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!
Sarah Mason says
Absolutely inspiring! Can’t wait to learn more about these communities and apply principles to our own little brand-new homestead…
How exciting, Sarah, that you get to build up your own homestead! Each of these communities had strengths in different areas: Dancing Rabbit had so many amazing natural buildings, Red Earth was a great example of how to live in community, but also with autonomy, and Sandhill had amazing gardens (I didn’t get any photos!).
We see “bus homes” up here, too…I love being inspired by the options presented in this post and also by the reminder that living differently can be very fulfilling.
I really cannot wait to create our own home here, inspired by all that we’re learning. But I must say, I hope it’s not a bus home!! A tad bit small for the 4 big personalities in our family!
So cool, Teri! What an inspiring tour/post!
It was so great to get out there and see so many incredible examples of natural building and sustainability. Very cool stuff!
A Table in the Sun says
I love the creativity in living simple sustainable lives. Thanks for sharing these shining examples.
Creativity! That is exactly what shines through at these communities. One COULD say that they are limiting their options (by choosing not to tie into the grid, for instance), but really, when you look around, all you see is beauty and creativity!
The Grey Enigma says
Reblogged this on The Grey Enigma.
Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing at your blog!
The Grey Enigma says
No prob, awesome post and I think informative for the homesteader, mini farmer etc. Diffusion of ideas: what its all about. Thx, GE.
What an amazing experience to be able to visit those communities! I have been receiving DR’s newsletter for a couple of years and have been dreaming of one day visiting. Thanks for sharing the info for the other communities and I look forward to learning more about them!
If you ever head out here, let me know! We’re not too far away, and there are great things happening in our neighborhood!