“No one has to sell us about the pleasures of a small town. We know them well, if not from reality, then from the old Andy Griffith Show, or It’s a Wonderful Life. But the small town we all know best is the one deep in our heart, with its elm-shaded streets, little clapboard houses and picket fences, and gnarled fruit trees and run-amok vegetable gardens, where doors are never locked, and where shopkeepers stand in front of their shops and greet you, and the cop greets you, all by name, and you stop and chat with them because what else is life for, and when the bells toll at noon the shops all close up, and you all go home for lunch, a nap, then out to hoe the melons or to do a little fishing; and everyone you liked in fourth grade is still your friend, and it’s a swell place to be a kid and perfect to be a family, and it’s a humane place to grow old, and, when you have to go, it’s a good place to die.

If such a town doesn’t exist, the big question is “Why?” If we all dream about it, if we all long for it – and recent surveys found seven out of ten of us would love to live there if we could – then where in damnation is it? When all it takes is a few good-natured people; a few to teach school, a few to own the stores, a few to farm the land, some to mend the sick and a bar to tend the healthy, then why isn’t there such a town behind every tree? I mean only a few of us dream of having missiles, tanks, and bombers, and rockets to the moon, yet the world is littered with them; hardly anyone dreams of pesticides and freeways, yet they’re chocking us to death; no one dreams of junk mail, yet we’re drowning in the stuff; no one I know of dreams of stripmalls and fast food chains, yet there are a hundred to a mile! How the hell did it happen that the things hardly any of us want are burying us all, while the simple town we all dream of we can hardly find? What is all this? – Really!”
– Ferenc Máté

So, how do we create this town, this community? Over the past few weeks, as I spent a lot of time with my family and some old friends, I have been struck, obsessed maybe, with the idea of creating a community.

More at the source: Temperate Climate Permaculture


Comments

My Plan for an Intentional Community — 8 Comments

    • Excellent find! Sounds like a great project. Too cold for me, but otherwise it sounds very good. I’m surprised there aren’t hundreds or thousands of projects like this springing up everywhere. The need is endless.

  1. This is a wonderful dream and one that many people are thinking about these days.

    Practically, what are some of the essential components of this dream? A group of friends that are family that you completely trust and can work well with in designing and building. Land, a place you can call home. Skills and the desire to grow, learn and continue to develop as a person.

    For anyone interested, we are purchasing land and beginning to work towards this dream of becoming more connected with our spaces of living, food and nature. We are doing this in southern Oregon, for anyone wanting to share this dream, contact me!!

    Also, visit http://www.thePOoSH.org to find like-minded people working towards this goal through building natural structures!!!

  2. Hi Owen- I love your posts and look forward to the updates regarding anything about Earthbag building and such. In some ways, it is my “salvation” as it gives me hope that one day I can reclaim my independence and live a more authentic life.
    I wanted to weigh in on this post because I think the idea of a community of people like what you describe is very possible but needs to be cultivated. I maintain that if you connected with a small core group of people and found an appropriate location in a region that was friendly to the type of intentional community, it’s totally within the realm of possibility. I think if you “put it out there,” you would find that many have the same goals but struggle with the same issues. How do I start? Where could this be located? What are the defined goals of the community? How do others join or develop this with you? And the list goes on and on….
    The main thing is connecting with people whose objectives are in line with your own. I spoke to someone about this matter shortly before Christmas and he would like to do something similar but he has a very different objective than my own. His thoughts are more on the line of creating a spiritual learning/healing community and I have no interest in promoting any one religious or spiritual belief. Another big issue is acceptance within the surrounding communities. If you build and develop this wonderful place but it’s in an area that is hostile because of a mere perception of something “strange and unacceptable,” it could make it difficult to have a positive outcome. In my opinion, the “community” needs to be supported almost in a micro geopolitical way. Does that make sense?
    Anyway, I wanted to put these thoughts out there and encourage you to continue to move forward! I for one look forward to hearing of your progress and will enthusiastically give you feedback or input if you desire! Kasey Rogers (aka Earthbag Enthusiast)

    • Just to be clear, I reposted this material from another source. Notice the quotations and the link to the original source below. We do this often to direct readers to good, relevant content.

      But I agree with what you’re saying. The surrounding community needs to be supportive and you need to find a group of like minded people. This is getting much easier now thanks to the Internet. There are thousands of small groups who’ve already started. It seems much easier to search out existing projects than start from scratch. There are online directories such as the Global Ecovillage Network that have databases of thousands of ecovillages all over the world.
      http://ecovillage.org/

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