I'm a member in a small, but long-standing community called Windward in the eastern Cascades in Washington State. We're on 130 acres of dryland Ponderoda and Oregon White Oak woodland.
Originally began in the Nevada Desert in the 70's, but moved to land in WA in the late 80's. In 2005 the founding members began a a pursuit of finding the next generation of people to take this community and it's land and capital forward into the future. The community has since transformed into something quite different than it was. And I believe very much for the better.
-- this is where all you courageous hearts come in --
The community has not been permaculture focused for most of it's existence, but has been working on modeling economic and social resiliency more than "ecological sustainability" which seems to be the hot button word nowadays for what people used to call, making a living with the land.
Personal bit: I came to Windward in 2008, and shortly thereafter discovered permaculture. As a lead land-steward I am working to "retofit" the communities existing infrastructure to basically, work better. There is lots of work to be done for sure, I'd love to have more partners to envision and co-create on this wonderful (And big) piece of land.
it is not a "blank slate" there is a lot of infrastructure in place, and still much to build. And quite an elaborate dance of trying to adjust the patterns of development to work toward a much higher level of productivity and resilience.
Windward is a "sex positive" community. That means, we think sex is great and that it is a good wholesome activity to engage in. More than anything, people get all tied up in knots when we talk about sexuality having a role to play in building and sustaining a small community in deep country. So reckon I should at least put it out on the table right off the bat so people know that if you're thinking about joining, that we're going to talk about sexuality and intimacy - and how we are working to create a culture that again has sexuality and person-to-person relationships integrated into a larger "tribe" kind of context.
Our website has loads of content from over 10 years of article writing and bloging. www.windward.org You'll also see the most recent stuff we've been working on.
Happy to answer people's questions on this forum or over purple-moosages.
Looking forward to hearing from folks who are interested in conversating!
Andrew, sounds like you know what you need to move this community to the next level. Fresh minds, hearts and hands go along way to bringing new energy to not only the land but the others who live on it. I have lived in several IC communities and have a strong background in permaculture design and build out. I know for sure having a good foundation to build on is a big plus. I would love to talk more with you about your vision and how we might help with bringing that forward, thanks Gardener Ziggy
I have been researching intentional communities in my spare time for a few months now. Windward is one of the first to really intrigue me, aside from Soleri's Arcosanti in Arizona. A little about me, I suppose - I am in my final semester of graduate school as a geographer and land use planner, and have focused heavily in sustainable development practices. My studies have led me to believe that cities are largely to blame for many of society's ills, and that the urban enfranchised are disinclined towards corrective action given the profit to be made from the inherent inequality within our urban systems. The competitive spirit of American culture destroys community, while the cooperative spirit of the intentional community has proven inspirational. I had not expected to find people of like mind already gathered together until I discovered intentional communities.
With my education concluding, and a better understanding of the intentional community movement, I have begun envisioning what a well-planned, permaculture driven community could be. I firmly believe that communities such as Windward can be both self sufficient and realize profit for the community through sustainable technologies and practices. I suppose more succinctly I am attempting to present this point - I would very much love to be involved with your community in some capacity. I hope this post has also expressed some of what I believe, and expressed my excitement with your community and its vision. I have also rambled a bit in order to present you the opportunity to inform me if my iconclastic beliefs run contrary to that vision. Regardless, I applaud your efforts, and have faith that you will be successful. Thank you for reading, and be well.
Andrew, Your post has struck a chord. My family has been researching intentional community living for almost 3 years now. We've never found a place that felt like it could really work for us. Usually the "sex positive or Poly" aspect of my relationship with my wife freaks people out. I'm going to check out your website but I thought I would post a reply here as well.
We are a family of 5. Myself, my wife and our 7yo daughter, we also have a cat who just turned 7 and a 6month old puppy. My wife and I have been feeling very trapped by the "rat race" of suburban life and our health has suffered. We are college educated (my wife has a bachlors in biology and criminal justice (double major) and currently works for water quality. I finished real estate school, but taught preschool for 5 years and we are also girl scout troop leaders, and we enjoy crafting and growing the few things we can as renters, and cooking together. I quilt and sew, I like to make jewlery and dread jewlery, and many other types of artistic crafts. We currently home school our daughter who is advanced for her age. My wife prefers to work outside the home as we have a serious need for health insurance, she has epilepsy and has to keep on her medication, though we have recently started researching CBD oils and Marijuana as an alternative to the chemicals in her medications, but we have to consult with her neurologist before we get too far on our own with that aspect.
we're nerds, we like to read a lot, play D&D, sit around talking and listening to music and we do like to play video games but not as much now that we're a bit older. We currently live in Texas, but we've been looking at job options for my wife in Washington and we're hoping to be able to move there when our lease is up, possibly sooner if she can find a job, or something else works out.
We are not afraid of hard work. My wife lived on undeveloped land as a child until she graduated high school, they didn't have running water and they had to make due with a lot of unconventional ways of life. She learned canning, and baking among a few other things like hunting and dressing and fishing.
I had a more conventional upbringing, but I'm ready for a change, my grand parents owned a farm and I used to help with the garden, we grew squash, corn, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, strawberries, and had a pear and an apple tree. I want to learn more about growing an herb garden for cooking and medicinal purposes. We want our daughter to grow up and be self sufficient, we want to raise our family in a community of healthy adults who are supportive, protective, accepting and free of religious bias. I feel like our life has so much potential, we just need to find the place where we fit in peace and harmony, and many adult conversations!
Here. Have a potato. I grew it in my armpit. And from my other armpit, this tiny ad:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard