Kommune Niederkaufungen

Kaufungen, Hessen, Germany

  • Last updated: February 14, 2016 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: November 11, 2004

Mission Statement

changing society / alternative

Community Description

 “From each according to ability, to each according to need.”
Started over 25 years ago, Kommune Niederkaufungen, Germany’s largest secular income-sharing commune, is an undogmatic, left-wing project; non-religious and non-spiritual. It is a member of the “Kommuja” network of political communes.
The core principles are a fully socialized economy with collective ownership, consensus decision-making, collective work, reduction of patriarchal structures, and an ecological approach to work and lifestyle. We try to satisfy as many of our own basic needs as possible, and also to offer ecological products and social services to the local population. Where possible, we often consume organic, regional, and seasonal products and fair trade goods and we have small farm shop distributing them. We use renewable fuel resources for a major part of our heating (wood). We produce electricity from photovoltaic solar panels. The structural renovations to our central building are now complete, and decorating there is nearly finished. Our exhibition hall is home to a range of examples of electric and/or pedal-powered vehicles.
We run 12 commune-owned collectives:
• a building firm: interior and exterior construction, insulation
• a carpentry and joinery shop
• a metal-workshop
• a kitchen/catering firm
• a Bioland-certified organic CSA market-garden
• an EU-certified organic dairy farm, including cheese-making
• a fruit growing, orchard care, and juice-making team
• an administration/consulting group
• a seminar center, with courses on commune themes and non-violent communication
• a kindergarten
• a daycare center for old people
• a project group promoting alternative mobility
A few people work externally. Some members of commune collectives are members of other local communes and there is a time exchange system between the groups.
We live in 14 living groups, including a men’s group and a women’s/lesbian group. We share all our meals and have weekly general meetings. We are looking for new (German speaking) members. Newcomers go through a three- to six-month trial period. We regularly offer orientation weekends and weeks for interested people.
Our homepage includes an English-language text about 20 years of commune life here and other info in English. There is also now a big photo gallery on the site.
  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1986
  • Start Living Together: 1986
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address: http://www.kommune-niederkaufungen.de/
  • Contact Name: Kommune Niederkaufungen,
  • Phone: 555-555-5555
  • Community Address:
    Kirchweg 1 – 3,
    Kaufungen, Hessen, D-34260
    Germany
  • Location

About

  • Type(s): Commune (organized around sharing almost everything)
  • Location: Small Town

Housing

  • Area: 74.1 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Multi-family homes
  • Current Number of Residences: 7
  • Housing Provided: Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: The Community
  • Additional Comments:

    Central commune site – nearly 1 ha; Dairy farm – 5.5 ha; Market Gardens – c. 2.6 ha; other farm land – c. 21 ha

    Completely socialized : the central commune site (buildings and land) and farm owned by the Kommune e.V. of which we are all members. Some arable land and meadows are leasehold property.

    All members have their own private rooms within the living groups, and share other rooms (bathrooms, tea-kitchens, TV rooms, common rooms ) within the living group.

Membership

  • Adult Members: 58
  • Child Members: 17
  • Non-member Residents: 3
  • Percent Women: 51-60%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Percent Transgender: 1-10%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Please contact us to ask us about visits well in advance, if possible in German. Include plenty of information about yourself, your reasons for wanting to visit, and the date and length of the visit. We will reply with information as to whether a visit is possible.

    We can be reached easily by public transport from Kassel and, for ecological reasons, prefer visitors to travel to us this way. Visitors planning to travel to Germany by air should remember that the pollution caused by air travel is a major contributor to global warming.

    Please leave pets at home.

  • Open to new Members: Yes

Government

  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: All or close to all
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Nearly all communards work in communally owned and collectively run businesses, which autonomously decide on work hours, holidays etc.

    A person becoming a member is required to make over his/her assets (or debts) to the commune where they are completely socialized.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 50-75%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Current food produced: Between 26-49%
  • Food produced locally: From 50-75%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Mostly Vegetarian
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Organic vegetables, fruit , dairy products and meat.

    Vegan and vegetarian food is served at all meals.

    Limited areas where smoking is allowed.

  • Education Style(s): Public Schooling

Additional Comments

In the center of the village of Niederkaufungen, with farm outside village.

Photo Gallery