This is big. Tonight there was an ice cream social at Plow Creek Fellowship where members, intentional neighbors, farm workers and friends (like me) gathered together under a nice big tree. The heat had subsided by 7pm just as the weather man predicted and it was a nice breezy evening. No bugs, either.
I was happy to continue getting to know one of the two community elders, Rich Foss, who I had dinner with last night. Louise, hospitality coordinator, likes to schedule dinners with him with visitors, which I appreciate very much.
I asked him for some advice about how to structure our community on our land. He advised, “Ask God.” But just by talking about it, I came up with a solution which I want to run by our family.
We have always wanted to have a land trust. This is a wonderful relatively new form of land stewardship where no one owns the land, and a non-profit corporation with a board of directors sets up covenants for the community that can make it easier for generations to come to benefit from the community,
Since I am the one most passionate about community at this point, Wellspring Community could be the entire land which is over seen by all of us original community members.
I foresee creating a sub community which is a Christian community on a third of the land which has natural boundaries. This might be a shared income section where people are in a similar situation as the two communities I am visiting.
What I am really impressed by both communities, Plow Creek Fellowship and Reba Place Fellowship is that people have different levels of involvement in the shared purse community, with those sharing income being most committed and invested in this kind of experiment (which has worked at Reba Place for over 55 years). I am drawn to this style of community, even though I have much to learn.
If Wellspring Community can move forward in creating a land trust with land use covenants as well as a membership process, I think we can come to some pretty quick agreements. I just need to do some research about land trust covenants, which I actually have some copies of, and start the process.
I feel really good about the fact that because I had time to be on a kind of retreat here at Plow Creek, I have had some good insights about how to proceed realistically. At Reba Place, I was just soaking everything in without much time to reflect. I had a feeling when I got here I would have some good insights, and I have. The environment and rhythm of my life here has been wonderful. The combination of light eating, mostly raw, outside work, exercise, good conversations with seasoned community leaders, and just experiencing community life has been greatly beneficial.
I look forward to getting clearer as time progresses. I have one more day and two more nights. I leave on the train Sunday morning for Chicago, then on to Philadelphia to The Simple Way community where further adventures and revelations await.