CoHousing at Oregon Country Fair, Burning Man
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 12:54:12 -0600 (MDT)
For the first time last weekend, I visited the Oregon Country Fair, in 
Eugene. It's the 31st year for this crafts fair/vaudeville/arts/music 
fest, which features hundreds of vendors and a large "community" section, 
including, among other things, booths related to alternative living 
setups. "Hmmm," I thought. "I wonder if I could do a CoHousing booth 
there next year?"

No sooner do I enter the Community Center, however, then I see a great 
big "Come learn about CoHousing" banner. It turns out there's already a 
presence there, thanks to Amy Todd of Trillium Hollow of Portland, along 
with folks from Cascadia Commons.

There I found a couple of CoHousing books, lots of literature from the 
groups (but none from the TCN... something to work on for next year), and 
a great big homemade (on a shower curtain, I later learned) banner: 
"CoHousing: great for kids and other living things", with the TCN website 
address. There was a sign-in book for people interested in CoHo, and 
people there at times to answer questions and spread the good word.

I met up with Amy later on, and arranged to borrow the banner for an 
upcoming event at Swan's Market. We also talked about the upcoming 
Burning Man event near Gerlach, Nevada (population: not very many), in 
which a portion of the Black Rock Desert is transformed into Black Rock 
City, Nevada's 5th largest city (population: 30,000+), for the week 
surrounding Labor Day, known for its "no spectators/no vending" policy, 
gift/barter culture, and participatory arts and ceremony. I went last 
year, traveling and camping with the Green Tortoise folks in a CoHo-ish 
fashion, with private tents and common meals, prepared by the group. Amy 
was thinking of going for the first time this year, but didn't have an 
affiliation with a particular camp.

The thought occurred at once: Hey, we could put together a CoHousing Camp 
at Burning Man! It could provide info about CoHousing, and an example by 
living in a temporary community with Common Meals. We could connect to 
share experiences in forming or living in our communities, techniques for 
doing better, and a CoHo-ish camp design: vehicles at the 
perimeter/offside, living/common space within.

Plan B: Join in with another camp to take advantage of their prime 
location, existing affiliation, similar focus, or economies of scale.

Or, plan C: At least connect together CoHo-interested people who are 
going to BM with other camps so they can try to find each other there.

So, who's interested? Write me at burning-coho [at] (not the CoHo 
list, please) and I'll put together an email list of people planning on 
going or who want to participate (and summarize our plans for the list to 
see if others want to join in afterwards). Note that while ticket prices 
have gone up over time (and none will be sold at the door), if you buy 
through Green Tortoise you can get not only a very comfortable/fun ride 
to the site, but lower prices than otherwise available (and you can help 
cut down on the vehicle-induced 'suburban sprawl' starting to affect 
Black Rock City).

If you know a particular Burning Man attendee in your community who's not 
on CoHo-L, please pass the word along. Thanks!


P.S. Relevant URL's:

Oregon Country Fair

Burning Man

Green Tortoise

The Cohousing Network

Raines Cohen <coho-L [at]> <>
Finally living in community -- worth the wait!

  Member, Old Oakland [CA] Cohousing at Swan's Market
Where common meals are underway, and we're planning an Open House.

  Member, East Bay Cohousing [no site yet] <>
Which is actively searching for sites in the Berkeley/Oakland area.

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