hey Alex. We are a family of three, a couple and a 2 year old. We currently own 6 acres in Quilcene, wa which is in Jefferson County. We are living on the Oregon Coast right now in Tillamook County and we are landless here. We are looking to share land with a few families and had set up the same idea, that the land between 20 and 30 acres would be owned in the form of a land trust and each family would own their own acre or two and the rest would be shared in the trust. Many local land trusts have great models for this.
I have a lot of info about both the counties mentioned above. Jefferson County has already established co-operatives and there are a few strawbale homes that have been approved by the county in near by Port Townsend. There is also a healthy community of young people here and a great organic agriculture movement. The only downsides are a lot of driving. Way too spread out, unless you live in Port Townsend proper, where you wont be able to find 20-30 acres at a decent price, if at all. This means people can get quite isolated, there is a general feeling of lack of community as everyone is nestled into their own separate 5 acres.
Here in Tillamook County, I know of no straw bale homes, not to say that they are not possible. Land is a bit more expensive then up in Washington, but there is an amazing community here as well. Many elders are here with a huge amount of community organization experience. We could use some more young people, but they are slowly trickling in. I think the land prices are hard for some young people to afford. There is a budding agriculture movement, some long time farms but not as many as up in Washington. Things are really close-in here in Nehalem where we live and you could easily spend less then 2 hours in your car for a whole week, where in Washington 2 hours could have been a daily average. I think there is more energy in the air here for land sharing.
Both areas have great rainfall, more in Oregon. Both areas have access to organic food and gardening products, building materials. Each has great positives and each has its downfall. We are still unsure of where we want to settle, so I think what will decide this is which place can we find people who are really interested in throwing the towel down and digging into this cooperative experience. Community is everything and it can change your whole life. Can't wait to find others that really care about the experience.
I will send you links or info when I come across good land for sale regardless of whether or not we ever team up.
Our situation is. we would need to sell our land in Quilcene in order to buy into another piece. We could have about 90k to put into land and buildings.
Good luck and keep in touch!