Lot's of really big posts here that I don't have time to read at the moment, but to the OP I would say that your idea is not crazy, it's probably 10 years ahead of it's time in MO, which gives you time to get in now.
Todd, et. al.
One concept in planning these kinds of communities is the idea of diet. I wonder if people thinking of these kinds of communities make too many assumptions The power that diet actually has in the planning of the farm/community is often underconsidered. Some specific dietary desires can be customized in residents' zone 1 and 2. But, how the community thrives from a dietary perspective will depend a lot on what is produced. Will the farm be designed and planned on any particular kind of diet? What will the broadacre spaces be used for and will the diet of people drive that or vice versa? This can have an impact on who will be attracted to a community such as this or who gets frustrated and leaves.
Here's an example: The Weston Price diet would be an approach to planning what is communally grown or produced. If the group is at some level of agreement about a dietary approach, then you know what kind of animals and crops you'll raise, harvest, and preserve. Does the community need a milking parlor and dairy processing house because milk and preserved milk is important to the diet? However, if meat is a focus, will larger sections of zones 3-4 be designed for forage? However, if we think just a little bit about it, what the community wants to eat should be part of the holistic planning of zones 3-4. Yes, the conditions of the site are a major factor in what can be grown or produced, but that still leaves a prolific menu of things to grow and produce that I believe can be more narrowly defined by a general approach to diet. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying all is determined by diet, but I think most of the discussions I've read about these communities gives far too little thought to diet of the residents ... much is assumed.
What the dietary framework is can have an impact on what is grown, how things are grown and produced, and how they are preserved or even how they are prepared and served. The community that is looking to really gel together has thought through these kinds of ideas ahead of time.
Simpler Times Village: Concept Plan 1
1. Shops and services on the village green. Residences above shops. Zero lot line. Rear access to roads and parking.
2. Small Cottages, nice for seniors, vacations, singles, couples, and empty nesters.
3. Courtyard Condos.
4. A lovely neighborhood. Family homes with freedom for cottage industries surrounding a park.
5. A unique neighborhood with conservational design.
6. Camping Cabins in the woods, with common restrooms.
7. Commercial buildings and restaurants. Large Parking area.
8. Family Homes, depending on typography this street may need to be relocated.
9. Two - four acre mini farms, with access from main road. These will be built as phase one and use septic.
10. One - three acre homesteads.
11. Homes near the village center, perfect for home based businesses.
12. Water's Edge Estates.
I hope people weren't reading my words and thinking that my use of the word diet was code for a particular lifestyle or belief system. That was not my intent.
“Building anything is work. If you have to build community into a project, it's not a self-organizing organic organism and therefore is modeled after the hierarchical, paternalistic, pluto and kleptocratic socioeconomic system from which we are emerging.
We have a steady stream of casual visitors, refugees escaping from the collapsing empire, organized tours, alumni, close friends as well as customers. We don't have to build anything. It is what it is. We have an actual community. Several, in fact. We don’t attempt to force reality to conform to our personally held concepts of what a community should be, We accept it for what it is. Those who are not attracted to interacting as sovereign enterprising individuals and would rather be a part of a contrived community or would rather enter into a hierarchical, bossman-slave relationship, don't fit in here and they select themselves out.
Regarding community and the Mark Shepherd quote: Intentional communities seem to be tied to some social, political or religious viewpoint and most attempt to create some sort of utopia based on their particular set of views. This usually leads to a lot of rules and a lot of debate about what those rules mean and too often results in conflict between members. In an IC working on communal projects is often required and can often lead to discussions among members about who is pulling their weight and who is not. Intentional communities have a 90% failure rate and of the 10% that are considered successful, many of those are dysfunctional. In an IC new members are allowed in only after being approved by the existing members. In an IC you can put down roots and build a home but if the other members decide that you don't represent their values, they can force you to leave. In contrast, what I am proposing is a place where you own your property and where you decide on your own when to join up and when to leave (by purchase or sale of your property). Its a place where work on community projects is limited and entirely voluntary. It is a place to live and thrive, not a place with a mission of social change. I believe that social change can and will occur organically in a place like this. To get to Mark's quote, I don't think "self organizing organic organism" goes against permaculture planning at all. In fact I think it's quite the opposite. In permaculture design, we use what we know about water and soil to create ideal conditions for the plants that we want. Then we sow the seeds and let them grow. We do not baby struggling plants with chemicals and irrigation, we allow nature to cull them out and achieve a natural balance. In the neighborhood I am proposing we would do exactly that with regard to community. Create ideal conditions for community to happen and allow it to reach its own balance. In my own life this concept is very apparent. We have what I consider real community and several of them. We have a network of friends that are constantly doing things for one another. When we had children, bags of kids clothes would just show up on our doorstep. Katy would go through them and find the sizes that fit our girls and put the rest back in the bag and drop them off at someone else's house. Not a week goes by that we don't have friends over for dinner, or go to a friend's house for dinner. This often happens multiple time per week. We gave a friend a bag full of tomatoes on Sunday just to get rid of them. We had zero expectations of every getting anything in return. On Tuesday she brought us a 1/2 gallon of gazpacho that she made with the tomatoes. I could go on and on with examples like this. We never signed a contract of covenants to be a part of this and we may disagree with some of our friends on politics or religion and yet we have a very close community. It just happened organically and self-organizing without having to define the rules first in order to participate. This kind of community feels satisfying and real to me and what takes place in an IC feels closer to joining a fraternity or sorority in college than real community. That is why the Mark Shepherd quote resonates with me so strongly.
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