Closer to Eden
Palmyra, Virginia, United States
Updated on: Jun 19, 2021 (about 1 month ago)
Created on: Dec 25, 2019 (about 1 year ago)
To achieve a full scope of human cooperation coupled with innovation and the Creator’s natural order to bring about permanent solutions to the multitude of society’s issues.
We are a privately owned working homestead seeking to transition into a cooperative community. The 17 acres is governed in a patriarchal system with the land being an inheritance to the children. The land will shared by the community but not owned by it. However, the goal is to empower members to individually or collectively purchase their own nearby land. This is a conservative group that is centered on the belief of a single and good Creator. We seek to understand and follow the instructions offered in the Scriptures. We seek to use our dominion in the intended way which is to live closely to the land and the natural order. As such, we stick to 2 genders and only 2 genders and are not favorable to alternative lifestyles or bed hopping within our borders. We avoid the open practice of Paganism, New Age Spiritualism, Eastern Religions, Secular Humanism, etc. That being said we do not align ourselves with any mainstream religion but instead focus on basic morality as defined mostly in the Ten Commandments. On a level of human relations, this could perhaps be summed up as do no harm to others and never use force to cause others to act. We adhere to principles of free choice, personal responsibility and self governance which could be labeled as true anarchy. We should all be making the world a better place by kindness, sharing and a solutions based lifestyle.
We are a family friendly environment. As such, we prefer moderate behavior that is a good example for children of all ages that are watching, learning and growing. Modesty is the norm without over the top strictness. As for pets, we find that it is often a challenge for newcomers to bring them. We have a lot of livestock that often do not get along with outdoor domestic pets. Highly trained outdoor pets or animals that can work on the homestead might be considered.
Our efforts are to live a healthy lifestyle as close to the land as possible. We strive to be increasingly self reliant in food, energy, medicine, etc. We seek to be as sustainable as possible while closing the loop on waste of any kind. We implement permaculture principles which is a system based on the natural order. We use animals and plants in a cooperative way to rebuild the true wealth which is soil fertility. Water management is key in this as the water brings and holds much fertility.
The basic arrangement is a 24 hour work week per adult in exchange for housing to include utilities. The work includes everything it takes to run a homestead. We have beef cattle, a milk cow, goats, ducks, chickens, quail and a pair of turkeys. We have a number of gardens/food forests established and in the works. We have 2 greenhouses and a produce stand by the main road. We use firewood for heat. We try to raise as much garden produce as possible to feed ourselves. We use our animals for products such as milk and eggs. We also slaughter our own animals for food. We have a deep well currently driven by electricity. We have septic and gray water fields.
There are a number of housing arrangements depending on what is needed/wanted. A focus of the community is to build many different types of tiny homes based on quite a number of alternative construction methods such as timber frame, earth bag, tree house, underground, etc. We intend to use solar panels, passive solar and wind power in an increasing capacity. We have a saw mill and abundant wood resources. We also have a temperamental wheel loader and small trencher/excavator to help with the heavy lifting.
The intention is to share a couple of meals a week and to also have private meals. Each member has to contribute to their own grocery bill but can also use the produce from the land to supplement. The more we grow ourselves the less we need to buy.
Each member is responsible for their own health care. Healthy living should lead to very little need of doctors and dentists. Some here have been to neither for many years and are completely and abundantly healthy. Along those lines, we do not allow smoking and do not eat pork or shellfish. We prefer that everyone drinks the purified deep well water and avoids the bottled garbage of all kinds. Everyone’s health is everyone’s concern if we are to be in this together.
There is a potential to participate in already established or startup cottage industry on the homestead . Monetary compensation is in the form of profit sharing. This labor is in addition to the 24 hour work week. There is knowledge, resources and successes in place but they will require diligent and focused effort to be profitable. Members are also free to seek work outside of the community. The goal is that everyone is saving money so the community can grow through individual ownership of newly acquired lands.
Education is a key part of our community. We do have valuable knowledge to impart as we have learned through many trials, errors, successes and failures. We welcome the open exchange of ideas and knowledge to improve our efforts. We strive for the continuing improvement of all members. We seek to thrive on the land throughout this generation and those to follow with prosperity and a high quality of life. We seek to educate young and old alike to live and hold onto the ways that make this land we live on a better place.
It is intended that all members are able to take advantage of the cooperative living to save money to purchase their own land individually or as a group. When members have been successful, educated/empowered and have saved enough money it is our intention to have a neighborhood of small working homesteads. It will be a close alliance of individual land owners working towards the basic purpose of cooperation and good living surrounded by caring and involved neighbors. At that point, other starting members can be brought in and empowered. The system would be self replicating and the loop would be closed when it is payed forward.
- Guest Rooms
- Community Garden
- Some units accessible
Welcomes Visitors (fee may apply)
- Guest Rooms
- Individual Tours
- Work Days
- 1-3 meals per month
- Optional participation