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Infancy stage of a non-monogamous intentional permaculture community N. Central Mass.  RSS feed

 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Greetings all...

Curious about the opportunity to create an intentional polyamorous premaculture community in North Central Massachusetts. Have had land for some time, started a handful of raised bed gardens a few years ago, but are truly novice to the overall lifestyle. Land is currently in mostly natural state with no buildings. There are 31 acres of land with a couple of small streams, beautiful mountain views (lit ski-slope on the horizon too), and a grand opportunity for the right blend of people or individuals. Nice southerly exposure as well and native wildlife.

Been a dream for many year to create a safe place for a family / tribe / commune / intentional community / or what have you for honest caring people cohabitate and more. Currently we are two people, one female 52 and one male 57 who are trying to get this started. We are comfortable with diversity and are open to folks of all ages, genders, etc., etc. Would like to be able to share some time together to get acquainted before committing to the venture with full force.

The two that are currently involved have been living together since early 2006. He is self employed and she is professionally employed. Both are part time college students too. Economics are not plentiful, but live comfortably within our means. Permaculture skills are at a novice plus level, maybe a tiny bit higher. Other mechanical and life skills are fairly strong, and desires and optimism pretty strong too. It would be nice if you have something to offer to help make this plan work. We have limited equipment, truck with dump and such, but have pretty much all the hand and small power tools tools one would need.

Just curious to see who is out there and if anyone holds a similar interest. Any information to help us move our dreams forward is welcomed.

Kind regards to all...

Christopher

This is a cross post, so if any of this is inappropriate here please let me know and I will edit or remove the post. Thanks!

Here is a little light hearted post I put together so that you could learn a little more about me as an individual. Enjoy...

Kind of like an old John Deere (1957 Model), putters about doing endless chores all the time, though enjoys getting revved up every once in a while. Loves to be outside in nature year round, in the gardens, hauling wood, playing well with an assortment of attachments (friends), and just love the color green. Able to work long steady hours and remains focused on the task at hand. No back seat, so no need for a back seat driver, yet enjoys working side by side with other like-minded tractors. Loves all brands and vintages, 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel models too. Can tow a fairly heavy load so long as good fuel is input first. If started right first thing in the morning purrs all day in the fields and returns to the barn in the later afternoon or evening. Over all, runs pretty strong though could use an occasional polishing for parades downtown. Likes friendly buggies, motorcycles and folks in general, so flash your headlights, wave, or say hi as yah pass on by.
Peace, out…
 
Dale Hodgins
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Are there other communities that come close to what you envision ?

Would involvement in swapping etc. be a requirement to be considered a suitable candidate ?

Do you have an idea on entry cost ?

Will men and women of all ages pay the same fee ?

Will minors be welcome ?

Is your place zoned for the numbers that you envision ?
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Hi Dale,

Thanks for your inquiry.

There is a place about 40 miles away that is a really nice role model. It is the Sirius Community, link here: http://www.siriuscommunity.org/. I have visited them a few times for an assortment of reasons ranging from general tours to classes, to lectures, to socials, etc. They are nice folks and have been moving slowly but surely in the right direction. Next time the have a Cob workshop I hope to attend.

I am not sure what you mean by swapping. Please clarify.

At this point I do not have an idea of the entry cost. Much would depend on how many people wanted to get involved and the scope of the kick off projects. Ideally I am thinking about a dozen people max, so that it remains easier to manage. as for costs for youths, I honestly had not given it any thought. They are people too and for the most part will need the same requirements as an adult. I guess that would bring up the question of what would one ask for from a senior. All things being equal, off the top f my head, I am thinking one person, one contribution. With respect to costs, I still have no idea of what sort of structure this would take. Is it a rental, a co-op, a business buy in, or some totally different thing? In part, this is part of why I placed the post, to create dialog to help explore the topic with others and share ideas.

I am not opposed to minors or small children if the community wishes to evolve in that way. In order to create a genuine family atmosphere it would seem that conventional families are multi generational, so personally as one voice here, I do my best to remain open minded. That being said, there are obvious concerns for community compatibility. I personally have no experience with toddlers or seniors citizens as far as living with them and the supports that they require. I'm thinking balance and also need to be aware of caregiving. If we have too many dependent folks, who's going to take care of the farm, when we are caring for the people?

In our jurisdiction what dictates how many people are the bedrooms and the bathrooms. What I have envisioned is a octagonal space as the great room for gatherings, dining, classes, and what ever else seems appropriate. A commercial style kitchen would need to be attached to that. From the remaining edges, save the south facing one, would be entrances to combination private bedrooms and sitting rooms. Of course every so often a bathroom would also need to be in the mix. Out buildings would handle the general work shop space and storage for tools, equipment and such. Mind you, again, nothing is cast in stone at this point.

Thanks again for chiming in and offering some great questions. This is exactly what I was hoping for.

Kind regards,

Christopher

 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Something else I just ran across here on Premise.com, http://www.permies.com/t/33428/farm-income/TinyHouseParking-supplemental-income-providing-growing. Seems like a good idea too. I like tiny houses.

Living in tiny houses is also a nice option. it give folks a little more space of their own. This could be combined with a main structure too. I have built one tiny retreat so far and I am working on a tiny house right now. It was actually my intention to living it that on the property while a potential community unfolded. With the option above, a space would be allotted and maybe some community chores. It would also help provide some income for the homestead project.

