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HELP! I Jumped off the Deep End & Started an Ecovillage  RSS feed

 
Johnny Blayze
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hugelkultur toxin-ectomy woodworking
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Hello All, I am new as a poster but have been lurking in the shadows osmosing all the knowledge in the various forums for use whenever I was able.

Now the time has come. As of 2 days ago I left my $50,000/yr job and jumped off the deep end to go after my dream of starting an ecovillage/intentional community.

First let me give you the ground work. My wife and I went to an all organic, 100% chemical free and natural lifestyle about 5 years ago. Since then we've been discussing our ultimate goal. For a while we batted the tiny house idea around because it seemed to be the most likely candidate to fit into our budget. Late in November my mother passed away and left me a decent inheritance. Since the capital came in, though it came with tragedy in tow, we have decided to start the community we've always wanted to find to honor my mothers memory and leave a lasting legacy for our future generations.

The plan is now to find more folks (yep you guys) who are interested on going on this journey with us as well as glean any knowledge we can from the fine folks here at this forum.

Our vision for what we have deemed, The Wanderlust Cooperative, is to be a harmonious ecovillage with a group of like minded organic people who can earn their daily living from the community selling wares, crafts, skills, etc. Though we have not yet purchased land we will be looking to do so in the next few months somewhere in middle Tennessee and with the help and participation from some others, we may be able to purchase a sizable plat of land. I plan to purchase a minimum of 50+ acres if I have to finance it myself, but if some others show interest that can be revisited. We plan to construct a main building, centrally located for community meetings, entertainment, and other activities. From there we will erect different work zones (wood shop, glass house, green house, forge, etc). Each residence or member home will be built in a manner that fits our ideals but can be chosen by each family or individual along with the necessary upgrades for whatever power they intend to consume. We intend to selectively harvest trees on property for construction materials, and intend to reuse as much of our waste as possible (compost, saving scrap metal to melt down for raw materials in the forge, saving glass for the glass blowing house, etc) We want to have the least amount of negative effect on the land as we can but still be able to sustain the community. We plan to raise a limited selection of livestock and will have a large aeroponic greenhouse to utilize full year growing. Future plans include a venue for concerts and festivals, as well as a small eco-resort that will not be a part of the main community but will be used as a tourist venue and visitor housing. (think - You want to live in a tiny house/earthship/earthbag/cobb/etc house, then come here and try it, sort of thing).

We will start to offer workshops soon after acquiring the land and we will use those workshops to get the bulk of our central building completed. We plan to continue to be an educational center for all aspects of homesteading, organic gardening and food production, organic livestock farming and so much more. We feel that the knowledge we have worked so hard to obtain should be made available to everyone so that they can be inspired to do the same and continue spreading the message.

There are already a few families that we are close with who intend to become a part of this and we will be open to anyone from anywhere with any belief system. We love people, ALL people, every race, creed, sexual orientation, etc that you can think of and we want to have a diverse community of intellectual people who want to change the world.

Understand that this community is literally at its infancy but it is not by any means a pipe dream. I have the capital to invest if I have to do the land purchase on my own initially. I also have more drive and motivation to make this a success than any that have come before me. So if you have any opinions, horror stories, questions, advice or suggestions, please respond and expound until you burst. I will soak in any and all knowledge offered. If you've read my entire diatribe and think that you'd be interested in joining in on this crazy adventure we'd love to talk to you but there is only one thing that you have to remember - WE ARE THE ONES WHO HAVE TO CHANGE THE WORLD! By showing people what is possible, we can make this dream a reality for ourselves and many more folks.

Thanks for reading as I ramble on ad nauseum but I truly am looking for your thoughts. I can't wait to see what you all think and to see what kinds of help I know you'll have.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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If you haven't read it yet, I recommend Creating a Life Together by Diana Leafe Christian, which discusses why most intentional communities fail and how to avoid the pitfalls.
 
Johnny Blayze
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Actually Tyler, that was the first book I read when we made this decision. But thank you for the suggestion.
 
Travis Schultz
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Where are you looking to buy land? Any ideas as of yet?
 
Johnny Blayze
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My in-laws live in Putnam county in middle Tennessee so we are looking for something within an hour of where they are. We will also be using their farm as a satellite farm to ours. They'll be handling all the beef cattle and hay production.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Johnny Blayze wrote:a harmonious ecovillage with a group of like minded organic people who can earn their daily living from the community selling wares, crafts, skills, etc.


It is very tough to make a living as a craftsperson, but if you're able to keep your expenses down by growing your own food and avoiding debt, you might be able to manage it. Do you have an income for daily expenses, or will you be living on the inheritance initially? Remember any business will have a long startup period during which it makes little, if any, money. I think this is one thing people don't think of enough, they think "I'll quit my job and make a living as a farmer" not thinking about the very long learning curve for any business. Your plans are fabulously ambitious, and I do love the idea of a crafts village. There needs to be a market for the crafts and good salespeople among the group.
 
