Author: Chris Roth


Chris Roth edited Talking Leaves: A Journal of Our Evolving Ecological Culture for eight years, and has edited Communities since 2008. A resident member of Lost Valley Educational Center/Meadowsong Ecovillage in Dexter, Oregon, he has lived in intentional community and on organic or permaculture farms most of his adult life. Among other activities, he currently leads nature walks at Mount Pisgah Arboretum and assists at Solsara workshops. Contact him at editor [AT] ic.org.

Articles by Chris Roth include:

  • Festivals and Gatherings (Issue # 142)
  • Community in Hard Times (Issue # 144)
  • Ecology and Community (Issue # 143)
  • Searching for Republicans...and Other Elephants in the Community Living Room (Issue # 140)
  • How Ecology Led Me to Community (Issue # 143)
  • Health and Well-Being (Issue # 145)
  • Family (Issue # 146)
  • The Butterfly Effect and the Art (Direction) of Circumstance (Issue # 140)
  • Exploring Family (Issue # 146)
  • Together and Apart; Eden Within Eden (Issue # 146)
  • Thoughts on Power (Issue # 148)
  • Education for Sustainability (Issue # 147)
  • Power and Disempowerment on the Ecobus (Issue # 148)
  • Getting Elder All the Time (Issue # 149)
  • Crazy About Community (Issue # 150)
  • Hopeful New Stories from the Old World (Issue # 150)
  • Intimacy: Past , Present, Future (Issue # 151)
  • On the Road with Communities (Issue # 151)
  • Right Lively 'Hood (Issue # 152)
  • The Growing Edge, Additional Permaculture Resources, and Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth (Issue # 153)
  • Permaculture 101 and Attending to Zone Zero (Issue # 153)
  • The Economics of Happiness (Issue # 154)
  • Common Ground in an Uncertain World (Issue # 154)
  • The Lighter Side of Community (Issue # 155)
  • Group Works (Issue # 156)
  • An Ecovillage Future (Issue # 156)
  • Endings and Beginnings (Issue # 157)
  • Gratitude, Loss, Rebirth, and Community (Issue # 157)
  • Cycling toward Sustainable Community (Issue # 157)
  • Conmunity Wisdom for Everyday Life (Issue # 159)
  • The Encyclopedic Guide to American Intentional Communities (Issue # 159)
  • The Rhythm of Rutledge (Issue # 159)
  • Affording Communities (Issue # 158)
  • Youth in Community (Issue # 160)
  • Health and Quiet (Issue # 145)
  • Confessions of a Fallen Eco-Warrior (Issue # 161)
  • Gender: Is There a “There” There? (Issue #162)

Learning from the Past, #176 Contents

Posted on August 28, 2017 by
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Our Fall issue, sponsored in part by the Communal Studies Association, focuses on Learning from the Past. Current communitarians reflect on lessons from their own and their communities’ histories, and on inspiration from historical communities that inform their own efforts. Students of communalism share the outcomes of their research, including recipes for success and failure and other insights from past and present communities. Community seekers and founders describe what they’ve learned so far. Throughout, we explore how learning from the past can help us navigate the present and move toward a more vibrant, functional, cooperative future.


Economics in Cooperative Culture, #175 Contents

Posted on May 26, 2017 by
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Economics in cooperative culture—the focus of our Summer issue—is expressed in myriad forms
From cohousing developments to gift-economy activist camps, from spiritual communities to mobile home parks, from income-sharing communities to intentional neighborhoods, people across a wide range of economic circumstances and approaches are discovering the benefits of cooperative economics. Their stories suggest new ways of “stewarding our home” and transitioning into a more inclusive and sustainable future.


Soil, Communities, and Climate Change: An Interview with Nikki Silvestri

Posted on April 11, 2017 by
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As a climate solutions advocate explains, carbon is not a bad thing; it’s often just in the wrong places right now.


Climate Crisis, Dystopia, and Community

Posted on February 25, 2017 by
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From the personal to the global, with hard times undeniable, community may be our life-support.


Communities and Climate Change, #174 Contents

Posted on February 20, 2017 by
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Our Spring issue examines how intentional communities and other groups are responding to the challenges presented by climate change. Through stories from more than a dozen diverse communities, we learn about steps being taken both to mitigate the intensity of climate disruption and to adapt to its effects. Innovative approaches include carbon onsetting, biochar production and use, personal/spiritual work, strategies for fossil-fuel-freedom, and more.


Not Rocket Science, but Just as Important

Posted on November 25, 2016 by
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The arts of cooperative living—supported tirelessly by the cash-strapped FIC, and worthy now more than ever of financial support—will be as essential as technical skills if our species is to survive on this planet or any other.


Social Permaculture, and Public vs. Private, #173 Contents

Posted on November 21, 2016 by
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Our Winter issue explores both Social Permaculture and the interface of Public and Private in intentional community. Starhawk and her colleagues share wisdom from the cutting edge of social permaculture practice, while diverse communitarians discuss how they find balance between the collective and the individual, openness and self-protection, outer-world activism and internal focus. We also learn about Sociocracy missteps, legal structures that help groups put their best feet forward (or not), and more.


Service and Activism, #172 Contents

Posted on August 18, 2016 by
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Our Fall issue explores Service and Activism in intentional communities. Authors share their stories of living and working in both service- and activist-oriented groups, including Camphill communities, Innisfree Village, Gesundheit!, Konohana Family, Magic, Black Bulga, and more. How do service and activism build community, both within a group and in the larger world? How can communitarians contribute to the well-being of the planet and its people? We also explore how long-standing, mission-focused communities—including Harbin Hot Springs, ZEGG, and EcoVillage at Ithaca—have evolved over time, and the latest research about happiness in community.


