Last updated: May 28, 2016 (2 months ago)
Listing created on: December 31, 1999
Acorn Community Farm
(Mineral, Virginia, United States)
- Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
- Started Planning: 1993
- Start Living Together: 1993
- Visitors accepted: Yes
- Open to new Members: Yes
- Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community.
- Website address: http://www.acorncommunity.org
- Business, Project, or Organization: http://www.southernexposure.com
- Contact Name: Acorn Community Farm
- Community Address:
Attn: Visitor Committee
PO Box 460
Mineral, Virginia, 23117
Secular, Egalitarian, Anarchist, Autonomous, Sustainable, Cooperative, Non-Violent, Feminist, Intentional Community
Acorn is an intentional community of around 30 folks which was founded in 1993. We are an egalitarian, income-sharing, secular, anarchist, feminist, consensus-based commune. We are committed to non-coercive, voluntary associations within our community and the larger community in which we find ourselves as well as living sustainably, supporting queer & alternative lifestyles, and creating a vibrant, eclectic culture.
We live on a working farm which means there is always plenty to do. Everyone is expected to contribute 42 hours of labor a week. There are many types of work available, mostly for our farm and business. We grow herbs and food for our kitchen & seeds for our business, care for lots of livestock(chickens, cows, goats, & pigs!), cook two community meals daily, educate our children, maintain our land & buildings, and do office jobs like accounting, seed packing and order picking/shipping. We also do outreach work in our local community and in the communities movement, like growing food for our local food bank, and helping other communities and organizations like the FIC, the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, Organic Seed Alliance, & the Grassroots Seed Network. Members may also work outside jobs to fulfill their labor quota. All of this work is valued equally.
Because creditable labor is so diverse, we have more free time than the average working person. The community supports the education, personal growth, & personal projects of our members. We have no bosses, owners, investors, managers, or supervisors. We set our own schedules and trust members to work quota. We get things done by having a culture which stresses personal responsibility and good communication. We care about Acorn so we work hard to ensure it stays around.
Our thriving seed business, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, is part of a growing network of farmers, gardeners and seed savers dedicated to organic and heritage agriculture. We sell heirloom, open-pollinated, non-GMO and organic seeds and do seed saving education and outreach. We earn our income by providing a means of production to gardeners and farmers.
We have 2 group meetings per week. One is a consensus-based decision making meeting while the other is a general discussion forum where we explore ideas & work through issues. We intentionally keep policies to a minimum. We encourage personal responsibility rather than supervision, as well as taking issues on a case-by-case basis, keeping in mind that needs of individuals vary. Any decision we make can be brought back to a meeting at any point – our lifestyle thrives on open communication & respect for fellow communards.
Once every 2 years, members are required to take part in an interpersonal communication process called a “clearness”, where a single member talks individually to every other member about how they have been feeling, their relationship with the community, and what they envision their future to be. Membership visitors & long-term interns/guests are also required to have a clearness.
Remember, this stuff is hard! We share the daily challenges of living and working together, remembering to have fun while running a growing business, making decisions together, and sharing income. We are interested in meeting people experienced in community-building, communication and facilitation, who are interested in building a healthy, dynamic, supportive social culture.
If you are interested in visiting us, interning in our seed business and garden, or considering applying for membership, please visit our website, www.acorncommunity.org, and click on “How to Visit Acorn Community Farm.”
We look forward to hearing from you!