So much is open for discussion.

Christopher
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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After poking around here a bit more I found myself at this site which offers some pretty nice Earthbag homes. About six to ten houses down the list of lans you will start to see some larger round house with multi bedrooms that should work nicely.

Check them out: http://earthbagplans.wordpress.com/
 
Dale Hodgins
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Christopher Kyprianos wrote:Hi Dale,

Thanks for your inquiry.

I am not sure what you mean by swapping. Please clarify.



I was referring to the sexual nature of your community. I assume that people drawn to this place will be mostly those who are interested in pursuing a variety of different types of relationships, many sexual in nature. Even if the land were owned equally by all members with some plan for liquidity, in the event that one or more people wish to leave, I can envision things ending badly for some.

If the land is owned by one or a minority of members, this could create a situation where a newcomer feels that they must or should try to be open to whatever sort of relationships that the owners favor. Suppose that a non owner enters into a relationship that they wish to end. They may feel compelled to continue the relationship on fear of being rendered homeless. If this person has children, their security may very well figure into the decision on whether to continue for their sake.

I have had female employees. I've never had a personal relationship with any of them. To do so would open me up to all sorts of accusation and liability. If I ever take on a female tenant who lives as a roommate, I will insist on a signed declaration stating that we are not in a personal relationship. As the landlord, I have a position of power and it would therefore be inappropriate for me to make advances toward my tenant.

I understand that this is for consenting adults. If it was mid winter and I had an amorous landlady who wanted to spice things up, I might just oblige and continue to do so until some time in the spring. Not a big deal for me. Men are like that. If a young woman with children were put in the same situation, it might be a very uncomfortable situation for her and the children.

 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Once again Dale, thank you for sharing your input.

I though that you might be leading down the road of swinging, but I had given you the benefit of the doubt that you actually understood what polyamory was actually about. Apparently I was wrong. If I may, “Polyamory” is about loving people, it is not about swapping or swinging or such. It’s not about sex parties and orgies. Take a few minutes and do a little homework and I think that you will find that polyamory has been around since the beginning of time, well before monogamy.

It is true that sometimes when people love one another they also sometimes include an intimate physical relationships. Some do, some don’t. That is a personal choice for consenting adults and really has nothing to do with anyone else. Everyone is entitled to their personal privacy, choices and lifestyles. I trust that no one dictates to you how to live, who to love, etc. Perhaps acceptance for others would be a nice approach. Live and let live. Beside, no one has the right to tell me or anyone else who to love or how many people to love.

As for your combined what ifs. It's not my place to respond to random hypothetical questions. I personally take a positive slant on humanity and believe that most people do what is right. I am not everyone’s protector nor would I advocate any form of taking advantage of weaker souls. It seems to be that you are implying that the people who would live in such a community would. That is not the case. Evil is everywhere Dale. I choose to deal with it on a case-by-case basis when it presents its ugly self.

Co-ops, condos, communes, and many other nontraditional forms of habitation and cohabitation have been occurring for thousands of years. The world has survived. I think it is fair to believe that the only people that we will accept into our arrangement will be well-screened and decent people. Not to worry.

Not that it makes any difference, but I have been a both a residential and commercial landlord for over three scores. I have dealt with hundreds of tenant throughout all those years. As I recall, I haven’t been to court three times as a landlord because of landlord tenant issues. Sitting down at a table and talking things through often helps to resolve any issues that might arise. As a landlord I have a position of compassion. I really am not power hungry, like some folks out there.

As for the legal side of a structured community that will be negotiated by those who are involved and drafted in a legal contractual manner. There is no need for you to concern yourself with that.

It seems that much of what you are hypothesizing about has to do with ethics and good character. I am happy that I have those both comfortably on my side. I am happy to read that you too don’t take advantage of people and that you do the right thing when hard choices appear before you. I applaud you for doing the right thing.

Kind regards sir…
 
mark andrews
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Polyamory (from Greek πολύ [poly], meaning "many" or "several", and Latin amor, "love") is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. It is distinct from Swinging (which emphasizes sex with others as merely recreational) and may or may not include polysexuality (attraction towards multiple genders and/or sexes).[2][3][4]
 
George Lafayette
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Christopher Kyprianos wrote:

.... Any information to help us move our dreams forward is welcomed.



You may find that polyamory in an intentional community is complex, but probably you already know that?

well, for what its worth, the community I've been in has been practicing 'responsible hedonism' for over 45 years. We are an ongoing social experiment in pleasurable group living. When you have a group, you will have sexual interest, and we've researched different ways to have that work for everyone, pleasurably. There is a bunch of information on our website, and any number of communities have been created that use some or all of our research and philosophy, perhaps you might find some of it useful.

Best of luck! Having lived in Boston for years I know how incredibly beautiful central Mass can be.

Lafayette Morehouse

 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Thank for the post George, but we are not into practicing 'responsible hedonism'. This too is a far cry from polyamory. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with it if that is your thing, it's just not ours.

If you default to Mark's post above you will better understand what we seek. (see below)

Peace, out...

