Glouster, Ohio, United States

  • Last updated: March 14, 2017 (2 months ago)
  • Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Mission Statement

We work together to develop a more ecological, personally fulfilling, and just way of life.

Community Description

For over 20 years, the Edges Community has evolved through many forms, serving as home and opportunity for diverse individuals, families and lifestyles as well as a refuge of biodiversity, holistic healing, off-grid living, and affordable housing. It has provided a place of entrepreneurship in alternative medicine, green building, organic agriculture, and renewable energy and offered educational opportunities in both permaculture and ecological awareness. Though many of Edges members, families, and businesses have come and gone, what remains is a small core of committed members with a social, financial, and governance structure backed by over two decades of learning and observation in community living. We are looking forward to the continuing story of our community and what it may offer future generations.

Edges is owned and operated as a land trust corporation, comprised collectively and equally of its members. Members own their houses, but the land property itself is held in trust, undivided and unparceled.

Though there are no property lines, members occupy and homestead their own personal area of land. The community seeks to balance privacy and autonomy with integrated community living and collective planning and decision-making.

Our governance structure operates by “consensus minus-one”, though almost all our decisions are reached through full consensus, upholding simple core values of trust, respect, transparency, and open communication.

Currently there are six core members, only four of which live on the land. The community is also home to other resident non-members and families, and continues to offer affordable housing options for alternatively minded individuals and couples who may or may not be interested in a long-term membership commitment.

Our membership process involves an extensive 7-month “provisional membership” period during which potential members live on the land and participate as if they were members, with several “check-ins” to discuss compatibility.

Our community meets one weekend a month for an official meeting, work-day project, and meal. We benefit from several shared resources, including a laundry room, large chest-freezer, garage/workshop, tractor and bush-hog, riding mower, hauling trailer, 4×4 UTV, wood chipper, and small barn.

Our 94 acres is located near Athens, Ohio, in the foothills of Appalachia and unglaciated Ohio River Valley. Our land occupies one of the highest points in the county, serving as a watershed property for tributaries of the Federal and Sunday Creek. The diverse ridge top topography cradles many diverse micro-climates and habitats, from dry open meadows to mature diverse hardwood forests, swampy seeps and vernal pools to highly competitive new-growth forests. The land offers abundance in wild food and medicine, including persimmon, paw paw, elderberry, black walnut, blackberry and wild mushrooms. We have a half-acre pond. Delicious varieties of second and third generation apple trees speckle the property from an old orchard. Our meadows, rarely mowed, are pollinator havens as well as battlegrounds of highly competitive invasive species such as multi-flora rose, autumn olive, and Japanese honeysuckle. The land supports little fertile bottom land, but its dynamic forms in both topography and biodiversity offer enormous potential for a large-scale permaculture plan and integrated systems approach to food, medicine, and firewood production.

Currently, we maintain personal gardens, harvest wild food, and keep several bee hives.

We hope to attract creatively driven individuals to participate in and become part of an evolving community vision, one which is ecologically sensitive, which celebrates diversity and cooperation, one which respects privacy and self-reliance, but is empowered by co-dependence, collaboration, and trust.


  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1992
  • Start Living Together: 1994
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Contact Name: Susan B. Young
  • Phone: 740-590-4874
  • Community Address:
    10770 Hooper Ridge Rd
    Glouster, Ohio, 45732-9247
    United States
  • Location


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling)
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 94 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Yurt, tee-pee, dome, treehouse, or tent, Lots to build on
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental
  • Land owned by: Community controlled land trust


  • Adult Members: 6
  • Child Members: 1
  • Non-member Residents: 4
  • Percent Women: 71-80%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Percent Transgender: 1-10%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Write, email or call.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    There is a weekend visit, then a 2 week one. If approved for provisional membership, you live on the land for 7 months and participate in the community as if you were a member. We schedule several “check-ins” to discuss compatibility. After the 7 month period (which can extend up to 12 months if necessary), you can be approved for full membership.


  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No


  • Join Fee: $8500
  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $50
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: Encouraged or suggested
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Our financial requirements for members include:

    $8,500 lifetime lease
    (payable monthly, interest free)

    $3,000 improvement fee
    (can be payed alternatively through work/exchange, equipment, or other community-driven proposals)

    $50 maintenance fee (monthly dues expected from every adult residing at Edges)

    Help/labor is expected during our monthly scheduled community weekends.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 50-75%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Wind, Wood
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: From 50-75%
  • Food produced locally: From 50-75%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Swimming pond or pool, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Fire pit, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: No, it is slow.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for some people.
  • Shared meals: 1-3 times per month
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs)
  • Education Style(s): Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Additional Comments

We have a large off-grid community house available for rental to individuals or couples interested in shared cooperative housing and an alternative community lifestyle. This is available to both those interested in pursuing membership as well as those who don’t want that degree of commitment, but are still interested in alternative community living. The house includes shared community garden space, beehives, dry/wet root cellar storage and off-grid amenities from solar and wind energy, a rain catchment cistern, and composting toilet.

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)


alternative energy, permaculture, balance, gardening, holistic healing, rural, off-grid, solar, eco