Re: Farm-based rural community
From: Brian Bartholomew (
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2017 20:30:58 -0700 (PDT)
> My partner and I are organic veggie & flower farmers and hope to run
> our business on the land we live on.

I believe the rural shared-income intentional communities and
ecovillages have more farming activities, with some of them producing
for external sale.  The policies they've evolved may be a better match
to your goals than the urban and suburban cohos.  For instance, your
pet policy may need to decide what happens when a dog trees a possum
or raccoon in the fruit orchard at 2am and will be barking until
morning.  Names which first come to mind are Sandhill Farm and Dancing
Rabbit, and there's more at

> how might rural zoning regulations differ from those found in/near
> cities?  Will they be a help or a hindrance?

I've found that general agriculture zoning for a bona fide farm
triggers exceptions which bypass much zoning, permitting, licenses,
inspections, etc.  For instance I had a power pole added for a
workshop outbuilding.  There was a form to sign from the power company
which waived an electrician's involvement or inspection.

Now, mixing a housing development with a bunch of people who are not
related by marriage and a farm in the same incorporation and land?
Sounds un-possible to me.  Your presently allowed choices are suburbs
or cornfields.  But don't let that discourage you.  What you care
about is commuting distance, not legislative reform, right?  So put
the farm on one side of the road and the legally unrelated clustered
housing development on the other side.

> what challenges come from select members running a business on the
> property?  Specifically a business that is more or less the
> foundation of the community.

Check out advice about succession planning in family businesses.  In
this situation the high-energy founder wants to retire, but the
business is too costly or inflexible to be handed off because of
family members in positions of dubious productivity.  The family
politics prevents evaluating these activities and employees using
business values.


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