Gaia center intentional community power pointPresentation Transcript
Gaia Center Creating Intentional Community
What is Intentional Community Anyway?
An intentional community is a planned residential community designed to have a much higher degree of teamwork than other communities.
The members of an intentional community typically hold a common vision.
They typically have shared resources and responsibilities.
Intentional communities include; cohousing communities, eco-villages, communes, co-ops, etc.
Many Hands Make Light the Work!
Our Project’s Goals
To have a working farm that produces food for the community members (and possibly a CSA/ market farm).
To have cooperative businesses that support our endeavors.
To build and live in a way that is in harmony with the Earth.
To live out these goals in a way that is conscious of our intent and celebrates the challenges and rewards of collective living.
A Rural Farm Village
About the Land
78 acres of land, 16 acres of pasture. 62 acres of wooded rolling hills.
The land has a creek and a few groundwater springs.
We are located on a gravel road 3 miles off the interstate.
The land is located outside of Colfax, Iowa. 23 miles east of the Capitol.
It has an existing open-sided barn with electric, and three fenced paddocks.
There are many black raspberries, mulberries and wild plums growing wild across the property.
The Community House
The Main house is a 2,300 sq ft. building designed for community dining, workshop and office space.
There is living space on the second floor.
A wrap-around porch will accommodate outside seating when completed.
Community House Details
Whole tree construction using ‘round wood’ taken from the property.
100 yr. old barn beams and other recycled materials designed into a pole framed structure.
Designed and built as a strawbale building. The plaster failed and the walls were re-constructed using ‘stick framing’ and recycled cellulose insulation.
Plans include incorporating-water catchment, solar hot water heat and PV Panels.
We Live & Learn Compost Happens . . . And We Try Again – Possible is Better than Perfect!
Thoughts on How it Could Look
Decision making and Group Process
How We Grow Together
Some Membership Options Most people are full time Residential Members. Others are transitioning to the farm, and are full time Associate Members. At the beginning, everyone is a Provisional Member to get to know each other. People that do not want the country life, but want to be involved, can become a Support Member (i.e., someone involved in a cooperative business).
Together So Much is Possible
Decision Making/ Group Process Ideas we like~ We believe that everyone deserves to have a voice in the process of community. We would like to have regular meetings run with a modified consensus model (consensus minus 1). We would like to have twice monthly business meetings. We would like to have monthly visioning meetings.
One Way It Could Look
Life on the Farm Permaculture Land use:
Food forest and perennial food crops
Humane animal husbandry (chickens, goats, etc.)
Organic vegetable gardens (ornamental flowers?)
Ponds and aquaculture
Greenhouses and four season food production
We would like to grow most of the communities food on the land. We would like to employ canning, preserving and drying to eat wholesome foods year round.
We envision diverse enterprises on the land.
Businesses could be owned by a few members or Community owned.
Some ideas we have~
Even Working Together Can Be Fun
Housing We envision different options ranging from – Green built cabins scattered around the property with a shared dining facility Alarge central dormitory style building. Yurts and other 3 season housing that people can live in while building more permanent structures Lots of ‘common spaces’ throughout the community (i.e., libraries, music space, entertainment areas, workshops, meeting spaces, etc.) One of the important things for us is that the community is designed for people to ‘run into’ one another during the course of our daily lives (while ensuring private space for individuals also).
Home is Where the Heart is
So What are We Building?
Single family houses
Dorm/ Group housing
Short Term/ 3 season housing
Sharing the labor of building
Leasing/ renting/ contract
Zoning & Permits
Finding Peace While Working Together
Structure How will we be organized? Areas to talk about are:
501 (c3) (d) non-profit
Limited Liability Corporation LLC
Community Land Trust
How will Enterprises be run?
Small groups (like an Arts Coop)
How would space be used for each of these?
Who will build them?
Where will the capital come from?
How would spaces/ land be allocated?
What happens iffolks want to move on?
Income and Community Resources
What will be the expectations for member contributions (both physically and monetarily) to the community?
Will there be work and enterprises that community members can support themselves with in the community?
It’s Easy to Have Fun When Your Friends are Your Neighbors!
An agreed on code of ethics:
Non-violent, egalitarian, accepting of all sexual orientations, gender identities, races and ethnicities.
- To be joyous in our shared endeavors. - To strive to be: Collaborative, respectful, open minded, helpful, communicative, progressive, and feminist. - To pursue an environmental ethic, loving kindness, willingness to work through conflicts, sharing of knowledge & skills, inclusive socializing, tolerance of differences, practicing generosity, forgiveness & abundance consciousness. - Most importantly to have the simple willingness to keep trying.
Spirit in Community ~ Connecting in our common respect for the Earth and the cycles and seasons of the land. ~ Finding the Sacred in each other and ourselves.