As part of my ongoing Wwoofing volunteering I have ended up staying with an intentional community for the last week. It’s been fun and a great learning experience giving me an insight into how and why these places continue to work even in today’s modern world. I thought it would be cool to talk a little about intentional communities and share my experience so far.
What is an ‘intentional communuty’?
You may have never heard this term before but you have probably heard of a Kibbutz, probably the most well known kind of intentional community. Often these places get a bad rep and are thought of as ‘cults’ or places where people with extreme views gather.
In reality an intentional community is usually just an organised and planned residential community normally with a communal cause. This could be working towards self-sustainability, a spiritual or religious cause or working to solve a social issue. Communes, eco-villages and spiritual retreats often use the intentional community model.
The community I am staying on seems to be trying to be more self-sustainable but isn’t aligned on any specific spiritual cause. They keep some animals, grow crops and share the main meal every evening, taking it in turn to cook. There are a number of projects in progress which everyone should be working to complete with the help of us volunteers. Each member of the household has their own separate sleeping quarters on the property but share a main house / bathroom and kitchen. There are 5 adults, a baby and two children that live here. Each adult pays rent which goes towards the costs of living and running the property aswell as communal food and to cover the cost of hosting volunteers. They are also supposed to hold regular hose and farm meetings to work out jobs to be done and solve any outstanding problems and issues ideally by consensus.