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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)

The Many Faces of Community, #169 Contents

Posted on November 24, 2015 by
4 Comments

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
3 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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
1 Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

Communities #162 looks at gender, sexual identity, gender relationships, and much more.


Confessions of a Fallen Eco-Warrior

Posted on January 14, 2014 by

A communitarian stops counting nanowatts, and starts counting blessings.


Affording Communities

Posted on March 7, 2013 by

Together—but only together—we can afford to keep publishing Communities.


Cycling toward Sustainable Community

Posted on December 7, 2012 by
1 Comment

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

Endings and beginnings grow from one another and make personal and group renewal possible.


An Ecovillage Future

Posted on September 7, 2012 by
1 Comment

For the health of our species and the planet, we need ecovillages.


The Lighter Side of Community

Posted on June 7, 2012 by
4 Comments

This Hollywood movie offers both surprising insight and fond parody while taking viewers far from the beaten path, into the world of intentional community.


Common Ground in an Uncertain World

Posted on March 7, 2012 by
1 Comment

A journey through various flavors of spiritually eclectic community brings
us face to face with cursed seeds, the White Brotherhood Team, mystery,
and stardust.


Permaculture 101 and Attending to Zone Zero

Posted on December 7, 2011 by
1 Comment

The editor provides a refresher on our theme and suggests some new Zone Zero guidelines to help keep permaculturalists in the game for the long haul.


Right Lively ‘Hood

Posted on September 7, 2011 by
1 Comment

Finding meaningful, socially and ecologically responsible work cannot be done in a vacuum. Right livelihood depends on networks of relationship.


Hopeful New Stories from the Old World

Posted on March 7, 2011 by
1 Comment

Ten European ecovillages show the way to a brighter future.


Getting Elder All the Time

Posted on December 7, 2010 by

Community can be balm for the discomforts of aging, just as elders’ wisdom and caring can soothe the growing pains of youth.


Power and Disempowerment on the Ecobus

Posted on September 7, 2010 by
7 Comments

Some saw this radical environmental education program as a “cult,” others as an intensely focused experience of challenge and growth. Had participants lost their individuality, or gained a new sense of self?


Education for Sustainability

Posted on June 7, 2010 by

Author: Chris Roth Published in Communities Magazine Issue #147 I’m listening to the rain fall on the roof of Karma, the passive solar residence at Sandhill Farm where I’m staying this spring. In these first few weeks of March, I’ve helped with and learned about peach tree pruning, maple syrup production, vegetable growing in northeast… Read More


Together and Apart; Eden Within Eden

Posted on March 7, 2010 by

Reviews of two great books on community living, one on life in a convent with surprising insights even for the most secular, and one on the history of utopian experiments in Oregon.


Exploring Family

Posted on March 7, 2010 by

What do Hopi Indians, John Keats, lost loves, intentional community, and family have in common? For better or worse, they’ve combined to befuddle, enlighten, dismay, and inspire our author.


Health and Well-Being

Posted on December 7, 2009 by

Author: Chris Roth Published in Communities Magazine Issue #145 This year’s discussion on health care policy in the United States has focused attention on ways to assure broader access to allopathic medicine, including controlling the costs of health insurance and medical care. All of us, even those who use allopathic medicine only infrequently, have a… Read More


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