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Communities!

Gray Simpson


Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
What are some examples of self-sufficient communities (whether intentional, or simply the right people in the right place at the right time) that have been formed within the past few decades and are succeeding? What are some that have fallen apart? Where can I read about them?
Deb Stephens


Joined: Dec 03, 2011
Posts: 177
Location: SW Missouri
    
    2
Gray Simpson wrote:What are some examples of self-sufficient communities (whether intentional, or simply the right people in the right place at the right time) that have been formed within the past few decades and are succeeding? What are some that have fallen apart? Where can I read about them?



The right people, place and time is going to be very subjective. It really depends more upon what you are looking for than what other people have found. As to examples and where to read about them, I suggest you start here -- combing the threads on this forum. It has all been discussed a million times up one side and down the other. You will be amazed!
Chris Mott


Joined: Mar 27, 2012
Posts: 13
Here's a good site to browse:

http://directory.ic.org/iclist/
doug peddle


Joined: Apr 26, 2012
Posts: 11
http://www.diggersanddreamers.org.uk/

A great link to many UK communities!

Also...

http://www.lammas.org.uk/

Perhaps my favourite place in the uk right now, they are definitely successful having negotiated their community through the planning process!

Cheers,
Doug
Gray Simpson


Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 67
Location: McDonough, GA
Thanks. I should have said that I'm especially looking for books I can pick up at the library.
George Alchemy


Joined: Jun 05, 2011
Posts: 27
The only book on creating communities that I recommend is Diana Leafe Christian's "Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities"

There are any number of books about communes historical - my experience is that books usually focus on either the "historic" 17th, 18th, 19th century communities or the 'recent past' 20th century communities. I like [Professor] Tim Miller's books - he has written about both. One thing you'll learn from these books is that most communities don't last very long.

A book I found very useful is the long out-of-print "Commitment and Community: Communes and Utopias in Sociological Perspective" by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. It is a sociological view of historical communes - and looks at the factors that groups that endured had in commune which groups that failed did not. Sadly, historic data shows that not that many groups survive the death of their charismatic founder.

I don't want to imply that it is easy to live sustainably or to do permaculture - my experience is that agriculture is hard work - and there is very interesting and tricky technology too - but my experience is that the difficult part about creating and sustaining community is the people - ie "we have met the enemy, and they is us."

Our communities (two in California, one in Hawaii) have been around 43 years however we are not "sustainable". We are headed towards sustainable, but very slowly.
Andrew Schreiber


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 125
Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
    
    5
Howdy,

I live in an intentional community that has been around since the early 70's. we have some writings on our website which might give you some insight into how we operate, and perhaps how we have survived for so long!

Windward.org

we have an ongoing blog called "notes from Windward" since the mid 90's. Here's a link to the newest years Notes:

Windward.org/notes/notes72/index72

I have to take my hat off to George Alchemy who said
... my experience is that the difficult part about creating and sustaining community is the people - ie "we have met the enemy, and they is us."


why do communities fail? because we have lost the capacity to operate well in community. I have little doubt that there is nothing more human than living in a close knit and accountable community. And I have no doubt that most people recoil in terror when they are actually given the opportunity to live in it. I think most communities that make it past there first anniversary end up failing for a lot of complex reasons. Nothing which can be explained as simply as in a book. But at the base of it, people fail to be able to sustain the creative tension necessary to both live with a hi degree of honesty and accountability, while also providing for there basic needs within the context of a wider social system (modern America) that is fundamentally hostile to self-reliant community.

my 2cents for what it is worth.


Windward Intentional Community

Weekend intensive course April 5-7:
[url=http://www.permies.com/t/31309/rockies/Workshop-Creating-Productive-Food-Forest]
Creating Productive Food Forest Ecosystems - Techniques for Urban, Small and Large Acreage
[/url]


Andrew Schreiber


Joined: Apr 01, 2012
Posts: 125
Location: Zone 6a, Wahkiacus, WA
    
    5
Hi Gary,

The community I live at (windward) has been around for a few decades. I'd say it is pretty darn successful, particularly in the subtle aspects of social sustainability. While we may have less accomplished in the physical permaculture stuff, we have a solid representative consensus model which is in our bylaws.

We have lots of articles going back more than 10 years. We used to publish a newsletter in print, but haven't digitized the first decade of newsletters yet....

Windward is a small community, not like the hundreds of people at dancing rabbit ecovillage or the farm. two communities in the states that you may want to look into. They have good resources online.

there is also Communities Magazine published by the Federation of Intentional Communities that someone linked to above.

Hope all that is found useful to you,
Andrew


Alder Burns
pollinator

Joined: Feb 25, 2012
Posts: 789
Location: northern California
    
  20
You might someday take a ride about 3 hours south of you to Koinonia Partners, near Americus. It's a spiritual community that's been there since 1942 and is converting more and more of its 600+ acres to permaculture. It was actually the site of the first two or three PDC's taught in the state of Georgia.....See koinoniapartners.org


Alder Burns (adiantum)
Paulo Bessa
pollinator

Joined: Jun 15, 2012
Posts: 330
Location: Portugal (zone 9) and Iceland (zone 5)
    
    5
Gray Simpson wrote:What are some examples of self-sufficient communities (whether intentional, or simply the right people in the right place at the right time) that have been formed within the past few decades and are succeeding? What are some that have fallen apart? Where can I read about them?


The only self-sufficiency community I have visited was in India: Auroville. They are a large community of 1000 people, divided in individual projects of around 20-100 people across a wide area. Quite an interesting project.

They have a large degree of food self-sufficiency that nears 100% in a few of those subcommunities. They were growing their own grains, rice, pulses, fruits, vegetables and mushrooms.

In Europe I never met a self-sufficiency community, in terms of food. In think most don't really make the necessary effort to reach that. Small homesteads might be a different story, but I haven't discover one yet.

In North America, there is one homestead project, Path to Freedom, that nears 75% of their own food self-sufficiency, but they do not grow their own rice nor grain, but they only have a very small urban area.

In Australia, the original permaculture farm from Bill Mollisson was largely self-sufficiency.

Even more to my opinion was the Fukuoka farm. Yes, 99% self-sufficiency, they were growing everything they ate, except soy souce and seaweed. Of course, Fukuoka was famous for its method of growing rice and grain.

And I am only speaking about food self-sufficiency, energy self-sufficiency is another matter.

I have heard about a couple of near 100% food and energy self-sufficiency projects in Hawaii.


Our projects:
in Portugal, sheltered terraces facing eastwards, high water table, uphill original forest of pines, oaks and chestnuts. 2000m2
in Iceland: converted flat lawn, compacted poor soil, cold, windy, humid climate, cold, short summer. 50m2
 
 
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