Hi there, we have been looking to find a homestead here in the piedmont/triad area of NC and haven't been successful in finding the right place. Perhaps we are being too particular if that is possible or just haven't found the place that clicks with our needs and desires. As well I haven't found any of the eco villages or intentional communities that fit with our ideals either. I'd really love to build our own house but not sure we could make that work on our own.
What I would love is to just have a handful of families who have similar ideals/goals in living sustainably and self sufficient to be able to buy a large portion of land and divide it together (this way we could get the wholesale cost rather than some developer buying it at a good price then subdividing it and selling each lot for twice as much or more!) Perhaps we buy 100 or 200 acres and some want or can afford more land than others, So we divide it accordingly and everyone has their place to call their own and do as they desire but we all get to build a community together and have like minded neighbors. Not a bunch of rules or anything, everyone gets their own slice of the pie, no one would be obligated to work for others but knowing you have a community of fellow sustainable homesteaders to call upon should the need arise and to hopefully have like minded neighbors to commune with, barter/trade with etc, would be ideal.
Currently we are living in this area because of my husband's work and yet we hope to eventually be able to be self sufficient and utilize other ways to provide through other business ventures and such. Mostly relating around sustainable living and health etc. it would be even greater if we could include our neighbors in those ventures as well when/if the time comes. But we might be willing to go into VA within an hour or two of his work, or if there is enough interest in another location where he could find work. The big issue is that for his work if he is to have a longer commute he can work from home but he must have high speed internet access and that kind of puts us into an awkward position as well trying to live a bit more off the beaten path.
I would just love a place our kids could all run and play and have like minded friends/neighbors.
We are also homeschoolers (technically unschoolers, we are very relaxed in our homeschooling as far as curriculum and such but my kids are very intelligent, intellectual and love to learn about everything and explore and they love making friends), we could even do co-op type classes or events if there were enough other homeschooling families....that said I would hope to have very family friendly oriented neighbors of course who would expect kids to be running around any time of the day.
I would think this could be done even with just a few families. I may even be able to get a few friends I know to join in if they knew we actually had enough others committed. We could divide anywhere from 5-10 families depending how many we gathered and how much land everyone wants. 5,10,15,20 acres, it doesn't have to be equal just what everyone desires and can afford and what land is available.
Just thought I would put it out there and see if there are others who would like something like this. Time is of the essence, we are ready to settle down ASAP.
You and your family might check out the Floyd VA area. There are many folks here who have the same dreams. High speed internet for telecommuting. Small town with arts music and advocates. Activists. More
Please excuse typos. Am using a friends phone to reply to you. Feel free to Purple Moosage me for more details.
Newton Family, welcome to Permies. There is a possibility that we may be along similar paths as I am in the mind to start an intentional community here in Piedmont/Triad area where I live. I am married with a young family of two children (2 and 7). I have been flirting the idea with my wife about intentional community after I finish my engineering degree. These arrangements are a very delicate balance naturally and I have not fully settled on how I plan on balancing the arrangements required to commit multiple families to a shared community.
I can say I understand your frustrations in your search for intentional community. Compatibility is very important and many of these communities locally do not fit with my ideals or aspirations. Specifically, I am a traditional modern Christian so my moral standard assimilates well with non-fundamentalist, monogamous Christians. Because I have children that I want to raise based on my moral perspective, being too "open-minded" to certain habits are not an option for me. Needless to say dancing around a camp fire at night participating in "free-love" orgies praising some revived pagan fertility goddess is not exactly serving my more conservative interest.
Aside from that, here is a passive list of interests I plan to work on.
Earth-sheltered timber frame homes.
Integrative biodynamic research.
Farm to consumer honor system store.
Bioshelter greenhouse for the less cold tolerant plants (coffee, citrus, chocolate, mango, etc).
Designed forest for producing fine honey (sourwood, clover, etc)