After years of hearing about the “tri-communities” of Northern Missouri – Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, Red Earth Farms, and Sandhill Farm – we finally had the opportunity to visit the three communities yesterday. To say that it was an inspiring day would be an understatement. The three communities are vastly different, in size and in focus, but I came away from each of them feeling so invigorated and excited about the path that lies ahead as we seek to create our own homestead.
Our primary goal for this tour was to check out the basics of food, water, and shelter. How are people building off the grid homesteads in Northeast Missouri, and what kinds of materials are they using? What kinds of irrigation systems are in place for growing food? How are communities meeting their drinking water needs? What about electricity? How can we adapt what we see for our own needs as a family of four?
What was truly exciting was to see a diversity of systems that worked well for each person or family. For instance, the first small home we visited cost less than $3000 to build, had one single solar panel to power a light and radio, and the owner only built fires indoors when the temperature got below 40 degrees! Contrast that with the exceptionally comfortable and spacious community building at Dancing Rabbit, in which there is internet, hot showers, composting toilets, refrigerators and washing machines.
Here are some of my favorite buildings:
30 x 60 foot greenhouse at Red Earth Farms. There were still greens and carrots growing, even after several 20 degree nights.
Check out these communities’ websites. They have so much to offer and share!