Christopher

(I think this is a wiki reference, not having checked it, but there is lots of material on the net about what poly is truly about)

From Mark:

"Polyamory (from Greek πολύ [poly], meaning "many" or "several", and Latin amor, "love") is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. It is distinct from Swinging (which emphasizes sex with others as merely recreational) and may or may not include polysexuality (attraction towards multiple genders and/or sexes)."
 
George Lafayette
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Christopher Kyprianos wrote:Thank for the post George, but we are not into practicing 'responsible hedonism'. This too is a far cry from polyamory. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with it if that is your thing, it's just not ours.


no worries.

my bad, actually. I should have been clearer. We have people in our group who are polyamorous. we also have folks who are monogamous. and folks who are single. and some who are celibate. And some that don't fit any of those categories. So we created an umbrella term - because terms like 'polyamory' don't seem to fit - we believe all of those can be right/valid choices - assuming everyone involved is a consenting adult.
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Hi All, Just wanted to pop back to this thread.

I had hoped that more New Englanders might speak up or folks that are interested in living / working in our part of the country. Are there that few people in the north east that are interested in poly permaculture living?

Anyone that has any ideas of how to stimulate this topic, please post. I would love to hear you ideas...
 
Amedean Messan
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After reading this thread, I am inclined to say that this idea of a community is not really thought out. I have read no concern for any hazardous element in this lifestyle. No mention of screening for STD's, no mention of the potential drama, responsibilities, pregnancies, no mention of children and their potential needs........

There appears to be very little forethought of the consequences in decisions.
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Amedean Messan wrote:After reading this thread, I am inclined to say that this idea of a community is not really thought out. I have read no concern for any hazardous element in this lifestyle. No mention of screening for STD's, no mention of the potential drama, responsibilities, pregnancies, no mention of children and their potential needs........

There appears to be very little forethought of the consequences in decisions.


Hi Amedean,

Thanks for sharing you opinions. In some regards you are correct and in others perhaps a tab premature. Please bare in mind that there are only a hand full of posts here and that more goes into what we seek than a few hundred words. Volumes, can and have been written on these very subjects.

Let me try to explain where I personally am coming from. First off, being in my 50s, I do not foresee my having any of my own kids. That does not imply that if someone came into a community that they would not be welcomed, it just suggests that this may be a group of folks that may be beyond having babies or others that have consciously chose not to have babies.

Another important fact is that before addressing many of your valid concerns is, "we need to have people" before determining what the needs of those individuals and families are. Once we see who or what the structures of potential cohabitants or community are then we can proceed to address the needs of those involved. Just tossing out a general blanket set of conditions may not be the most practical approach. If you have such a set of guidelines I would love to hear about them. I, for sure, do not claim to be an expert in polyamory, in permaculture or intentional communities. That is why I titled the post "Infancy stage..." Additionally, I have to question is it is appropriate for me to set all of these guidelines or if it would be best if those involved all took an active part in constructing such a decree.

I do have some limited expertise to offer in some areas and I do try to put forth an honest effort in researching what I don't know about. For example, you were concerned about STDs, or what today is more commonly referred to as STIs (sexually transmitted infections). I had the good fortune of being a volunteer with the local visiting nurses association, for about 7 years. I taught HIV education, testing and counseling. I do not profess to be a medical expert, yet I have a fair understanding of many STIs, their transmission modes, and how people can conduct their desired activities in a less risky manner. Given this foundation, I feel that once an actual blend of people express an interest in participating together we can do the research. This will help keep those who wish to share intimate sexual relationships safer than had they just acted on hormones.

With regards to volunteer work, I also have over 20 years of community service work under my belt. I have worked with rights groups, done many years helping to educate children on wildlife and the environment, and was even at one time the founding president of the local landlords association. Again, given some of my life experiences I feel that I would at the very least be able to facilitate a round table discussion with whomever was seriously interested in participating in this proposed community.

Regarding drama - isn't life full of drama and drama queens everywhere we turn? Some out there point their fingers at permaculture and call us weirdos, out of touch, and worse. It's really easy for people to throw rocks or be critical of something they know little about. So I guess part of this process involves screening out the drama folks before they enter a community and putting in place vehicles to remove them if they somehow made it in. Sure we all have personalities. That would also imply that we all never always agree. That doesn't imply that there needs to be drama, though I do realize many that live with it on a daily basis think it is a normal way of life. Fortunately, that isn't the case in our home.

Responsibilities vary depending on skill sets. Shall I dictate that you plow fields if you never drove a tractor, or might it be best that we ask you to be the manager, as your skills sets their are stronger. I'm a pretty good cook, others don't like to cook, but after being fed a fairly healthy meal they have no reservations in contributing to the cleanup. Some earn great money out of the community and really have no time to do simple chores. Why not permit those individuals, should they wish to contribute monetarily to help offset some of the expense rather than suggest that they have to work in the gardens, clean the common spaces, etc. if all of the community members are happy with those arrangements. You see, there really is no "one size fits all" when individuals come together. I view it more as a work in progress, growth through experiences, and then work from a lessons learn prospective.

