Twin Oaks Intentional Community

Louisa, Virginia, United States

  • Last updated: October 8, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: November 26, 2004

Mission Statement

egalitarianism, income-sharing

Community Description

Twin Oaks is an income-sharing community of 100 people living on 485 acres of farm and forestland in Virginia. We were founded in 1967, and our lifestyle reflects our values of egalitarianism, ecology, and nonviolence. We welcome scheduled visitors throughout the year. We are economically self-sufficient.

Members work in our community businesses–making hammocks and chairs, indexing books, and making tofu. These businesses provide about one-third of our work; the rest goes into the tasks needed to support a rural village of 100 people–organic gardening, milking cows, equipment and building maintenance, office work, and more. Our work schedules of 44 hours each week are very flexible. In return for member’s labor, the community provides all basic needs, including housing, food, clothing, etc. Twin Oaks has an intricate community culture.

Our everyday lives include many recreational activities–social and support groups, performances, music, games, dance, and art. Our culture values tolerance of diversity and sustainable living. We share our vehicles, we build our own buildings, and we share houses of 10-20 people. Some of us work actively for peace and justice, ecology, and feminism. Each summer we host a Women’s Gathering and a Communities Conference; see our website for details.

We offer a three-hour tour on many Saturday afternoons; please call during business hours or email to reserve a place. Our three-week visitor program is a prerequisite for membership and must be arranged by letter or email well in advance of the proposed stay. Information about visiting is available on our website or by mail.

Links:

About

  • Type(s): Commune (organized around sharing almost everything), Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability)
  • Programs & Activities: Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Rural

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 485 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 8
  • Housing Provided: Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership
  • Additional Comments:

    Formally owned by Twin Oaks Community Inc.

    Dormitory style housing, each member has private room.

Membership

  • Adult Members: 100
  • Child Members: 15
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 41-49%
  • Percent Men: 41-49%
  • Percent Transgender: 1-10%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Read our website visiting section and then correspond with us to arrange a Saturday tour and/or a three-week visit. Arrangements must be made well ahead of any visit.

  • Open to new Members: Yes

Government

  • Decision Making: By a board, council, group of elders, or leadership group
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: All or close to all
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 42
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Weekly work quota, 42 hours.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Energy sources: Solar, wood heat
  • Current food produced: From 50-75%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Swimming pond or pool, Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for some people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), 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:

    Only a few acceptable areas for smoking tobacco.

  • 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
  • Healthcare Options: Community Plan

Video Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Federation of Egalitarian Communities (FEC)

Keywords

egalitarianism, income-sharing, non-violence, cooperation, sustainability, feminism, feminist