My name is Kirby Mason, and I'm looking for like-minded folks who are interested in forming a new intentional community/eco-village for permaculture and related community-based activities. We are in the very early stages of planning, and below you can find the basics of what we are looking to do though they most likely will evolve some as we go along.
Location: Central Arkansas - the area of the Arkansas river valley south from the Ozark National Forest to the north side of the Ouachita National Forest and between Ft. Smith in the west and Little Rock in the east. Ideally it will be somewhat near an urban center to take advantage of existing services such as internet, electricity and water. In the future though, we'd like to be able to produce our own electricity and water.
Size & Population: To start, we're thinking of 50-100 acres and maybe 10-20 people but this could vary up or down.
Goal: To form a community of people that can take care of most of the needs of its members in as sustainable, self-sufficient and natural a way as possible. We, as the community, will provide to members: acceptance, belonging, housing, food, opportunities to live, grow and develop in a healthy farming environment, education or help in accessing education, freedom of choice and lifestyle while still offering meaningful service to our community, and probably many more things that I'm not thinking of just this moment that modern society fails to provide or even consider as essential to healthy living.
Membership and organization: We want to keep things as simple as possible while still maintaining flexibility and order. At present we are looking into forming a 501(c)(5) non-profit or an LLC, but other options may turn out to be better. Our goal is that the community is truly that, a community of equals without hierarchical organization or bureaucracy or formalized power structures - more like a collection of families who together form an extended family of community. Therefore we are looking for people who can make an investment of approximately $10,000 towards the purchase of land and necessary equipment and materials to establish "the farm." Regardless of the form the group takes from a "legal standpoint," all adult members will share equal standing in decision making and ownership. We're thinking the total start-up cost might be $150,000-$200,000.
Mindset: All people from all walks of life are welcome without discrimination or judgment. However, we are NOT open to extreme views that throw life out of balance including the following: racism, gun culture, drug use, religious zealotry, exploitative or narcissistic beliefs and behavior and other stuff that makes people want to say, "Chill out." If you can simply live a reasonably healthy lifestyle, accept others for who they are and the choices they make for themselves and generally tolerate and get along with others while making a regular and positive contribution to the community and the necessary work on the farm, then you're in! One example might be that you are a Buddhist but while you certainly are free to talk openly about your faith, you do not try to impress it upon others who are not open to it, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, you do not hold others in contempt or deem them to be less valuable because their beliefs differ from yours. Another example might be that you come from a background as a systems analyst or some occupation where material efficiency is tantamount and while it may bother you that things on the farm are not done in the best possible and most efficient way, you put more value on humanity and community and social harmony than on achieving quantifiable results so that you temper your remarks and expectations and work with others as they are, realizing that sometimes the value of healthy living choices are not always in line with the value of ruthlessly pursued material efficiency.
To get more information or to get involved in the creative process, please contact Kirby at: