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Intentional Community: Do You Daydream about One?

 
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So many people seem to be wishing for a different community than the one they live in--I am amazed at how frequently someone posts in this forum. Why?


I wonder how possible most people's idealized vision of a community actually is. What I wish for I don't think could possibly happen, unless I figure out how to build a time machine.  

I would love to chat with a bunch of folks and ask, "Why isn't the neighborhood you live in 'your place' and you wish for another?" If people are clear about the core of what they are wishing for, they can often make tweaks to their present situation to at least begin moving in the direction of their desired community.
 
pollinator
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I find intentional communities interesting for the simple reason that I am curious as to what a group of people, with a similar mindset, can do in close proximity.

Personally, I am about at my limit in terms of what I can manage on our property.   Granted we have been running a rather outsized biochar production project for the past several years, but I’m hoping to wrap that up in the next 12 months or so, and be able to turn my attention to other things.  Even with the extra time, I know that there is no way I am going to produce much more than 50% of our food while I heat with wood, cook with wood, maintain the house, maintain the vehicles, maintain the equipment, parent my children, maintain relationships, read/write and rest.

In just the last several months, I’ve become part of a small local group interested in permaculture, which has been great.  Sadly, we are sprinkled across two counties and it requires a great deal of fuel for us to spend time together.  

Over the past 16 years on our property, we’ve done our best to be good neighbors, and would say that we are on good terms with each other.  While they have even stated that they admire our lifestyle, many are older and don’t have any desire to emulate us.  I also feel that there is an unstated “arms length” rule in our rural community that applies to people outside of family, church, or lifelong friends.  Pretty much all of our close friends in the area  are what I call “expats” and did not grow up here.

While I find intentional communities interesting, they all seem a bit intense on the interpersonal side for me.  I think I would just be happy with 5-6 permie neighbors that were willing to share knowledge, rides to town, tools/equipment, baby sitting and swap homegrown products.  Sound simple enough, right?
 
Rachel Lindsay
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Almost any group of people is interesting to me--that's why I read psychology and business books!  I love to see how people organize themselves and set priorities, make decisions, and revise their decisions and intentions as a group.

Personally I would particularly be interested in a religiously-based, agricultural community--similar to the Amish, but with my particular religious background. To my knowledge, nothing like this has existed for at least 60 years.
 
pollinator
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Why do people seem to be longing to move to an intentional community?
Why isn't the place they live their place and why do they long for another?

EGO
in order for the neighborhoods we live in to be our place--we generally need to do work--both internal work and external work. And (most) humans, like water, look for the path of least resistance.

But I do believe it is generally more fruitful to work to bring your current community nearer your dream, then up an move to another.
Socrates said, "He who is not content with what he has, would not be content with that which he would like to have." or something like that.
 
pollinator
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If your ideal lifestyle differs radically from the mainstream then you might think that a community of like-minded people is your best option to realize it within a reasonable timeframe. It's also easier for people in a community to feel justified in pursuing goals that might seem strange to outsiders.

If a solid foundation is built, then people will come. Another question to ask might be why most societies try to suppress people trying to create novel ways of living peacefully.
 
pollinator
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A community based on shared values and actions could be amazing, and invigorating. This is the dream.

A community facing a divergence in how shared values and actions are interpreted and executed can become a stressful and toxic nightmare.

I have found that the best path is to contribute with my whole heart, but keep my balance and know my own path. And be prepared to respectfully withdraw when the dinosaur brains start clubbing each other with their tails. Sorry, dinos, I can't be bothered so I'll just toddle off into the sunset. I have books to read and pollinators to feed. See you around.
 
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My husband and I have five acres in Oregon that we are working toward building self sufficiency. My dream is to buy some of the property around us and create a "tribe" of people working together. I believe that humans evolved to live in groups and our culture of "individualism" has created a society of very isolated people.
 
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Gray Henon wrote:I find intentional communities interesting for the simple reason that I am curious as to what a group of people, with a similar mindset, can do in close proximity.

Personally, I am about at my limit in terms of what I can manage on our property.   Granted we have been running a rather outsized biochar production project for the past several years, but I’m hoping to wrap that up in the next 12 months or so, and be able to turn my attention to other things.  Even with the extra time, I know that there is no way I am going to produce much more than 50% of our food while I heat with wood, cook with wood, maintain the house, maintain the vehicles, maintain the equipment, parent my children, maintain relationships, read/write and rest.

In just the last several months, I’ve become part of a small local group interested in permaculture, which has been great.  Sadly, we are sprinkled across two counties and it requires a great deal of fuel for us to spend time together.  

Over the past 16 years on our property, we’ve done our best to be good neighbors, and would say that we are on good terms with each other.  While they have even stated that they admire our lifestyle, many are older and don’t have any desire to emulate us.  I also feel that there is an unstated “arms length” rule in our rural community that applies to people outside of family, church, or lifelong friends.  Pretty much all of our close friends in the area  are what I call “expats” and did not grow up here.

While I find intentional communities interesting, they all seem a bit intense on the interpersonal side for me.  I think I would just be happy with 5-6 permie neighbors that were willing to share knowledge, rides to town, tools/equipment, baby sitting and swap homegrown products.  Sound simple enough, right?



I really resonated with this post. I have a similar longing. I too live in an area where the population are above the age of 65 and not open to new acquaintances. Some intentional communities seem to be a little too emmeshed with one another, that would deplete me in no time. It would be nice to have a smaller group of like minded which we could count on for specific things without being glued to the hip.Made me pleased to find out i am not the only one feeling this way😊🙏
I hope you find what you are looking for
 
Elia Freeman
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Melissa Ferrin wrote:Why do people seem to be longing to move to an intentional community?
Why isn't the place they live their place and why do they long for another?

EGO
in order for the neighborhoods we live in to be our place--we generally need to do work--both internal work and external work. And (most) humans, like water, look for the path of least resistance.

But I do believe it is generally more fruitful to work to bring your current community nearer your dream, then up an move to another.
Socrates said, "He who is not content with what he has, would not be content with that which he would like to have." or something like that.



some neighbourhoods feel like squeezing a dry orange. Instead of obssessively squeeze the peel to see if juice comes out of it is best to move on to find "juicier fruits"😁
sometimes it is OK to realise the place you have landed on is in opposition with your values, rather than changing their or own values.... i feel it is better to move elsewhere in search of a good resonance instead of constant dissonance.
 
gardener
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it's a complicated question. we are planning our "buy the farm farm" right now, where we hope to grow old along with a few beloved relatives.

we have been relatively unhappy (? strong word) with where we are for a while, but it's a necessary evil of sorts: good place for our businesses, was a good place for my kid to grow up, right now she's in a college on a full ride, once she graduates we'll be leaving.
the main reason we're going to leave, frankly is for lack of community. we want to be closer to the rest of the family, and i want to be in a city/region where i feel a bit more comfortable being who i am. participate in my faith community, which doesn't really exist here. also, a tiny bit closer to the equator so i don't have to suffer in the winter and maybe can have some reliable solar energy.

i think a lot of people settle or make sacrifices with where they live because you usually can't have it all: most people can't be close to family and friends and things they like (culture, city, large airport, good medical care) and have a decent paying job and live in a town they love and and and and all at the same time. if you can, you're lucky as heck. otherwise, you make do with what you can. I like this idea ^^ about resonance rather than constant dissonance.

we knew right up front (From when i met my husband) there would be sacrifices, and both of us have lived abroad most of our lives, so give and take (far from family, stranger in a strange land, new language, etc) is just part of how we roll. i'm looking forward to taking it up to the next level.
 
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My parents come from a closed community of Old Order Mennonites. They left 2 years before I was born. I work for and with Old Order Amish. These cultures work because they are like minded and in close proximity to each other. The Mennonite community my parents came from is no longer thriving for various reasons but they do remain active. I have watched their close relationships for all my life and wondered why non plain people are so cold towards one another. i attended public school and experienced secular culture there and my parents attended a charismatic church for several years. With all these different cultures I had a taste of, I never found anything as tight knit as the Amish. I have no interest in following their ordnung (discipline) but I would love to recreate the close relationships. My wife and I trained for years to work with people who have experienced the worst in life. Emotional, mental and spiritual problems abound. Our vision for a community is similar to one we visited in Kentucky. People have shown great response to working with plants and animals as a therapeutic aid. In this way we want to attempt to help more people, more in depth.
The other side of this is financial. The cost of everyone maintaining their own properties vs the cost of multiple families working together on the same property is considerable. If you are sharing the work load, the food bill, utilities, ect it brings the costs to a more manageable range. Once everyone is accustomed to each other and things are going smoothly, more projects can begin. This will require sacrifices to be made by everyone involved. Everyone must be like minded and willing to work with others for the betterment of the community instead of bettering one's own position.  It requires a near total mindset change and a new way of doing life. There are several such communities around the US and Canada. One such community in BC collapsed because of mismanagement and personal greed.
I do not see where ego fits in unless someone would explain that idea. We have been slowly gathering people who are open to the idea for awhile now. Sometime we hope to buy land and set up an intentional community. Once we are established we can also use our foundation to start other communities to help others with housing.
Abundaculture is one such system already being used by many people. Maybe we will go in that direction. Who knows?
The area we are in right now is unfortunately now tourist country and rather crowded. Also very expensive to buy land. Tillable acreage is around $40,000 an acre.... Most people are not open to the idea of working together on a personal or financial level. We tried and have only angered the locals.
 
