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Vine & Fig Tree Farm/Community

Last updated: January 31, 2016 (1 year ago)

Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Vine & Fig Tree Farm/Community

(Lanett, Alabama, United States)

  • Status: Re-forming
  • 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.
  • Phone: 334-499-2380

Mission Statement:

Our primary focus: nonviolently sustainable and cooperative simple living.

Community Description:

The original Vine & Fig Tree was formed in 1986 as a land-based community with a vision of people living “in loving Gandhian nonviolence among ourselves and with all creation.” This community was successful in many ways (11 adults and kids at peak, two home-birthed children, growing a lot of our own food, hosting peace/justice gatherings, etc) but dissolved in 2000 due to a combination of factors, divorce of the couple who held title to the land, members deciding to move to town to be closer to work and/or schools, etc.

Three of us are now inviting people to join us in re-establishing the community on about 60 acres of the same land, holding to the same basic vision but with new emphasis on dirt-level sustainability, shaking off our culture’s addiction to high-energy lifestyles and learning, as we are able, how to live on current solar income. We are especially interested in attracting people who want to engage in sustainable/organic farming or at least grow a large share of their own food, individually and/or cooperatively, and who want to build their own low-impact housing.

We have in mind a land trust type ecovillage planned according to permaculture principles. Our idea is for members to own their own housing, with assurance of tenure and right of inheritance and sale, but to take the land off the real estate market. Those who come in first will help determine details of the community structure and process with regard to cost-sharing, land use, decision-making, etc. We prefer consensus decision making and assume members will be enthusiastically committed to cooperative living and mutual support in work and play. We think it is important for us to be good citizens of the surrounding unintentional community and find opportunities to develop cooperative relationships with our neighbors. We also hope our community will to some extent become a model learning and service center for others (which could also be another source of income for individuals and/or the community).

The name Vine & Fig Tree comes from Scripture (Micah 4, “and every one ‘neath their vine and fig tree, shall live in peace and unafraid”) and conveys a sense of our fundamental vision. This does not mean we intend to be a “religious” community. We are open to members of any (or no) faith tradition and believe that joyously celebrating authentic spiritual traditions and the arts are as important as sustaining physical life.

About

  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling)
  • Programs & Activities: Transition Town (post-petroleum and off-grid communities), Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming
  • Location: Rural

Housing

  • Status: We have raw land
  • Area: 60 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Lots to build on
  • Current Number of Residences: 2
  • Planned number of residences: 10
  • Planned Residence Types: Natural built structues
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership
  • Additional Comments: 2 additional may be included

Membership

  • Adult Members: 3
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process: Preferably, write us a longish letter or email explaining who you are, your background, skills, strengths and weaknesses, etc., and at least three references (unrelated persons you have lived with or worked for, give contact info), along with why you want to visit Vine & Fig Tree. At a minimum, call us ready to discuss the above. For prospective members, we usually propose a short initial getting-acquainted visit of a few days to a week, followed by a more extended tryout visit to determine whether entering a formal membership process would be worthwhile for both the community and the prospective member.
  • Open to new Members: Yes

Government

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

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: Partial share of income
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes (some debt)
  • Additional Comments: To be decided

    Maybe

    To be decided

    Money and/or sweat

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Almost All, around 90%
  • Food produced locally: Between 26-49%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Garden(s), Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Tractor & Farm Equipment
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Not good for most people.
  • Shared meals: 1-3 times per month
  • Dietary Practice: Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Mostly Vegetarian
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Ecumenical (includes “all religions”)
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)

Keywords

nonviolence, sustainablility, simplicity, organic, solar, sharing

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