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River Farm

Last updated: March 10, 2016 (11 months ago)

Listing created on: December 31, 1999

River Farm

(Deming, Washington, United States)

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1984
  • Start Living Together: 1984
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community.
  • Website address:
  • Phone: 360-592-5222
  • Community Address:
    3231 Hillside Rd
    Deming, Washington, 98244-9603
    United States

Mission Statement:

land stewardship & consensus

Community Description:

We live in the Pacific Cascadia bioregion in the northwest corner of the United States; one of the five communities in the Evergreen Land Trust. We live in separate households on an 85-acre cooperative farm in rural Whatcom County, about forty minutes by bus or car from Bellingham, Washington.

Our community is focused on ecologically based farming and forestry, homesteading skills, habitat restoration, and hosting educational events. The farm is a mixture of forests, gardens, fields, and wetlands along the South Fork Nooksack River. We raise chickens, goats, and sheep. We have some houses on the electrical grid, and some off grid.

We operate by consensus and have monthly business meetings. We also gather regularly for work parties, weekly potlucks, and various projects. The land is held in trust, so we share the basic costs of stewardship (land taxes, insurance, tractor repairs, etc.) by each adult member paying monthly dues, which creates our annual budget. Each adult member also contributes work hours on the farm, sharing in the responsibility of upholding the purposes of the trust. Members are engaged in many different passions and professions off of the Farm as well, but all share in the commitment to caring for the land, and learning how to live sustainably and cooperatively.


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability)
  • Programs & Activities: Transition Town (post-petroleum and off-grid communities), Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Rural


  • Area: 85 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Yurt, tee-pee, dome, treehouse, or tent
  • Current Number of Residences: 7
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental
  • Land owned by: Community controlled land trust
  • Additional Comments: also common house, sauna, outbuildings


  • Adult Members: 17
  • Child Members: 6
  • Non-member Residents: 2
  • Percent Women: 61-70%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process: Email us through our website.
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Additional Comments: some public, some cooperatively homeschool


  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: Partial share of income
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Additional Comments: average 30 hours a month

    investment depends on specific house

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Energy sources: Solar


  • Shared meals: About once a week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Eclectic (integrates pieces from many religions)

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Northwest Intentional Communities Association

We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network