Something I haven’t written about much is our plans to create an intentional community on the land. Wikipedia offers up this definition:
An intentional community is a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle.
The whole project started out as a way for my friend and me to be neighbors. He ended up buying a ready-made farm down the road but we will still be involved in his projects and vice versa. However, two other couples will be sharing the land with us. We are making specific decisions to both combine our resources but also live independently from each other. Many towns don’t support easy communal living and specifically zone against multifamily structures. This was okay for us because we wanted to have separate financial stakes in the community. I have functioned as the financial coordinator: purchasing and organizing the land to support several build-able lots adjacent to each other. Once the road is complete I will sell two lots at cost to the two couples. One of the individuals has been instrumental in constructing the private road. Everyone has been pitching in where they can. Once the road is complete each of us will build our own homes. I expect that the other two couples will be doing much more of the house construction on their own while we will be working with a builder. I know having three separate houses for six people is wasteful but we each have fairly different needs and want to maintain our own spaces.
Here are some of our current plans for resource sharing:
- Vegetable garden on my field (best sun, already cleared)
- Chicken coop attached to the garden
- Additional field (no house on that lot) available for future cultivation
- Shared hiking paths through all the lots
- Skills: woodworking, carpentry, technical, business, artistry, etc
- One big media room in one home
- Shared tools and machinery
- Fire pit in one yard
- Pizza oven in another
- Communal root cellar
- Hardworking help for everyone’s hobbies and projects
It takes a lot of trust and shared expectations. I know many people worry on our behalf about our future. But it’s honestly low-risk because of the individual lots. If we ever part ways in the future, no one is going to be kicked out of their home. We feel we’ve made some good decisions with regard to temperament and friendship. This is family you choose.