Michael Holloway
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Hey i am interested in buying land and doing the same thing with some good hearted harmonious people i know...we are wanting to move closer to an earthship community...will be buying property in Tennessee or Kentucky sometime this year and seen this post...looks like we have some of the same ideas...when will you be buying land and would you be willing too see a few arces to someone with likeminded ideas
 
Sandra Harriette
Posts: 39
Location: Maryland + DC + Virginia
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Johnny Blayze wrote:Hello All, I am new as a poster but have been lurking in the shadows osmosing all the knowledge in the various forums for use whenever I was able.

Now the time has come. As of 2 days ago I left my $50,000/yr job and jumped off the deep end to go after my dream of starting an ecovillage/intentional community.

First let me give you the ground work. My wife and I went to an all organic, 100% chemical free and natural lifestyle about 5 years ago. Since then we've been discussing our ultimate goal. For a while we batted the tiny house idea around because it seemed to be the most likely candidate to fit into our budget. Late in November my mother passed away and left me a decent inheritance. Since the capital came in, though it came with tragedy in tow, we have decided to start the community we've always wanted to find to honor my mothers memory and leave a lasting legacy for our future generations.



I'm sorry to hear about your loss. It seems like it's marking a new season for you.

Congrats on embarking upon this journey.


Our vision for what we have deemed, The Wanderlust Cooperative, is to be a harmonious ecovillage with a group of like minded organic people who can earn their daily living from the community selling wares, crafts, skills, etc. Though we have not yet purchased land we will be looking to do so in the next few months somewhere in middle Tennessee and with the help and participation from some others, we may be able to purchase a sizable plat of land. I plan to purchase a minimum of 50+ acres if I have to finance it myself, but if some others show interest that can be revisited. We plan to construct a main building, centrally located for community meetings, entertainment, and other activities. From there we will erect different work zones (wood shop, glass house, green house, forge, etc). Each residence or member home will be built in a manner that fits our ideals but can be chosen by each family or individual along with the necessary upgrades for whatever power they intend to consume.


Understand that this community is literally at its infancy but it is not by any means a pipe dream. I have the capital to invest if I have to do the land purchase on my own initially. I also have more drive and motivation to make this a success than any that have come before me. So if you have any opinions, horror stories, questions, advice or suggestions, please respond and expound until you burst.


I was in Tennesse in 2015 and it is beautiful, one of the best states to get land for this purpose, especially in the southern parts. What would you want each co-owner to contribute?

I have been to a few communities already within the past years. Gained a lot both in positive and, unfortunately, some toxic experiences. I'd love to share more. It's a lot to start out with so I won't inundate you too much for now.
 
Gail Moore
Posts: 209
Location: south central Appalachia, southwest Virginia, US zone 6/7
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Hi,

just want to add that there are folks of all sorts  who are interested in communities of all sorts, for folks who are disabled in many various ways.

Coalition for Community Choice.

coalitionforcommunitychoice.org

ANd


the Autism Housing Network.

autismhousingnetwork.org

Desiree Kameka is the person to contact for helping to start communities/ projects for all.


 
E. Diane Langley
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  Hi there, my significant other and i are interested in your offer.. I do intend to read through again, i just know that i am in need of making a change in my life... Born and raised here in east Tn. about 20 mins. from Knoxville, i am living in Oak Ridge at this time... We rent a room from an older couple and have been here for for a year and half.. After becoming homeless for a little over a yr. I have became very depressed after the death of my oldest brother that i was very close to.. Than a few months later losing my other two brothers to being institutionalized.. Than like that wasn't enough, losing contact with the rest of my family... Still at times i find myself thinking of the snowball effect that my brothers death had on our family i still find myself having to make time to get off to myself to allow myself to cry... This event was a tragedy to not just me but my entire family... I am in my late 40's and i guess you might say i am looking for a place that i will fit in.... I tend to spend to much time in my room alone or isolate myself, and i know this is not good... Still i find it easier than being rejected, turned away or shunned by others.. I want to find a new area that perhaps i may be able to start over.. I don't want much, a roof over my head, food, a tiny place is perfect for me.. I am used to getting by on very little and making due with what i have... I would enjoy the freedom of being able to pitch in to help others.. I want the freedom to be able to out in my yard or field close by and build or construct a shed or perhaps just a small building to keep other projects or shelter.. I hope to hear back, if not i wish you all the very best and may you be blessed in your plans...

                                              E.D.Langley
                                                
                                                 ( Diane )
 
Alder Burns
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Location: northern California
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I would definitely check out ic.org if I were you....the premier website for intentional communities of all sorts.  You can search it by location and keyword.  You may well find several within easy travel distance to go and visit, get a feel for how they actually work.  I second the recommendation of Diana Christian's book.   There are a few well-attested ways to start and make a community work, and there are rather more ways to crash it spectacularly.
 
scott romack
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Hello,

I am interested. What is the status on the land purchase and how much land is used on each homestead?
 
Dustin Nemos
Posts: 95
Location: Central TN
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Recently launched a voluntaryist eco village in Tennessee myself (2mos ago) in Lawrence county. We should chat !
 
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