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New Intentional Community, Eco-Village, Permaculture Farm looking for start-up members

 
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Hi everyone,

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:

Kirby Mason
kirbymason@yahoo.com
1-310-902-0243
 
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Kirby, I'm glad you started this thread. I know we have talked about this idea and I would like to help form this community so count me in. I live in Arkansas so I'll be checking out land for sale and help out with that for now.


Gene
 
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I think this sounds perfect!  Actually what I have been looking for since 2017 (the year I had to escape my homestead, for reasons I am happy to talk to you about).  The issue I keep running into is most people like to talk about it, not be about it.  I stay hopeful and am still looking to be apart of an ecovillage that I can help lift up.  So, I would like to follow you on this post.  I actually have the experience, so I am not all talk.  
 
Kirby Mason
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Fae,

I definitely know how you feel. I've been thinking about how to do it for a few years too. Now though it seems like the time has come for me, and with a committed group, we definitely can make it happen. I'll be "interning" at a farm near Russellville, AR starting in a month and really hope that things get rolling soon. So far, we have 3 out of the 10 or so folks we might need to begin.

Please get in touch to talk more!

Thanks,

Kirby
kirbymason@yahoo.com
310-902-0243
 
Gene Short
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Kirby,

I've been looking at land in the area of the River Valley of Arkansas and it seems to go for around $2000.00 an acre. I think that it might be better to look for an old farmhouse(to fix up) with electricity and water and maybe fewer acres. I'll keep searching and hopefully more people will want to get on board with this endeavor.

Gene
 
Gene Short
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Kirby Mason wrote:Fae,

I definitely know how you feel. I've been thinking about how to do it for a few years too. Now though it seems like the time has come for me, and with a committed group, we definitely can make it happen. I'll be "interning" at a farm near Russellville, AR starting in a month and really hope that things get rolling soon. So far, we have 3 out of the 10 or so folks we might need to begin.

Please get in touch to talk more!

Thanks,

Kirby
kirbymason@yahoo.com
310-902-0243



I've read a couple of posts on here about having 20 or even 200 people come together to form a village or community and I think some of the ideas in those posts could pertain to what we're wanting to do. I think others are out there that want to do this but are afraid to do it because of the differences in opinions of how it should take place. Finding like minded folks to pursue this is probably the hardest part of achieving it. I saw a video on here about a family of 4 making $20,000.00 a year on 1/10 of an acre and it impressed me very much.

I think some of the things we're looking for is  to feed ourselves first, store foods for the winter months, and sell the rest to others  in the surrounding communities. In the video the guy called it homesteadville where his family lived next to him and their families and others lived there next to one another. If they do it on 1/10th of an acre could you imagine what ten or twenty acres would be like and having others right next to us doing it.

With 10 people in a large enough house with existing infrastructure and 10 to 20 acres I think they could make enough money to pay the bills and even recoup the startup investment easily. Just my 2 cents.

Gene
 
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Hi Kirby,
I am looking to start a community in the St. Louis area in the not too distant future.  Not quite in your location, I realize. But I have to say I really liked the "Mindset" paragraph and plan to plagiarize it when I start making posts. Good luck and let me know if you ever make it up to St. Louis area, would be interested to hear your experiences.
Tim Ely
tely5@yahoo.com
 
Kirby Mason
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Thanks Tim, plagiarize away!
 
Kirby Mason
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LOCATION UPDATE: We are now looking for land in Northwest Arkansas. If you're interested in getting in on the ground floor, don't hesitate to talk to us now! Check out our posting on ic.org for pics of the property we are looking at.

https://www.ic.org/directory/independence-farm-community/

Thanks!

Kirby
310-902-0243
 
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