Gray Henon
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Inspired by this thread, I stopped in (with fallen black walnuts as an excuse) at a house a couple tenths of a mile away that always grows a nice terraced vegetable garden on a hillside.  We chatted a bit.  Found out, sadly, that their well established pecans did not produce well.  But, I made an introduction, invited them to stop by my place, and made a plan to follow up.  We will see!
 
Rachel Lindsay
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Gray Henon wrote:Inspired by this thread, I stopped in (with fallen black walnuts as an excuse) at a house a couple tenths of a mile away that always grows a nice terraced vegetable garden on a hillside.  We chatted a bit.  Found out, sadly, that their well established pecans did not produce well.  But, I made an introduction, invited them to stop by my place, and made a plan to follow up.  We will see!



That is excellent! You are being the community you want to see in the world. Thank you for inspiring me by your action!
 
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Rachel I am not living at all where I would think would be ideal. I am getting older and I am sure I should not still be in a city, I should be on land with others away from cities with simplicity in living growing what things we can for needed and wanted food and materials and anything for healing. With that, homes can be the simplest, nothing bad about any people living primitively in this world, with so much ruin coming with the ongoing exploitation. I am especially desiring to make use of natural farming methods.
 
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Rachel Lindsay wrote:Almost any group of people is interesting to me--that's why I read psychology and business books!  I love to see how people organize themselves and set priorities, make decisions, and revise their decisions and intentions as a group.

Personally I would particularly be interested in a religiously-based, agricultural community--similar to the Amish, but with my particular religious background. To my knowledge, nothing like this has existed for at least 60 years.



I'm curious, what exactly is that background?
 
pollinator
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Why?  Other people.

Our area is great except for one bad neighbor who plays rap music at a level that shakes my walls (and I'm not even next door).  He is not open to any neighborly discussion.  I have tried.  "It's my property and I'll do whatever I want."  The rest of us suffer for it.  I'm downloading a NIOSH db meter, gathering information, and going to the police.  There ARE noise ordinances here that he is openly violating -- found out it's because apparently his relative is a Deputy assigned to this area and he's thinking he is immune.  We're in a pickle -- suffer through his nastiness or escalate it, fearing retaliation.

So, I dream of an intentional community like the nearby Amish, except for electricity and outdoor plumbing  There is one within a couple of hours from us: https://thefarmcommunity.com/ that seems to be thriving.  Everyone there works and it's working.  We do not subscribe to some of their core beliefs, so not a good fit for us, but if there was something similar that better aligned with our values, it would feel like a dream.
 
Anthony Martin
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Rachel Lindsay wrote:Almost any group of people is interesting to me--that's why I read psychology and business books!  I love to see how people organize themselves and set priorities, make decisions, and revise their decisions and intentions as a group.

Personally I would particularly be interested in a religiously-based, agricultural community--similar to the Amish, but with my particular religious background. To my knowledge, nothing like this has existed for at least 60 years.




Would you be willing to share what beliefs you have that you would base a community on?
 
pollinator
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I happen to be looking into building an intentional community with a twist.

This community is designed to serve as an ecosystem connected to a billionaire bunker post SHTF.

It addresses many weaknesses inherent in traditional approaches. Like how to prevent your security force from turning on you when it actually happens.

Looking for high net worth individuals to take on such a project.
 
Anthony Martin
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We have found some land and are talking with  some people we know about trying to start an intentional community. This looks like a huge mountain but we know we are but 1 part of it all.  We found 175 acres in VA for a good price. How far and how fast this goes remains to be seen.  We have grown more and more excited at the thought of starting a homesteading type community where we get to grow our own food, raise animals, raise our children in a simpler way and do our best to help those around us. If anyone has experience with this type of thing, please do share your wisdom and experience! We are hoping to start with 2 or 3 families and go from there. The biggest hurdle I see is getting people to adjust their viewpoint out of the culture they are accustomed to and change mindsets. My family and I lived in a 33 foot class A motorhome for 7 years and made many sacrifices to do so. Most of the people that have shown interest have no such experience. Here is to hoping all turns out well!
 
Anthony Martin
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Anyone here be interested in helping with such a project? Reach out to me thru email. Kingdomtraveler777@gmail.com. Very much looking forward to a different way of life!
 
I've read about this kind of thing at the checkout counter. That's where I met this tiny ad:
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