ALL ROADS LEAD SOMEWHERE
On the first leg of our July adventure Layla and I checked out an intentional community called “Shut Up and Grow iT”.
This was different than I had expected. Having some experience with “community” groups years ago I thought what could be so different about this one?
This one is working!
(I’m going to try and tell the story of the place without invading the private lives of those that live here.)
Talking with Patrick about this place has been very easy since he’s so laid back in conversation even though he’s a ball of constant motion. As I am writing this Patrick and others have gone to an auction to replace some of the chickens that were eaten by a dog.
This was the destiny of the land when it was purchased a few years ago. He says that the idea for a community was in the original purchase decision. That vision and the journey to fulfill its’ destiny has kept Patrick busy and happy. The idea of community with minimal “structure” is what attracts people here. It’s the feeling of belonging without being hampered by all sorts of rules is what makes it work. The few existing rules are just common sense things to allow for the freedom, privacy and safety of the community. There are at this time somewhere between 12-15 adults living on the farm with what looks like about the same number of children.
Counting the children was like counting rabbits. Because this is a family group the kids are free to roam about play with the other kids and interact with everyone.
I was first struck by the gardens and the fact they are really building up community places.
There are two domes that are being built, one of which will be the teaching center. Obviously the children will be educated here together.
The evening meal I joined them for was great and helping (a little bit) in that kitchen was fun and easy. The cooking pit was very solid, check out the logs on the side!
The “shower house” is fed from a large container up the hill that uses solar energy to heat water. The location up the hill provides enough “head pressure” to be a good working shower. Simple is better, no pumps to fool with only gravity and the sun which always works.
After the meal folks gathered around and it was time to relax. Someone commented how much it felt like a big family. I have to agree that was the same thing I was thinking. This is a place that it will be what you want it to be, family or community. There were those that stayed more to themselves, and then those that were more community minded.
At the start of this post I wrote a great deal about Patrick. However, this truly is a result of everyone’s efforts. It’s just that I learned so many names in such a short time, I’m struggling to keep them all straight. I’m going to have to be leaving soon to continue our travels,but you can bet this is a place I will be returning to in the future. I want to take the time thank all the others for making me feel welcome, you guys would be a great family.