Ecovillages around the World, #171 Contents

Posted on May 18, 2016 by
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In our Summer issue, the Global Ecovillage Network, Gaia Trust, and the FIC partner to offer stories of pioneering efforts worldwide by communities working to incorporate the four dimensions of sustainability: social, ecological, economic, and worldview. We explore local solutions to global problems, creating carbon-negative communities, restoring our relationships to one another and the land, learning from indigenous groups, ecovillage strategies in areas of crisis, and more.


Finding or Starting a Community, #170 Contents

Posted on February 22, 2016 by
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Those seeking an intentional community are often faced with a choice: find it, or found it? Whether looking to join an existing community or working to start a new one, aspiring communitarians can glean invaluable lessons from the experiences of other seekers and pioneers. Our Spring issue is full of success stories, cautionary tales, adventures, reflections, advice, and resources for anyone interested in Finding or Starting a Community.


Many Faces

Posted on November 26, 2015 by
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Our new issue, supported by High Wind Association, explores the many forms community can take.


The Many Faces of Community, #169 Contents

Posted on November 24, 2015 by
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Community can take many forms other than “intentional.” In our Winter issue, veterans of the High Wind Association network and others share their experiences exploring and cultivating community both within and outside of intentional community settings.


It’s the Law

Posted on August 25, 2015 by
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Communal living is no escape from dealing with legal issues and challenges coming from both within and outside the group.


Community and the Law, #168 Contents

Posted on August 21, 2015 by
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Community and the Law can be uneasy bedfellows. Some intentional communities are hobbled by legal restrictions—especially zoning, building codes, and permitting requirements—or by other effects, both within and outside the group, of a complaint-driven legal system. Yet some groups are able to forge new approaches and help change codes and laws to support more cooperative and resilient ways of living. In “Community and the Law,” authors share on-the-ground stories and guidance for others hoping to coexist peacefully and productively with the Law.


The Community’s Garden Orchestra

Posted on July 14, 2015 by
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Engaging in collective food-production is like making our own music together: it’s both difficult and rewarding, especially with diverse players involved.


Food and Community, #167 Contents

Posted on May 25, 2015 by
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Food and community are both at the core of our experience as human beings. Food brings us together and helps us understand and define who we are in groups. It highlights our interdependence and brings up core issues such as how we make decisions, how we relate to one another and the earth, and how we balance individual and collective needs and preferences. In “Food and Community,” our authors share stories and explore issues from locavoracity to global consciousness.


The New Communities

Posted on February 26, 2015 by
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Our new format features 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper, as well as color throughout the issue—better reflecting both our ecological values and the richness of life in cooperative culture.


Community for Baby Boomers, #166 Contents

Posted on February 20, 2015 by
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What role can baby boomers (born 1946-1964) play in a new resurgence of intentional community living? Where can they find and offer support to meet their and others’ needs over their final decades of life? How can aging baby boomers regain the sense of community that defined much of their generation as youth and young adults? What gifts do baby boomers offer to younger generations? In “Community for Baby Boomers,” our contributors explore these questions and many more.


Technology on the Path to Reality: Snapshots from the Pre-Post-Digital Age

Posted on December 29, 2014 by
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Misadventures with a cell phone help the author dial into more enduring, meaningful adventures and relationships not dependent on an electronic-communications hamster wheel.


Technology, Nature, and Community

Posted on November 21, 2014 by
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How does modern technology affect our ecological and social literacy? Are computers and their kin suppressing or enhancing the awareness, skills, and qualities essential to our nature as humans?


Technology: Friend or Foe?, #165 Contents

Posted on November 14, 2014 by
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In our issue on “Technology: Friend or Foe?,” authors examine the impacts of modern technology on their experience of community. Has the digital age brought us closer together, or moved us apart? How has it impacted our relationship with the rest of the living world? What does “appropriate use of technology” look like, and what is “appropriate technology”? We explore the full range of sentiment from technological optimism to technological skepticism.


Community Conversations, #164 Contents

Posted on September 3, 2014 by
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In our “Community Conversations” issue, people both within and outside of intentional community discuss questions like: What does community mean to us? Where do we find it? What are its benefits and challenges? How do we deepen our experience of it? What is the purpose of community, and how do we talk about it? Their stories form a rich, diverse tapestry in which community and conversation prove to be inextricably intertwined.


Business Ventures, #163 Contents

Posted on May 31, 2014 by
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Issue #163 explores the fertile ground where cooperation and commerce intersect. How can we earn a living while still upholding our values? How can we bring cooperative principles to business activities? How can we nurture our communities, neighborhoods, and towns by creating sustainable livelihoods that serve the greater good? What obstacles do we encounter, and how do we overcome them?


Gender: Is There a “There” There?

Posted on March 4, 2014 by
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The intensity of community living can bring issues of gender, sexual identity, and gender relationships to the fore as nothing else does.


Gender Issues, #162 Contents

Posted on March 4, 2014 by
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Communities #162 looks at gender, sexual identity, gender relationships, and much more.


Confessions of a Fallen Eco-Warrior

Posted on January 14, 2014 by
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A communitarian stops counting nanowatts, and starts counting blessings.


Affording Communities

Posted on March 7, 2013 by
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Together—but only together—we can afford to keep publishing Communities.


Cycling toward Sustainable Community

Posted on December 7, 2012 by
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After 6,500 miles of pedaling and 100 community visits, a couple documents the promise of intentional community and cooperative living.


Gratitude, Loss, Rebirth, and Community

Posted on December 7, 2012 by
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Endings and beginnings grow from one another and make personal and group renewal possible.


An Ecovillage Future

Posted on September 7, 2012 by
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For the health of our species and the planet, we need ecovillages.