Land-Based Community near Vienna, Austria

by Wendy
Forming Communities
Austria, Europe

Concept and Ideas

  • A small eco-village type cooperative community starting with 4-10 people (including two already here), possibly expanding up to 15 people if more living space is added
  • Private living spaces plus shared spaces for community use (indoor and outdoor)
  • Demonstrate and Inspire: solving environmental and societal problems; creating food security and abundance, friendship, respect, kindness, creativity, meaningful work and recreation, lifelong learning
  • Compatible personalities and lifestyles
  • Diverse range of complimentary skills and interests
  • An agreed weekly or monthly time contribution improves the quality of life for everyone: for example gardening, food preservation, maintenance and improvement of living spaces, cleaning, regular or occasional group meals
  • Sharing skills and recreation in community, for example: yoga, music lessons, riding lessons, art projects, book club, work exchange (time banking)
  • Sharing equipment for lower expenses and more efficient resource use: furnished living spaces and tool library already available, future carshare possible

About us

We are an American/Austrian couple, 50 and 63. We are both involved in the arts and creative projects, and spiritually minded but not religious.

Veit grew up in Vienna and moved to this countryside location 25 years ago. He studied graphic design and developed his career in fine arts, focusing primarily on painting in addition to photography and filmmaking. Since 2010 he has been teaching graphic design in Vienna.

Wendy grew up on a remote mountain homestead in Northern California during the back-to-the-land commune era. Before meeting Veit, she ran an organic farm, taught sustainable living skills, and trained horses. We met in 2010 when Wendy came to Vienna for a music job, and married in 2013.

Project History

In 2017 we bought the property next door to our own home, and began working to renovate the living spaces for ecotourism and create a no-till market garden. Since 2018 we have been hosting short term holiday guests, as well as volunteers who come to work and learn. Improving the property for more self-sufficient living and sustainable food production is an ongoing project.

We currently have one ongoing volunteer who lives in Vienna, participating in the evolution of the whole project while doing work exchange stays here over the past 2 years. She has a background in social work and non-violent communication and is continuing to help with the community planning process.

The Place

This mini village of 10 traditional Alp cottages was originally an experimental homesteading community, sort of an early eco-village, established by the Austrian government in the 1920’s. The cooperative ended by the 1950’s; today most of the cottages are privately owned but still surrounded by thousands of acres of the beautiful Vienna Woods public green space. The location is completely unique in close proximity to Vienna, only about 20 km from the city boundary. We own 2 adjoining lots approximately 1 acre each, with our cottage on one, and a second cottage and tiny house for additional residents on the other.

The available living spaces are currently set up for short term rentals with beds for maximum 9 people (tiny house 3, guest cottage 6). As longer term rentals for community we can imagine 1 person or a couple in the tiny house and 2 people or a family in the cottage. In future years we can envision adding an apartment or additional bedrooms to the existing cottage and/or 1 or 2 more tiny houses.

Because it is currently operating as holiday rentals, we can offer potential community members flexible options for trying out the living spaces, prior to making longer term commitments.

Some of our Personal Goals 

  • More time freedom, less stress, meaningful and satisfying work
  • Recreation, creative projects
  • Peaceful and Beautiful living conditions
  • Permaculture action and Holistic Resource Management; improving environment and biodiversity, resource use and efficiency, avoiding waste
  • Sustainable fresh local food, healthy humans and animals
  • Being part of a supportive and friendly community
  • A large passive solar greenhouse with space for citrus, figs, and other warm climate perennials

Who we are Looking for

Individuals, couples, or families. Gender, orientation, culture, ethnicity, religion are not a consideration as long as you are respectful of others. The long term goal here is a wide range of ages. A younger couple would be ideal at this stage but we will consider everyone.

People who are able to come for a 1-6 month trial stay prior to making longer term plans. You must have health insurance coverage in Austria while staying here. US citizens can stay in Austria up to 90 days without a visa. Digital nomads and people who travel frequently for work are welcome.

You need an income stream to pay fair monthly rent; various price options depending on your skills/work contribution and requirements for private living space. Currently we have an immediate opening for 2-3 months work exchange for an individual or couple with gardening, animal care, and housekeeping experience.

Non smokers, non drug users. An occasional alcoholic drink is ok, but regular drinking would not fit in here. We don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs ourselves and appreciate the same in others!

Awareness related to food. We won’t impose our own food rules on anyone else (we are omnivores with lots of food restrictions related to health) but we will all need to consider each others’ food issues if preparing shared meals. Even if you don’t eat animal products, to stay here you should have a strong appreciation for the role of animals in regenerative agriculture, the importance of preserving heritage breeds, and enjoy working with animals.

Creative, friendly, responsible people with an appreciation for reciprocal help and kindness, who enjoy improving the place they call home. Complimentary personalities, skills and talents. An interest in sustainable food production, cooperative work, sharing skills and knowledge. Appreciation for peace and quiet, private space, and personal boundaries. Good communication and problem solving skills.

If you are interested, please email introducing yourself.