Saturday, April 7, 2007

I'm moving to Missouri in October.

Please visit me!

The Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an Intentional Community committed to environmental sustainability and egalitarian living. Feminism and cooperation are two fundamental philosophies of this living community project.

In 1997, the founding members purchased 280 acres of land in rural Missouri. The Dancing Rabbit is currently home to 19 people and three dogs. The community has a flexible structure and allows for multiple living arrangements including sub-communities, cohousing, and individual households. The goal of the project is to create a self-reliant society of 500 – 1000 residents. The long-term goal is to create a village made up of smaller communities, formed by individuals or groups, within the village. There are already two active sub-communities in the village, organizing small organic business cooperatives and group income sharing.

While social diversity is promoted through the development of these sub-communities, all members must agree to the basic covenants of the larger village. These six basic rules include, no use of automobiles other than the biodiesel powered vehicles available through the on-site cooperative, no use of fossil fuels, all agriculture/horticulture must be produced organically, all power consumed by the village must derive from renewable and sustainable sources, no lumber harvested from outside of the bioregion (unless it is reused/reclaimed) may be used in the community, and all members must adhere to the waste disposal system of reclaiming organic and recyclable materials.

Dancing Rabbit uses a self-defined feminist/egalitarian committee-based system to reach group consensus. The process for making decisions that affect the entire village has changed over the years. The village required full group consensus for all decisions during the early period of development. It soon became apparent that many members preferred ceding some of the power of full consensus to smaller committees. This reduced the amount of time each individual spent in meetings, while creating specialized groups to work on specific issues. However, every village member is guaranteed the opportunity to provide input and no decision is finalized unless each member can agree to the terms of a committee’s proposal. This often requires debate and compromise, as the village members believe that each person offers “a piece of truth” to the discussion. Through this system, everyone is empowered to make a direct contribution to the development of the project.

To stimulate the local village economy and reduce dependency on the larger US economic structure, community currency is being produced in hour value denominations. This helps to foster an equalizing effect on the importance of each individual’s contribution to the village. In this system, one hour of childcare is equivalent to one hour of biodiesel production. Jobs created within the village do not rely on conventional gender role expectations found in the larger patriarchal culture. Individuals of any gender identity are encouraged to pursue work that interests them. This, of course, is also a reflection of the project’s core feminist ideals. As a way to reduce the cost of living, the village also participates in the Conservation Reserve Program. The community has a contract with the federal government that pays an annual stipend to “perform erosion-control measures, plant trees, and encourage wildlife conservation.”

So, I'm selling my shit and heading west by foot. If any of you would like to join me, I'm going to start a sub-community called Froogins.

This is a dancing rabbit...
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is also a dancing rabbit...
http://www.dancingrabbit.org/

6 comments:

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

This sounds incredible.

emc said...

Seriously. Laurie, let's go! We only need, like, 10 grand and we are set.

Vicarious Me said...

Ummm....this sounds scary and weird and something I would totally hate...BUT you on the other hand, little frog, would flourish in all it's glory. I owe you a phone call.

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

Come to NY instead! It's practically the same as Missouri, I mean come on.

emc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
emc said...

Mike,
No way!
This is scary...

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