defined by each other.


ahhh bingo!

yep yep, what she said, now i dont have to type it!
ha, sorry to be a copy cat, but seriously, well said =)

i have lived in five intentional communities, had to move within a year or two each time, and came to these same ideas.

i would love it if there was a looser kind of community, where people focused on their own autonomy and sovereignty, without the weird issues that can come up when people are smooshed to close together. i'm also sick of the off balance power dynamics, the kick out game, the what have you done for me lately game, etc.

i like the idea of living in a neighborhood, each person having more distance and autonomy, but i wish neighborhoods were more community oriented and shared important resources. but again not smooshed together too much, just that people help each other without expectation or obligation, and have separate lives and personal space when they need it too.

also strongly agree with
"community is everywhere around us wherever we are at"
 
Dustin Wilkinson
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Spot on leila! Facebook.com/TheProfeshhhh Add me
 
leila hamaya
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hey thanks =)

and yeah...then theres the days i feel like this:



seriously !

of course i would have to grow a huge garden around this place and get rid of all the grass!

some days i prefer talking to plants than talking to people, yet i do like people and know community is the answer.

maybe someday i could find a community for loners =)
people who give each other a lot of space, i know i personally have a huge requirement for personal recharge time and to be alone.
these days i spend the overwhelming majority of my time solitary, way too much time alone maybe, but it helps me get to work and focus on my projects.
it is lonely though, but i am tired of all the projections, the weird dynamics that get rolling, and i enjoy the solitude more than most.

i know it could be different, i know it could work out, but just over and over again i have had really difficult experiences trying to do community projects with people.
the weird ways we are living, the cultural memes and ways of everybody lording over everybody, the general insecurity we are all living within which we then take out on each other...which work against our having healthy relationships...its particularly hard at this time when so many people have been given a raw deal, even if they dont know how much has been taken from them, how they have been wronged by the status quo.

still i am sure, it is the answer, we must work through these issues and work together...but i think it would work a lot better for the people if we recognize each others sovereignty, and give each other a lot more space and autonomy....so many unhealthy desperate dependicies...and so many weird issues that people bring with them into these kinds of situations....and also the will of the people to be choosing your neighbors...well intentional community is not as appealing to me as the general community of the world. wherever you go, there you are, and all your baggage is there too.
 
Dustin Wilkinson
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I know the feeling... Unfortunately it's a damming one! Keep your chin up Leila the universe corrects itself otherwise it wouldn't exit with all the chaos!

Where are you located?
 
leila hamaya
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i just moved from the coast of northern california to the mountains of siskiyou county, or i should say back here because i lived here years ago.

if you want to chat you can send me a pm, sorry if i am babbling a bit !
i do think about this stuff a lot. it seems like it could be so simple, we need to make community, and it makes sense. if it could just be as simple as sharing resources, sharing in big stuff and not having all the drama, i would be more into it.
 
Dustin Wilkinson
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Yeah I'd love to chat with you sometime... You do Facebook? If you do friend me (got banned for trying to friend people I didn't know for another 11 days) Facebook.com/TheProfeshhhh

No need to apologize for "babbling" Were all constantly babbling in one way or another... at least in terms of having a clean spirit...
 
Penny Francis
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julie mcneeley wrote:Where would one find abandoned towns?


detroit
 
Jerry McIntire
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Our family (of three) is interested in living in an intentional community. We are willing to move, but probably not for 2-3 years, or not at all if our group succeeds. We are forming a community in SW Wisconsin, in Vernon County which has the highest concentration of organic farms in the country. Thriving local food movement. Home to Mark Shepard and other permaculture designers.

Viroqua is the county seat, a town of 5,000. We are planning to buy land and build within walking distance of the center of town, for people who work in town or have kids in school. We want to avoid driving. We plan to design our site with permaculture principles. We plan to organize along the lines of a cohousing community, but everyone will be free to build their own house in their own way, to their own budget. We are working with the Partnership for Affordable Cohousing to help make this happen. We have a strong core group that has been meeting for three years, agreeing on a vision and guidelines. We are in the midst of our land search and people search-- we'd like to have 10 - 12 more households involved, for a total of 12 - 18 homes on 6 - 20 acres. There is plenty more information on our website, below in my signature line.