Again, regarding children and their needs. I have no children but have worked with them through the years, many from hardship environments. A few of the things I have learned about children and working in community with them is that genuine respect and love are paramount. Offering an ear, lending a hand, leading by example, sharing and teaching them about our immediate community environment and our global environment are all essential to healthy growth of a child. I am not a teacher, nor am I a farmer, yet I am able to teach a child how to plant a seed, care for that seed, and harvest the fruits of their labor. Plus I can teach them to cook it if we decided not to eat it raw. Most of us can teach the basics of math, english, and other social sciences and where one falls short we open our space to others who are capable. I think that it is also important to share about spiritual options of multiple beliefs, so that as a child matures they can elect to practice, or not, whatever they can relate to.

So to respond, "are we really well thought out?" I would have to say that we are fairly well thought out, with plenty of room for growth. Also, your sharing your ideas will help us to add more conversations to our table, so for those I thank you!

I'm all ears and have created this very space so that we can do the best job we can with those who become involved, with the cumulative knowledge we have, and the experiences that have taught us. At least I think that it is fair to say that there has been some forethought even though every word has yet to be publish on this board.

So do I really need to know everything before I begin, or is OK for me and a community to learn, growth, adapt and proceed as we go?

If you just wish to toss rocks, I would like to invite you to come out and us help toss them out of our gardens, so that we can build something constructive from them. I'll even be happy to cook you a hardy meal once we are done.

May I inquire, are you polyamorous? Do you live in an intentional community currently? Is there some way you can contribute to help us reach our goals?

I would genuinely enjoy hearing more about what your positive thoughts are about building a poly premaculture community from scratch!

You know Amedean, I once met a man who I wasn't sure I liked, but I like what he said to me after I offered some criticism about a Rights project we were working on together. He said to me, "Christopher, along with the valid problems you have so generously pointed out please bring some realistic solutions to the table so that we may overcome them. Otherwise how can we move forward?" It's not a bad notion, don't you think?
 
Amedean Messan
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Again, regarding children and their needs. I have no children but have worked with them through the years, many from hardship environments. A few of the things I have learned about children and working in community with them is that genuine respect and love are paramount. Offering an ear, lending a hand, leading by example, sharing and teaching them about our immediate community environment and our global environment are all essential to healthy growth of a child. I am not a teacher, nor am I a farmer, yet I am able to teach a child how to plant a seed, care for that seed, and harvest the fruits of their labor. Plus I can teach them to cook it if we decided not to eat it raw. Most of us can teach the basics of math, english, and other social sciences and where one falls short we open our space to others who are capable. I think that it is also important to share about spiritual options of multiple beliefs, so that as a child matures they can elect to practice, or not, whatever they can relate to.


As a parent of two children I have a bit to reflect on. My concern here is that when it comes to a permanent community, particularly those consisting of young men and women you cannot responsibly avoid the issue of children. Especially given that the focus in this thread is primarily sexuality. I dont feel like simply teaching children to sow seeds and farm is enough planning. They need parenting. Obviously these issues are very complicated and I cannot do the subject justice enough to jab suggestions. It appears this concern has been brushed aside to focus more on sexual aspirations.
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Amedean Messan wrote:
Again, regarding children and their needs. I have no children but have worked with them through the years, many from hardship environments. A few of the things I have learned about children and working in community with them is that genuine respect and love are paramount. Offering an ear, lending a hand, leading by example, sharing and teaching them about our immediate community environment and our global environment are all essential to healthy growth of a child. I am not a teacher, nor am I a farmer, yet I am able to teach a child how to plant a seed, care for that seed, and harvest the fruits of their labor. Plus I can teach them to cook it if we decided not to eat it raw. Most of us can teach the basics of math, english, and other social sciences and where one falls short we open our space to others who are capable. I think that it is also important to share about spiritual options of multiple beliefs, so that as a child matures they can elect to practice, or not, whatever they can relate to.


As a parent of two children I have a bit to reflect on. My concern here is that when it comes to a permanent community, particularly those consisting of young men and women you cannot responsibly avoid the issue of children. Especially given that the focus in this thread is primarily sexuality. I dont feel like simply teaching children to sow seeds and farm is enough planning. They need parenting. Obviously these issues are very complicated and I cannot do the subject justice enough to jab suggestions. It appears this concern has been brushed aside to focus more on sexual aspirations.


Quite the contrary Amedean, this thread is about forming a healthy polyamorous intentional community. This thread is NOT about sex. If I wanted to write a threat about sex and intentional communities I would have titled it "SEX and Intentional Communities". I have nothing to hide. Its not that I dislike sex, its just not the appropriate thread to discuss it. There have been "outsiders", like yourself, that have attempted to transform it into a sexually related tread, but if you focus on MY statements and MY input I believe that you will find that sex has not been one of MY priorities. I cannot control, nor do I wish to control, what others state. So not that has been made clear, let us focus on you other comments, or lack there of.

I never suggested that I was going to avoid the issue of children. I never stated that there would be no children. I whole heartedly agree that there is much more to parenting than sowing seeds, a statement that is being applied out of context. I was providing a simple example of something to share with a child, a sliver of parenting if you will, not the act of parenting in its entirety. That was in no way a suggestion of how to parent a child or children.

If you noticed, I also stated that most likely a community would be made up of mature adults, rather than young adult. This does not suggest that there may be grandchildren living there or visiting. Nor does it suggest that someone would be excluded because they are a young adult. What is suggests is that the founding members are north of 50, so most likely the people who would want to live with them would be too.

