Sapling Community

Louisa, Virginia, United States

  • Last updated: April 14, 2017 (1 month ago)
  • Listing created on: April 18, 2014

Mission Statement

Our vision is

To create a dynamic, healthy communication culture which maintains a high level of accountability to each other.

To maintain concrete and measurable community goals towards building sustainable infrastructure, co-operative businesses and intentional communities.

To be a family-supportive community.

To retrofit our mainstream manufactured house into a more ecological “suburban homestead”.

To add more land and infrastructure so we can sustainably grow to 15-20 adult members as well as children.

We are fully income sharing.

Community Description

Sapling Community is the newest branch of the family of intentional communities in Central Virginia. We have sprung from a hole in the head of Acorn Community, full grown and in a full suit of armor. We are 7 adults and 4 children, living on 3.5 acres of land. We are surrounded by woods and agricultural land owned by other communities and ex-community members.

Our primary business is Garden Medicinals & Culinaries, selling medicinal and culinary herb seeds, but we also work in carpentry and painting. We are also engaged in active stewardship of our land and the preservation of rare and endangered woodland medicinals.

We are a member of the Federation of Egalitarian Communities (FEC), and have close affiliations with other FEC communities.

Currently, our intention is to grow with great intention. We envision growing to an adult population of between 15-20. And we are so not into drama.

We are interested in getting to know responsible, self-motivated people interested in sharing the dream of creating a peaceful, loving community with a medicinal herb business, small scale agriculture, and who knows what else; which makes a primary focus of caring for its members and giving them opportunities to grow and thrive.

We are especially hoping to meet and partner with people who have experience with and passion for medicinal and culinary herbs and herbalism. But, if you have a passion for community and cooperative living, creating a sustainable lifestyle and hard work we want to meet you as well.

Please write! We’re good letter writers, too!

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 2013
  • Start Living Together: 2013
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address:
  • Business, Project, or Organization:
  • Contact Name: Sapphyre Miria


  • Type(s): Commune (organized around sharing almost everything)
  • Programs & Activities: Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Ethical Business, Investment Group, or Alternative Currency, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 3.5 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Lots to build on
  • Current Number of Residences: 2.5
  • Planned number of residences: 1
  • Planned Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house
  • Housing Provided: Work-exchange, Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: The Community (as a corporation)
  • Additional Comments:

    We’ve begun in a mainstream house and we want to demonstrate how mainstream housing can be retrofitted to more sustainable practices. Our bylaws mandate concrete and measurable goals towards sustainable infrastructure not just vision statements.


  • Adult Members: 7
  • Child Members: 4
  • Non-member Residents: 2
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Percent Transgender: 1-10%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Write us an email describing what you are looking for and why you want to visit Sapling in particular.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    We take it slow. In general, we want to know some one really well before we invite them to become a member. But, there are lots of ways to get involved, possibly including guest stays or internships, so write us an email.

  • Additional Comments:

    No drama! Responsibility and self-motivation are highly important to us.


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

    Our modified consensus system requires a process of multiple attempts to achieve consensus over several weeks in order to over-ride (by a two-thirds vote) a “block” to consensus. All membership acceptances are by consensus only.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: All or close to all
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 40
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    The community does not assume responsibility for debts incurred prior to membership.

Sustainability Practices

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


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: No, it is slow.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • 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, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    We like getting together with our friends but we don’t have a party culture. Habitual drug use and public drunkenness aren’t a part of our culture. Hanging out and having a beer or wine happens here often.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Not a particularly spiritual or religious community, Unitarian Universalist, Paganism or Earth Religions, Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Community Plan
  • Additional Comments:

    Community provides health care to all members. We are a member of PEACH, an FEC-affiliated catastrophic health care cost equity-sharing organization.

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

Federation of Egalitarian Communities (FEC)

Community Affiliations

Acorn, FEC, Sandhill, Living Energy Farm, East Wind, Cambria


herbalism, herbs, heirloom, seeds, income-sharing, egalitarian, building, children, family,