We have cold winters, but plenty of growing season, nice summers with regular rain-- almost never have to irrigate. Ice fishing and saunas are popular here!
Jerry
 
Jennifer Walls
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Location: Chattanooga, TN
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Hi all. I'm reviving this topic. I have wanted to live in an IC for many years. Have not really considered many, seems that for some reason or another specific ones just didn't seem right. And now I am back in the Chattanooga area (hopefully to stay) and there aren't many to choose from so a group of us are meeting to discuss what is involved with the process. We want to create a community, but are aware of the work involved (or will be learning about it). Right now we have a core group of 3 couples and myself. We meet weekly and are in the stage where we're educating ourselves about governance options and the process for developing vision, values, mission, etc.

So if you've ever wanted to live in the Chattanooga, TN area and you are IC minded, please contact me! It's beautiful here.
 
Jerry McIntire
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Jennifer Walls wrote:Hi all. I'm reviving this topic.


Hey Jennifer, I revived this topic! (just kidding)

Jennifer Walls wrote: We meet weekly and are in the stage where we're educating ourselves about governance options and the process for developing vision, values, mission, etc.


Have you looked at Diane Christian's "Creating a Life Together?" A thorough blueprint for organizing a community.

Jennifer Walls wrote: So if you've ever wanted to live in the Chattanooga, TN area and you are IC minded, please contact me! It's beautiful here.


Not as cold as Wisconsin, that's for sure.
 
Jennifer Walls
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Jerry McIntire wrote:Hey Jennifer, I revived this topic! (just kidding)


Jerry. I see that. You DID revive it. Oops!

Jerry McIntire wrote: Have you looked at Diane Christian's "Creating a Life Together?" A thorough blueprint for organizing a community.


Yes, I hear that is a great place to start. I am in line to check it out at my library, but I think I might also want to buy it.
 
Noah Jackson
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As beginning farmers, and a someone with a permaculture design certificate that uses it, this is a tough issue. We cannot enact change in the world without trying it out ourselves, on our home ground - whatever that home and support base is. I worked in Asia and Africa for years and came to the conclusion that I needed to find a tribe of support just to keep doing the work I love. You can read about that, and our own deep struggle for belonging and land on our blog. Today's entry is a very good place to start! http://bit.ly/1fyI6wb

Jennifer Walls wrote:
Jerry McIntire wrote:Hey Jennifer, I revived this topic! (just kidding)


Jerry. I see that. You DID revive it. Oops!

Jerry McIntire wrote: Have you looked at Diane Christian's "Creating a Life Together?" A thorough blueprint for organizing a community.


Yes, I hear that is a great place to start. I am in line to check it out at my library, but I think I might also want to buy it.
 
rowan eisner
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I have wanted to be part of an intentional community for a long time, and have checked out many and joined a couple, but I haven't found one that meets my basic criteria:
- it's in a country I'm allowed to live in (Australia, NZ, Europe, Costa Rica)
- it would be a good place to live without a car
- it has common aims (to be reasonably self-reliant and resilient for what's coming)
- affordable

I doubt it's possible to meet those aims in Australia (or NZ?). Urban land is too expensive and rural land is too car dependent. Costa Rica might be possible but I don't know how to find others who might be interested.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Cheers
Rowan
 
Noah Borders
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I am in the baby stages of planning a new ecovillage in southeast michigan!

The main reasons I want to start a new one instead of going to an existing one are that I don't think that many people are doing it right yet, and I want to stay close to friends and family. I want to make the least amount of change for the greatest effect. I agree with what people are saying about needing to find a more loose-knit community where people have more autonomy. It's really important to accept human nature as it currently is in order to know how to make important societal changes that will stick. We have to work with people on their own terms. I'm hoping to make it easy for anyone to adopt ecovillage models that meet local needs and are fiscally, ecologically, and socially attractive.

I'd love to talk with anyone who is interested! I need help coming up with strategies that will make this settlement more attractive to more people. What are your needs and desires?


The best resource for finding an ecovillage is word of mouth. It is a more difficult and time-consuming way to do it, but you'll be able to learn from other people's mistakes, etc.
 
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