I do not understand how you could make such blanket statements without first asking questions. It seems as if there are a lot of assumption on your part. Furthermore, When opening my mind, ears and heart to your input I ask for support and encouragement on what might be wise to incorporate into having children in an intentional community and what you shared is nonsense about the thread being about sex. Let's face it, that's how children come into being, isn't it. To suggest that I or we would be a pure hedonistic international community is just flat out wrong in every sense of the word wrong.

I do realize that you are free to ignore my sincere questions, but I have you ask again, are you polyamorous? Do you even know what polyamory is? Do you live in an intentional community currently? Have you ever lived in an intentional community?

Is there some way you can share something constructive with me to help us reach our sincere goals, or is your primary focus an attempt at undermining something legitimate, something that perhaps doesn't quite fit your personal norm?

I salute you for being a caring mom. I wish that there were more of them out there. Nonetheless, that doesn't mean that I or we are not caring people too.

Please stay on topic, share a few more minutes of your valuable time, and tell me and all of us what parenting really is.
 
Amedean Messan
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I do not understand how you could make such blanket statements without first asking questions. It seems as if there are a lot of assumption on your part. Furthermore, When opening my mind, ears and heart to your input I ask for support and encouragement on what might be wise to incorporate into having children in an intentional community and what you shared is nonsense about the thread being about sex. Let's face it, that's how children come into being, isn't it. To suggest that I or we would be a pure hedonistic international community is just flat out wrong in every sense of the word wrong.


The title does not help and some of the material. The main interest of this conceptual community is polyamorous relationships which is a form of sexuality. Look, my motivation is not to be combative. I just put something out there where I thought there needed to be paid extra consideration. I am not in my 20's and I have children so my perspective has some experiences which fueled some skepticism on the overall sustainability of this ideal community.
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Amedean Messan wrote:
I do not understand how you could make such blanket statements without first asking questions. It seems as if there are a lot of assumption on your part. Furthermore, When opening my mind, ears and heart to your input I ask for support and encouragement on what might be wise to incorporate into having children in an intentional community and what you shared is nonsense about the thread being about sex. Let's face it, that's how children come into being, isn't it. To suggest that I or we would be a pure hedonistic international community is just flat out wrong in every sense of the word wrong.


The title does not help and some of the material. The main interest of this conceptual community is polyamorous relationships which is a form of sexuality. Look, my motivation is not to be combative. I just put something out there where I thought there needed to be paid extra consideration. I am not in my 20's and I have children so my perspective has some experiences which fueled some skepticism on the overall sustainability of this ideal community.



Thank you once again Amedean for your response.

I don't believe that any of us come here to be combative. That certainly isn't my desire, though as you are aware, I can get defensive when provoked. I for one, joined this site because I felt that there might be an array of wonderful people who were interested in sharing knowledge and experiences and that perhaps I might be able to offer at least something back to the community as well.

I may be mistaken, but from what I have witnessed, read, and learned monogamous relationships also include sexuality. Just to be clear, you are mistaken, polyamory is not a form of sexuality any more that monogamy, these are both relationship lifestyles. Polyamory, as noted in one of the previous posts comes from two words, one Greek and one Latin. Poly, from the Greek means many. Amor, from the Latin meaning love. Combined, they embraces the concept of having the capacity to love more than one individual. Now, I am confident you have no desire to listen to me carry on about polyamory, but at the very least, please take away that polyamory is not a form of sexuality. Here is a link to a site where you and anyone else that cares to genuinely educate themselves about polyamory can learn. http://www.morethantwo.com/

I sincerely thank you for expressing your concerns about our success in creating a sustainable community. We appreciate that. Amedean, you have clearly met your goal, "we get it." Rest assured, if or when we get to the stage of developing guidelines for community behavior and child rearing we will put forth a genuine exhaustive effort to do what's right for any and every child that might be in any way involved. One of our goals is to have an truly ethical community as well.

It is understandable that you are or were a skeptic. You held a misconception of what true polyamory is actually about, which given that point of reference understandably raises skepticism. It's not uncommon when people jump to conclusions prior to doing their research. I do believe that your concerns however were and are genuine. It is imperative that the well-being of children and all members of our communities regardless of age remain safe and well cared for. The elderly are equally as vulnerable as children. They often depended on us to do the right things, to feed them, keep them clean and safe, and to attend to their health concerns. Gender too, is not an exclusive facet when it comes to abuse or neglect. Both females and males have fallen victim to unethical and immoral characters. I believe that it is woven into the fabric of all healthy communities, that we constantly be on the lookout for any oddities or inconsistencies in behavior, and take action in an appropriate manner when called for.

Amedean, you have been a tremendous help in raising awareness regarding these serious concern. Thank you.

 
Alan Staley
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Christopher
The thought of a polyamory permaculture group idea and your tractor analogy are very much an embrace of the love of living. This is very rare in people. I have just finished planting some Sycamore seedlings and am enjoying the beautiful New England wild flowers in the Spring weather. I too am new to permaculture but the fascinating thing is as I research more all the native plants recommended are all around our cabin.

I believe that love is the catalyst that makes joy in work and the World. How did you come to be interested in permaculture and polyamory? It would be great to see your land sometime and discuss your vision. I have always been hesitant about intentional communities because of our self sufficient nature. I like to chop wood and be in nature and enjoy being with people too. If there were more people interested in loving the land and working to a better environment the world would be a different place.

