Shannon Farm Community

Afton, Virginia, United States

  • Last updated: July 5, 2018 (1 second ago)
  • Listing created on: October 5, 2004

Mission Statement

Shannon Farm is a residential intentional community where people share land, encourage member-managed agriculture and businesses, and support cooperative and harmonious living situations here and in the larger world.

Community Description

Nestled in the beautiful and fertile Rockfish Valley, 27 miles west of Charlottesville and a 20-minute drive from the point where the Blue Ridge Parkway becomes Skyline Drive, you will find our 520+ acres of forests, pastures, river-bottom hayfields, and 8 clusters of houses. Shannon Farm is home to about 60 adults, from their 20s to 70s, and 15 children, from toddlers to teens. We are gardeners and artists, teachers and unschoolers, computer programmers and cabinet makers, nurses and massage therapists, activists and entrepreneurs. Diverse lifestyles coexist here.

We want new members who have energy for building long-term relationships with those who already live here, and time for the physical and organizational work necessary to keep our community viable and our internal culture vibrant.

Members pay monthly dues, based on individual income, to finance communal expenses, from road maintenance to childcare during meetings. Recent large projects include installation of a photovoltaic array at our community center, construction of a picnic shelter at our lake and a new tractor shop for our equipment. We also held a festive celebration of our 40th anniversary as an intentional community a few years ago.

Shannon Farm is a private, non-speculative land and housing trust that owns the land and all of the buildings on it. There is no joining fee, but personal assets are needed for the rent or purchase of one of our houses. We welcome families with children and have agreements that keep housing affordable here.

Our various committees (Housing, Land Stewardship, Finance, et al.) bring discussions and proposals to our monthly business meetings, where we use a consensus-based decision making process. People who wish to explore Shannon may start by visiting on a Monthly Meeting (MM) day. 2018 MM schedule: Sunday 1/2, Saturday 2/3, Sunday 3/4, Saturday 4/7, Sunday 5/6, Saturday 6/2, Sunday 7/1, Saturday 8/4, Sunday 9/9, Saturday 10/6, Sunday 11/4, Saturday 12/1. Please contact our visitor coordinator for details.

If you are interested in the global intentional communities movement and seek a rural, more sustainable lifestyle, Shannon Farm may be the right place for you. It can take some time to get to know us, but we invite you to make the effort. We look forward to meeting you!

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1972
  • Start Living Together: 1973
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Contact Name: Karen Blackburn
  • Phone: 434-361-9383
  • Community Address:
    274 Shannon Farm Lane
    Afton, Virginia, 22920
    United States
  • FIC Membership

    Since 1987
    This Community is an FIC Member
  • Location


  • Type(s): Unspecified, or Other
  • Programs & Activities: WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 520 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Natural built structues, Lots to build on, Geodesic dome
  • Current Number of Residences: 37
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership


  • Adult Members: 61
  • Child Members: 18
  • Non-member Residents: 5
  • Percent Women: 51-60%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Call or email Karen Blackburn, our Visitor Coordinator.

  • Open to new Members: Yes


  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • 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:

    We share some tools, equipment, garden space, vehicles, and more – some communally and some in smaller collectives.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Vehicle Share, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Swimming pond or pool, Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for some people.
  • Shared meals: 1-3 times per month
  • 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 try to accommodate special diets at community meals. No smoking allowed in our common indoor spaces.

  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private School off the property, Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Global Ecovillage Network – North America (GENNA)


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