This November marks the beginning of a new chapter for April and I, and The Year of Mud. We are officially moving from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeast Missouri to the Appalachian foothills of Berea, Kentucky. After more than 6 years living here, and due to a number of reasons, we are called elsewhere. It is definitely not a small decision. These are exciting times for us, but not without some sadness too. After all, we are leaving our community and our home(s) to start from utter scratch. We’ve invested a lot of our sweat, energy, and emotion into this place, yet we feel solid to say that our vision is taking us elsewhere. Here I’ll describe a bit about what we have in mind.
The Continuing Evolution
April and I both feel utterly committed to ecological and social sustainability, social justice, simple living, natural building, responsible food production, creativity, education… all of these things and more. We have, to some more or lesser degree, been able to live out many of our ideals and visions here at Dancing Rabbit. Yet as time passes and our ideas evolve, we find that there are reasons to consider branching out and settling elsewhere.
The desire to have access to more land (and a different kind of land) is one. The desire to create more of a homestead than a village life is another, and to live a more communal (meaning, even more shared) life is a third. Our natural building workshop endeavors, a different climate, living in a more progressive and diverse area, and being closer to family are equally important reasons for our move too.
Creating a Collective Homestead
Dancing Rabbit has been a learning experience from day one and living here has led us to a new vision for our futures. In Berea, Kentucky, we hope to create a small collective homestead with a strong emphasis on self-sufficiency, education, sustainable food production, and of course, natural building. We’ll soon be working to create a homestead, to be shared with a small number of other individuals and families, that is dedicated to raising its own food, providing educational opportunities for folks interested in sustainable living, and “pushing the sustainable envelope”. Importantly, we want to reach more diverse audiences, which is something the small town of Berea can claim as an asset.
Without going into too much depth too soon, I want to mention that we are beginning our physical transition now. We are moving to Berea this winter, and though we are not completely packing up our lives at Dancing Rabbit, we expect to be living in Kentucky within the year, hopefully having found a patch of land by then. Needless to say, both of our homes at Dancing Rabbit are for sale. (I’ll post more information about our timber frame/straw bale house sale soon.)
I hope you’ll stayed tuned, as things are about to get really exciting, as we settle in a new place, attempt to find some land, and begin building a homestead from the ground up. We are thoroughly excited by the prospects ahead.
Thanks for reading!