Companionship always makes the load lighter and work much more fun. To be in a loving community would make all the difference. Thank you for this post. It is a joy in the technical distance of the internet and inspired me to join permies and post.
Alan
 
Lucas Harrison-Zdenek
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Christopher Kyprianos wrote:

I may be mistaken, but from what I have witnessed, read, and learned monogamous relationships also include sexuality. Just to be clear, you are mistaken, polyamory is not a form of sexuality any more that monogamy, these are both relationship lifestyles. Polyamory, as noted in one of the previous posts comes from two words, one Greek and one Latin. Poly, from the Greek means many. Amor, from the Latin meaning love. Combined, they embraces the concept of having the capacity to love more than one individual. Now, I am confident you have no desire to listen to me carry on about polyamory, but at the very least, please take away that polyamory is not a form of sexuality. Here is a link to a site where you and anyone else that cares to genuinely educate themselves about polyamory can learn. http://www.morethantwo.com/



I am not attempting to jump into this thread too deeply since I am a long way from being able to take part in an endeavor such as this. I would one day like to retire to a large farm and have several other couples there to work together to build something greater than ourselves, but the polyamory element does not appeal to me personally.

I randomly came across this thread, and while it has been entertaining and informative, I must point out a small potential error in your attempt to describe your lifestyle Christopher. You dropped the link to that site here to help add information without the sexuality aspect. The problem I am seeing is that the very first definition of polyamory on this site says this: "The fact of having simultaneous close emotional relationships with two or more other individuals, viewed as an alternative to monogamy, esp. in regard to matters of sexual fidelity; the custom or practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships with the knowledge and consent of all partners concerned." If I'm not mistaken, that says very explicitly that polyamory involves engaging with more than one sexual partner.

I know this is not part of what you are promoting, so I wanted to point this out to you and let you know that you may want to seek a different source to spread your message in the future. This site specifically does not seem to disseminate your message very well.

Good luck with everything in the future! I look forward to reading about your progress.
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Hi Alan,

Thanks for the kind words. You are right, I do love living and sharing all there is with other good people.

Where is your Cabin situation?

Through the years I have explored various lifestyles, yet polyamory always has seemed natural. When I bought my land back in 1982 my immediate thoughts were that I should build a huge house and rent rooms to a bunch of people that enjoyed this lifestyle. IU wanted to farm the land as it had been a low bush blueberry source for decades where at one point in time 22,000 quart were taken in a season. That was many years ago. I began the process back then, but after a few years I found that conventional living pulled me away due to the time and money requirements. Now I realize that I should have stuck it out and that ultimately it would have been a wiser choice. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say.

Three or four years ago I began to explore polyamory a bit deeper and now I am leaning towards poly-fidelity because I feel it is a safer and healthier lifestyle for me. The permaculture has grown from a sense of preparedness that has been building for the past dozen years and brings me back to my original plan. Farming, self-sufficiency, using natural forms of energy such as solar, wind and hydro, and more. I had originally hoped to do this with a family including my own children, but that opportunity did not present itself. Now realizing that the life cycle is passing ever more quickly, my thoughts were to undertake the mission with others that feel that they would enjoy living in a common form.


Hi Lucas,

Thanks for sharing your observations and comments. I am totally amazed at the number of people here who are fixated on human sexuality. I thought that this was a permaculture site and that the members would be more concerned about gardens, homesteading and permaculture than sex. Yes, I did add the link, but I had hopped that people would actually review the entire site’s content. I’m just curious; did you actually explore the site or just stop at the first thing you saw?

As noted elsewhere in this thread, adults are often drawn into relationships with others and those sometimes include physical intimacy. Most people are accepting of that fact. Seems that because some polyamorous individuals choose to have physical relationships with more than one person that outsider’s worlds get turned up side down. Not everyone gets physical and that is between the two consenting adults. It is no one else’s business what they do.

So far the only progress made has been by two of us that have been building raised gardens and outdoor community areas. Over the next ten days all of the seedlings we started will be planted and then Mother Nature will add her part. Looking forward to a nice growing season and making new friends interested in a poly permaculture lifestyle.

Thanks for your well wishes.
 
Alan Staley
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Christopher
My Cabin is 3 miles south of VT border near Greenfield MA. It is my labor of love and has maple syrup processing and the native plants I've found are wild leeks, fiddleheads, Sunchokes and nettles just there waiting. It is quite fascinating actually how prolific the gifts of nature are.

Interesting how you had a vision in '82 to make the move to simplicity. I have had similar experience. I visited The Farm in Tennessee when I was in college and also Sirius in recent years. Now the kids are grown and I'm finding my own expression of a well lived life. Permaculture seems a natural for me. Woods and good food.

My teen hero was Gandhi who was deeply impacted by Thoreau's economy and civil disobedience writings. Gandhi's commitment to truth and always telling the truth is also very rare in people. His vision of self sufficient ashrams has always intrigued me. To be around a like minded people is a source of momentum. I will do things with others and in that doing find a common good and the joy of living.

Most excited about visiting the Forest Food Farm in Holyoke over memorial day weekend. Are you familiar with it? They took and Urban lot and turned the property into a forest farm here in MA. Can't wait for that.

