We’re Moving

by ziggy on October 27, 2013 -- 9 comments -- Follow

Moving to Berea, Kentucky

From the prairie, to the foothills…

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!

Send Me More Updates Like This!

  • Joe

    Wow moving just after completing a new house. Was not familiar with Berea- looks like interesting place with an interesting college that I’m addition to traditional degree program lets you design a degree- if I remember right from their web site one person did a degree in sustainable ecology- also there is an exovillage for people who go to school there.

    Also looked a realtor.com site and there is a large property for sale over 250 acres where the owner is willing to sell 200 acres and owner will keep 50 acres, barn, house and pond. Would be grey opportunity if you have $ or if you and a group of like minded community people have $

  • Scott

    How close to Bera do you need to be? My guess is if you go a county or two over(especially eastward), you may find land at a better price. Berea is a college town, and land prices may reflect that.

  • Joe: The college has a strong presence in the community. They are doing a lot of awesome work, on many fronts.

    Scott: Well, we would _like_ to be fairly close, within 20 minutes. We don’t expect to live in Madison county, because then we would more likely have to contend with codes, too. We’ve got our eyes set on a couple of different areas…

  • Scott

    Some eastern Kentucky counties, for all practical intents and purposes, don’t have codes, or very seldom enforce them-especially in rural areas. You could buy property with an existing structure(any old shack)and “remodel”(knock down, start over) it and dodge codes in some cases. You really shouldn’t have any problems.

  • Jacque

    Kentucky is my home state and I love Berea! I have thought often lately about moving back to Ky. I live in Missouri now. I wanted to visit Dancing Rabbit, to see if that is a lifestyle that my husband and I would fit within, but it has bothered me that it is so far away from artist’s communities. I am an artist and I like seeing and being around other artists and craftspeople. So I can understand why you might want more diversity. There isn’t much diversity where I live, either. I am not sure the climate is much different than Missouri, but I haven’t lived in Ky for years. I am anxious to hear more about your move and experiences.

  • Jeremy

    Well when you get settled in Kentucky and start having workshops I’m there. Been following your site since you started it, stoked your moving close enough to me that I can easily attend. Good luck with everything!

  • Just read about your plans to move. I’m sure the decision is wrapped in many different emotions and wish the best for you and April in your transition. I up and left a small town in Argentina where I had lived for 7 years and I think the biggest life lesson for me from that experience was realizing that I hadn’t fully realized and recognized how important the bonds of community I had created there were to me. I think that time and shared experience is what creates these bonds and we can create them anywhere we go but need to be prepared that it can take a while for meaningful relationships to form. All the best to you in your transition!

  • We live in KY near Lexington and would love to take a course from you. We are moving to the country and will live in a MH to start. The plan is to build a bale/cob home… looking forward to meeting you. KY is great state!

  • David A Santalo

    Im considering to move to Berea , to learn all about Cob building and will like to work with you , some how I think your way of life it is what i had being looking for ,

Previous post:

Next post: