Marshfield, Vermont, United States

  • Last updated: October 13, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: November 22, 2008

Mission Statement

We come together so that we may better live in accordance with our beliefs, and for the joy of community. We believe that all people have high and equal value, and that respect for all living things has priority over material wealth.

We are committed to living our values personally, in the community and in the outside world. We respect and welcome people of all races, ethnicities, creeds, ages, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, and experiences.

We undertake to create a community in which adults and children can share their lives through work, learning and play and grow with nurturing and support, as a diverse rural community that values ecological sustainability, respect and support for children, integrity, nonviolence, mindfulness, beauty, harmony, healthfulness, simplicity, creativity, joy, honesty, trust and fun. We want to work to grow strong, long-term connections among members and with the outside community, continually seeking to work together, learn together and teach together as much as possible.

Community Description

We are a small community of a few families sharing 200 beautiful acres a half hour from Montpelier. Our ideas, vision, and mission statement are on our website, and we’re eager for input from interested people to establish Neruda as an organic process. We hope those interested will work with us to iron out the details.

Neruda is currently home to three households: five adults, four cats, and two dogs. We have room for three more households.

We live on beautiful land; about 40 acres are fields and the rest wooded, including a one-acre pond, a stream, and trails. Two households live in a two-family earthship (underground, passive solar, recycled materials) that we are still finishing and one household lives in a newly constructed tiny yurt. Also on the land is an old farmhouse sorely in need of repair. To the southwest and northwest, we are bordered by 25,000 acres of state forest. To our west are 300 acres of village forest. The views from our land are stunning as we’re surrounded by mostly wooded hills and valleys.

We have beautiful land for farming and raising animals. We have the beginning of a fine orchard of apples, pears, plums, blueberries, cherries, and peaches.

We envision working with others to create renewable-energy projects (microhydro, wind, solar), trails open to the public, and other green projects. Marshfield is a town of 1,500 people. The townspeople are environmentally conscious and receptive to environmental projects. The town “center” includes a restaurant, a village store, a gas station and a video rental store. Nearby Plainfield has awesome pizza, another great restaurant, Goddard College and a food coop. There are two other food coops within a half-hour’s drive.

Despite our rural surroundings, we have access to four commuter buses in the early morning, one at noontime and another four in the evening, two going to and from St Johnsbury and two going to and from Montpelier. With transfers in Montpelier, we can ride all the way to Burlington in about ninety minutes for as little as two dollars. That’s only a half hour longer than it takes to drive by car. Neruda is located about 1.4 miles from the nearest bus stop. The routes and times are posted on the Green Mountain Transit website (

  • Status: Forming
  • Started Planning: 2006
  • Start Living Together: 2006
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address:
  • Contact Name: Sue and John Morris
  • Phone: 732-334-8433
  • Community Address:
    1392 VT Rte 232
    Marshfield, Vermont, 05658-8067
    United States
  • Location


  • Type(s): Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 200 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Multi-family homes
  • Current Number of Residences: 3
  • Planned number of residences: 3
  • Planned Residence Types: Multi-family homes
  • Housing Provided: Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: Individual community member(s)
  • Additional Comments:

    We have room for one more duplex, and the farmhouse can take the addition of a second household.


  • Adult Members: 5
  • Child Members: 1
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 31-40%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Contact us, preferably by email, but phone and snail mail are okay too.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    There is very little formality in the process as we are developing it as we go. People come to visit a few times and express interest in joining at some point. The current members of Neruda then discuss the application and decide by consensus how to respond.

  • Additional Comments:

    Neruda is secular, but our members come from a wide range of spiritual traditions.

    Schooling is up to the parents.


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


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: Encouraged or suggested
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Each family contributes the greater of its share of the property taxes or 10% of household income. In addition, households may choose to contribute more to a project fund.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Energy sources: Biomass, Clean Energy from the Grid
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: From 50-75%
  • Food produced locally: From 50-75%


  • Common Facilities: Garden(s), Vehicle Share, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Swimming pond or pool, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Fire pit, Waterfront access, Internet
  • 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: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Mostly Vegetarian, Vegan Only (plants only, no animal products) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegan., Mostly Vegan, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Raw or Mostly Raw, Kosher, Halal, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Members make their own choices
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    We have started an orchard. Also, some members have a garden.

    Some of us partake in alcohol, some do not. There is no pressure in either direction.

    Smoking of all kinds (tobacco, marijuana, etc.) is discouraged.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Members’ choice
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Expected Healthcare Practices:

    Nothing beyond legal requirements.

  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)