Thank you for the reply and the thoughtful way you communicate with all the opinions on this post.
Alan

 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Hi Alan,

Very cool about your cabin being so close. We should connect and hang out, check out one another's spots. If you would like to email me you can reach me at mrkyp@veriaon.net and we can exchange phone numbers and make some plans.

I do not know where the Forest Food Farm is but it sounds like a great place, someplace I would like to visit once I get a little more free time. I have been flat out this month with raised beds building and have begun planting. I am taking a little risk but jump[ing the gun by two weeks for our area, but I sense that we are OK in doing so. So far everything that was planted be seed expect the beans has sprouted and doing excellent. A few days ago I began planting my seedlings, summer squash, zucchini, and watermelons. I also picked up a pair of each, beefsteak tomatoes, giant pumpkins and giant beans at the local farmers market so that I can participate in a grow them big contest. I'm doing it for fun, but then again, I do all my gardening as a fun venture blended with a bit of exercise. Maybe in the next year or so I will begin experimenting with green houses.

All the best...

Christopher

 
Alan Staley
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Hey Christopher
I did visit the Forest Food Farm over Memorial Day weekend. The garden was inside a city lot and yet it offered a whole host of Northeast edible perennials. The greenhouse they built was constructed from furring strips made into trusses with two by four blocks. Very inspiring! They had plants on sale. However I am waiting to get my design in place before I purchase any plants.

I did try your email address but it came back as undeliverable. Hope the planting season is going well
Alan
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Alan Staley wrote:Hey Christopher
I did visit the Forest Food Farm over Memorial Day weekend. The garden was inside a city lot and yet it offered a whole host of Northeast edible perennials. The greenhouse they built was constructed from furring strips made into trusses with two by four blocks. Very inspiring! They had plants on sale. However I am waiting to get my design in place before I purchase any plants.

I did try your email address but it came back as undeliverable. Hope the planting season is going well
Alan


Sorry about that Alan. The email is mrkyp@verizon.net. Slight typo there...
 
Helen Cairns
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Best of luck with your community Christopher.
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Helen Cairns wrote:Very interesting topic & one I have been interested in for years. Thanks for the information Christopher, & best of luck with your community.


Thank you Helen,

The local response has been slow unfortunately. We have been focusing on gardens this year and they have been very productive so far, save a bit of damage from the wild turkeys.

Are you in our general area? If so would love to chat and hear some of your ideas.

Kind regards,

Christopher
 
Helen Cairns
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I'm in Australia, so just a little physical distance between us there

You say the local response has been slow - do you think that's with regard to the pc or the polyamorous aspect of your venture?

I have always been interested in intentional community, & have an extra interest in the polyamorous aspect as a result of my life experiences. The permaculture bit goes without saying - that's just common sense
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Helen Cairns wrote:I'm in Australia, so just a little physical distance between us there

You say the local response has been slow - do you think that's with regard to the pc or the polyamorous aspect of your venture?

I have always been interested in intentional community, & have an extra interest in the polyamorous aspect as a result of my life experiences. The permaculture bit goes without saying - that's just common sense


I think that it is a little bit of both, though I believe that the fact that because it has a polyamorous overtone. Just like I have seen here, polyamory still does not seem to be embraced by the bulk of the community. It's still just a little too controversial and unconventional.
 
Christian Wolff
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Christopher Kyprianos wrote:
Helen Cairns wrote:I'm in Australia, so just a little physical distance between us there

You say the local response has been slow - do you think that's with regard to the pc or the polyamorous aspect of your venture?

I have always been interested in intentional community, & have an extra interest in the polyamorous aspect as a result of my life experiences. The permaculture bit goes without saying - that's just common sense


I think that it is a little bit of both, though I believe that the fact that because it has a polyamorous overtone. Just like I have seen here, polyamory still does not seem to be embraced by the bulk of the community. It's still just a little too controversial and unconventional.


There definitely seems to be some disconnect with regard to this community. Someone above wrote some rather long posts about how polyamory isn't swinging in response to questions. It sounds like the idea is that people can connect with each other in any type of relationship they choose.

This begs the question: Why describe it as a polyamorous community at all? Just drop that word altogether and let people do whatever they want. If P/A is in the community description then it's only natural for people to ask what it's all about the same way "Infancy stage of a primitive intentional permaculture community" would beg questions about the primitive aspects i.e. - hunter/gatherer, electricity, etc...
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Christian Wolff wrote:Why describe it as a polyamorous community at all? Just drop that word altogether and let people do whatever they want.


Christian, thank you for your contribution.

The reason I have chosen to include the term is because it is a controversial lifestyle. I would really not want to live with people who did not embrace or who are accepting of the lifestyle. The notion does not require that one participate, but rather are accepting. My experiences so far are that those who are anti-poly hold strong sentiments about their views. I respect their right to have their feeling and even voice them, yet that does not mean I wish to cohabitant with them.

Furthermore, I have made a 32 year investment in a 31 acre parcel to host such a community. Having done so I feel should allow me some voice on the lifestyle acceptance level of the co-inhabitants. Why would one wish to live with people that where not in sync with such choices? Would we want to have others sign up that were not into the permaculture way of life? Why should we use that label. I think that using such labels helps us to filter potential community members, a right that should be reserved for those founding or occupying a community.

