Rock Garden Springs

Big Bend, California, United States

  • Last updated: February 20, 2016 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: April 27, 2015

Mission Statement

Multi-generational home based upon sustainability and equality.

Community Description

We are a community with four currently committed adults, our children, and a network of non-resident members and friends. We are creating a multi-generational home space together in rural northern California. Here, we are intentionally building a culture expressing our consensed-upon values, which include: sustainability, love, sharing, clear communication, an empowered work ethic, sex-positivity, and fun. We are choosing to continually experiment with new solutions to provide sustainably for human material and emotional needs.
We govern ourselves through weekly meetings, in which all are welcome to speak, and major decisions are finally made by consensus of the partner members. These Councils ensure regular coordination of our projects, and all visitors are expected to attend and invited to participate. We also have a heartsong circle, usually monthly, which fosters deep, honest communication. All four of the current adults are polyamorous, and we welcome everyone. The land is owned by our mutual benefit nonprofit corporation. Each resident chooses projects to manage, for example, we currently have managers for the water (mountain spring-fed), the power (hydroelectric & solar), the goats, the kitchen, and equipment maintenance.
There are few structures on the land, which is mostly undeveloped, so it is best for visitors to be prepared to camp. The land is mostly steep and rocky, relatively impassable for individuals with serious mobility issues. We use little power, and phone lines don’t reach us, but we do have limited Internet access. Together, we have built a well-stocked community kitchen, but visitors, like residents, are expected to provide a portion of their own food. Economic opportunities are limited in this town, so bring your own initial income stream. We mostly shop in Redding, which is a 90-minute drive away on a clear day. There is only one small general store in our town which has two or three hundred residents. Also, this river-side town has natural hot springs, a permaculture-based community land trust, a community club, and an excellent elementary/middle school.
We acknowledge a healthy community’s dependence on the mingling of many generations. We’re welcoming individuals and families of every variety who are excited about the puzzle of crafting a permaculture oasis out of raw land. We want people to commit to our diverse projects, including administration, construction, unschooling the children, operation and maintenance of heavy equipment, agricultural husbandry such as chickens, bees, mushrooms, and multi-layered gardening, et cetera. If these are not areas you are experienced in, we want you, too! If you consider yourself creative, considerate, reliable, and flexible, and willing to communicate openly, then come visit us and see if our home could become your home, too.

  • Status: Forming
  • Started Planning: 2007
  • Start Living Together: 2007
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Contact Name: Rock Garden Springs
  • FIC Membership

    Since 2016
    This Community is an FIC Member


  • Type(s): Commune (organized around sharing almost everything)
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have raw land
  • Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes, Yurt, tee-pee, dome, treehouse, or tent, Mobile homes, RV’s, converted buses, Natural built structues
  • Land owned by: The Community


  • Adult Members: 4
  • Child Members: 2
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    We expect you to fill out our visitor questionnaire, which includes telling us your ideal arrival time, and then to wait for our confirmation of your visit. Email [email protected] for this and many more informational documents.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Once someone has visited successfully for long enough, we may declare them a player. A player has no commitment. After six months participation, players become eligible to announce their commitment, and have a minimum of one year as a pilgrim, demonstrating how they would behave as partners, before they can be declared new partner members. All of these declarations are made by consensus of the current partnership.


  • Decision Making: weekly Council (all speak, consensus of partners)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    We govern ourselves in the weekly Council, which everyone is required to attend and in which we are committed to hearing wisdom from everyone. Members who have achieved partnership (through a minimum of 18 months participation and the declaration of the current partners) reach decisions by consensus.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: Partial share of income
  • Required Labor Contribution: Encouraged or suggested
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Some amount of food, transportation, power, and shelter is available to all residents and visitors, though this is unfortunately not enough for the typical standard of living, and all residents and visitors are expected to supplement their own needs through independent finances. Additionally, while there is no set numerical labor quota, all residents and visitors are expected to regularly contribute their time and efforts to the community.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are totally off grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 50-75%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Hydro-Electric
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: 100%
  • Food produced locally: From 50-75%


  • Common Facilities: Garden(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Outdoor Kitchen, Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Swingsets & play areas, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: No, it is slow.
  • Cell Phone Service: Not good for most people.
  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), We hope you can be made comfortable here, regardless of your diet.
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    We are Traditional Nutritionists, that is to say, we value pasture-raised animal fats, lactoferments, and so forth. There is a mild opposition to “conventional” American food-style product. Many of our meals include, by financial necessity, a bit of this mixed in with the organic/local, but if the typical American diet is an important priority in your life, RGS is unlikely to be comfortable living with you.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Not a particularly spiritual or religious community
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Expected Healthcare Practices:

    Prospective residents must note that we are a 90-minute drive from the hospital, and high-risk individuals would not be appropriate permanent residents.

  • Additional Comments:

    We would be happy to answer any specific questions you have in an email dialogue.

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Rainbow Family, the Transition (.org)


permaculture, egalitarian, sex-positive, polyamorous, Rainbow, sustainability, rugged