Re: Llewellyn's 1994 Organic Gardening Almanac
From: Nancy Wight (
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 93 11:22 CDT
Again, apologies if some of you already received this.

> > Our intent is to provide some examples of cohousing groups that
> > are pursuing or planning sustainable practices as group
> > objectives.  From what I've read on the list, there seems to be
> > a lot of groups with an interest in sustainable development.
> There seem to me to be two distinct styles of cohousing, urban and
> rural.  The rural style seems a lot more to me like the commune 
> concept than the urban groups, who seem more interested in building 
> a small-town type of community while remaining close to their place of 
> employment and other urban attractions.  The former, I think, are the 
> ones really interested in sustainable development.
> Do you feel this is a fair picture?  Comments are welcome...

Our group, New View, as Jim Salem has pointed out, does not fit into either of
those categories.  A third category might be "town-based suburban/
semi-rural".  Here in New England, many places are organized around
a distinct town center, with houses spreading out from the center.
Some of these towns could actually be considered suburbs of larger
towns or cities.  Acton, MA, where we will be building our community, is
such a town.  Generally, the houses there have more land than the standard
suburban subdivision, and there is quite a bit of farming that happens there.
While we plan to do *some* sustainable practices (community garden, orchard,
edible landscaping, solar, composting toilets), we expect to be purchasing a 
lot of our food from the 60+ acre farm and large market adjacent to our land.
Most of us who don't work from home will be commuting to Boston, Cambridge, 
"Technology Highway" (Rt. 128),  or other places for our employment.  A 
commuter rail stop is provided for that purpose.

We shy away from using the word "commune" to describe our group.  Mainly 
because it is not accurate for us, but also the newpapers like to
compare us to communes because they don't know what else to call us,
and the conservative financial institutions around here, without whom
we would not be able to pull this off, do not always view favorably 
things that look like "communes".  I hope that in the near future, we
can say "we are a *cohousing* community," and people will nod knowingly.

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