I agree that some posted may be viewed as a tad long winded, yet if one wishes to articulate, to the best of their abilities, a concept or defend a stance it does sometimes take more than a few sentences.

Best,

Christopher
 
D. Logan
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Christian Wolff wrote:
Christopher Kyprianos wrote:
Helen Cairns wrote:I'm in Australia, so just a little physical distance between us there

You say the local response has been slow - do you think that's with regard to the pc or the polyamorous aspect of your venture?

I have always been interested in intentional community, & have an extra interest in the polyamorous aspect as a result of my life experiences. The permaculture bit goes without saying - that's just common sense


I think that it is a little bit of both, though I believe that the fact that because it has a polyamorous overtone. Just like I have seen here, polyamory still does not seem to be embraced by the bulk of the community. It's still just a little too controversial and unconventional.


There definitely seems to be some disconnect with regard to this community. Someone above wrote some rather long posts about how polyamory isn't swinging in response to questions. It sounds like the idea is that people can connect with each other in any type of relationship they choose.

This begs the question: Why describe it as a polyamorous community at all? Just drop that word altogether and let people do whatever they want. If P/A is in the community description then it's only natural for people to ask what it's all about the same way "Infancy stage of a primitive intentional permaculture community" would beg questions about the primitive aspects i.e. - hunter/gatherer, electricity, etc...


I would think that removal of the word entirely might not represent the situation better than it's presence. More likely, the term poly-friendly or something similar is probably the most accurate word for the situation. Anyone there must at least accept without complaint or judgement that some of the members share a non-monogamous relationship, but are not themselves required to be a part of it. I would agree that the current wording (before explanation at least) implies that new members would be expected to participate as part of a poly household.
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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D. Logan wrote:

I would think that removal of the word entirely might not represent the situation better than it's presence. More likely, the term poly-friendly or something similar is probably the most accurate word for the situation. Anyone there must at least accept without complaint or judgement that some of the members share a non-monogamous relationship, but are not themselves required to be a part of it. I would agree that the current wording (before explanation at least) implies that new members would be expected to participate as part of a poly household.


D.

Good point! I agree that poly-friendly may have been a better term to use here. Unfortunately, I had not thought of that prior to the post. I am not sure if I can edit the title at this point.

I still have to question if why there is such a ruckus over using it. Individuals that are interested or inclined would hopefully contact me off thread to chat in more depth. The bulk of the opposition or challenge seems to me to be coming from the anti-poly community. I do not intrude into monogamous posts and suggest that there is a problem with using their terminology. Seems a little knit picky to me.

Anyway, again D thank you for offering a positive alternative to the terms and discussion.

Best,

Christopher
 
D. Logan
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Christopher Kyprianos wrote:
D.

Good point! I agree that poly-friendly may have been a better term to use here. Unfortunately, I had not thought of that prior to the post. I am not sure if I can edit the title at this point.

I still have to question if why there is such a ruckus over using it. Individuals that are interested or inclined would hopefully contact me off thread to chat in more depth. The bulk of the opposition or challenge seems to me to be coming from the anti-poly community. I do not intrude into monogamous posts and suggest that there is a problem with using their terminology. Seems a little knit picky to me.

Anyway, again D thank you for offering a positive alternative to the terms and discussion.

Best,

Christopher


I think it probably is a matter of uncertainty more than any anti sentiment. Polyamorous is a charged word. It doesn't have one set meaning for everyone, but rather different people use it to mean very different things. I have seen people use the term for themselves as swingers. I have seen people use it when they instead have something more akin to polyfidelity or polygamy. I have seen it used by people who were flat out just cheating on their spouse or SO. I no longer even use the word most of the time, instead opting for either a more accurate term to the situation or just saying non-monogamy.

With language of any sort, we bring our own baggage to the table with us. If one person is talking about a committed polyfidelity situation, but the person they are talking to has only seen people who cheat on their love interests call themselves poly, then of course that is how they color what is being said. Add to this other aspects such as the nature of each person being unique so that some will never be able to see anything true in certain views (I've seen it on both sides of poly and mono). Slap in a dash of various religious beliefs and you have a loaded word that can never fully be separated from the ideas already in the head of the reader. I think here, if anywhere, is the one place you can at least talk about it without it degrading into insults. Paul's policies force us to discuss in a civilized manner. So anyone commenting here is trying to better grasp what they may not fully understand and to try to see where your viewpoints fully stand. If someone flat out hates they idea or thinks poly is BS, they probably won't comment in the first place.

I would forward that each person who has commented in this thread questioning something, is not anti-poly, but in fact is genuinely curious about aspects they don't have a solid handle on. In the end, they may continue to disagree with your interpretations, but they do wish to at least see from your own perspective and understand the what and why. It may indeed be a little nitt pickey, but in the end that is to be expected with any term having a social, moral and/or political charge associated with it.
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Nicely stated D. I genuinely appreciate your prospectives and that you have been able to articulate things so well. I wish I had your gift. It might make this conversation move forward more smoothly. Kind regards, Christopher
 
Christopher Kyprianos
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Many thanks to the great support folks here. They were able to update the thread title. I am optimistically curious to see if this improves the volume and tone of the responses.
 
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