Quaker Intentional Village-Canaan

East Chatham, New York, United States

  • Last updated: January 17, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: August 2, 2011

Mission Statement

Spirit, land, growing together

Community Description

We are currently a community of six member households and three households interested in membership, living close to the land on 135 acres of mixed woodland and pasture. We range in age from infant to 60s, with 15 adults and 14 children. We strive to live spirit-focused lives that are simple, sustainable, and joyful, benefiting from and enjoying our close connections with each other and the land. We don’t all need to identify explicitly as Quaker. We welcome diversity of all sorts.

We are in the gorgeous Hudson Valley of upstate New York (2.5 hours from NYC/Boston, 10 minutes from our local Quaker Meeting), in the foothills of the Berkshires.

We are thriving in a range of green homes that use technologies including plastered strawbale walls, slip-and-chip walls, stick-building, timber-framing, passive solar design, solar hot-water systems, and wood heat; many of us built our own. Many of us farm small plots organically, raise chickens and livestock, and eat increasingly more from what we grow. We join together in our big farmhouse for weekly potlucks, occasional community dinners hosted by one or more households, community workdays, committee meetings, spontaneous game nights and tea times, presentations on topics of interest, and monthly community business meetings. We use Quaker processes including consensus decision-making that seeks God’s will, discernment, and the clearness process, and we value equality, simplicity, and diversity of experience and viewpoints.

We are currently seeking new members! Starting late summer 2014 there will be a 1,500-sq ft house available for sale to a new member household. The house is initially available for rent in order to allow time for discernment about membership. (See pictures of red house in photo gallery below.) We also have one house building site available, with the possibility of two more in the future if there is need. Our membership process starts with a mutual getting-t0-know-each-other time, during which the potential member or member family gets involved with the community in various ways and gets to know us (and vice-versa). This often takes up to a year. The goal is to come to a sense of clearness, for the applicant as well as the community members, about whether the fit is a good one. More about our membership process can be found on our web site (http://qivc.org/faq-qivc#Participation).

We believe conscious culture creation in community can be a means to advance our intentions:

  1. To live in worship, increasing our mindfulness, spiritual focus, and God-centeredness by intertwining our daily lives with others who share these intentions
  2. To create a village setting that values and engages participation by people of all ages, expands our experience of family, and supports our expression in the world
  3. To create wealth that embodies integrity and Truth by carefully examining our engagement in the current economic order and stepping away from its destructive elements
  4. To live in unity & harmony with the earth by considering the near and far environmental impact of our actions while striving for thrivability
  5. To include a good measure of joy, fun, creativity, and service in our lives

We believe that our communities’ success in achieving these five intentions will be aided by memberships diverse in race, age, ethnicity, sexual preference, and economic situations, and therefore it is our aim to gather communities whose members are diverse in these ways as well as others.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 2000
  • Start Living Together: 2005
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address: http://qivc.org
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/QIVCcanaanny
  • Contact Name: Membership, Outreach, and Promotion Committee
  • Phone: 518-392-1971
  • Mailing Address:
    235 Bradley’s Crossing Road
    East Chatham, New York, 12060
    United States
  • FIC Membership

    Since 2015
    This Community is an FIC Member
  • Location


  • Type(s): Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)
  • Location: To be Determined


  • Area: 135 acres
  • Current Number of Residences: 9
  • Land owned by: The Community
  • Additional Comments:

    Most of this is fields and woods, with a stream.

    We have room for one more unit to be built with our current subdivision, and could subdivide again to enable two more units.

    We intended to follow the cluster-housing model, but local zoning laws did not allow for it. We’ve put our houses as close to each other as was possible with current zoning law.


  • Adult Members: 14
  • Child Members: 14
  • Non-member Residents: 3
  • Percent Women: 51-60%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Visitor Process: We welcome visits in person — just contact us by e-mail at [email protected], or by phone at 518-392-1971 between 7pm and 9 pm (ask for Sandy). To make your visit more informative, get some background beforehand from our web site, qivc.org. Visits on Friday afternoon/evening work best for guests and the community, with potluck Friday night. Overnight hospitality is available, usually, for those traveling from outside the area.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Prospective members get to know the community by participating in its activities, then write letters requesting membership and explaining how they and the community are a good fit. A committee of members and advisors meets with the prospective members to arrive at a recommendation, which is then considered by the entire membership. For more see the Steps in Membership section of our Web site: http://qivc.org/membership-qivc

    (We’re actively seeking new members who share our intentions for community living, who have a healthy sense of self, and who are open to and able to hear other points of view. We have one house building site available now, two more possibly available in the future, and an existing house to purchase by a member household–see pictures of red house below.)

  • Additional Comments:

    We have children who are home-schooled, who attend public school, and who attend private school.


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

    Since we operate according to Quaker business practice, we are all equally responsible to lead and to be led by others.

    We make all decisions by a process called “sense of the meeting” or “unity.” These are Quaker terms for a process that goes beyond consensus to seek the will of the Spirit.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Annual operating fee per adult member is about $2,500; this is the average amount based on annual budget needs. It is often adjusted per household based on need/ability. Members with more money generally contribute more on an annual basis. The operating fees cover property taxes, capital loan repayments, insurance, and maintenance of commonly held assets as well as other community operating costs. For renter members these fees are rolled into the monthly rent.

    There’s a required capital loan of $30 per square foot of living space (2011 figure) for homeowner members, and a capital loan equivalent to one month’s rent for renter members.

    All are required to serve on committees and are encouraged to participate in seasonal work days, weekly chores to care for our Common House, and other projects.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy sources: Solar, Biomass, Biofuel
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: From 50-75%


  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), Mostly Vegetarian
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Some families are striving for maximum self-sustenance, even if it is early in the striving. Overall the percentage of our own food we are eating is increasing every year. Some households would say they are already eating 50% QIVC-grown food in the summer months. In addition, and just as importantly, many of us are members of local CSAs and make a big effort to support local agriculture and farmers by buying as much locally as possible. We also try to eat more seasonally, whether we are buying or growing.

    We highly value local organic produce when what we grow ourselves does not meet our needs. Much of the meat we eat is raised here, including chickens, lamb, and pork.

    We have a variety of dietary practices. We have and respect those among us who have chosen to be vegetarian.

    We are mindful of members in recovery and so do not have alcohol in common areas.

    Tobacco use is not allowed in common areas.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Quaker
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private School off the property, Public Schooling

Additional Comments

We are 10 minutes from a small town and 35 minutes from Albany, NY.

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), Quaker Intentional Village Project


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