Thursday, March 13, 2008

Peace, Love, and hippie farming

So, there's a group of us here in utah county looking into creating a co housing community. The best way to describe it (no, it's not a commune) is it's like a town home community with similar values, a community garden, and community activities (dances, meals, etc.). It's basically a way to get back to knowing your neighbors and interacting with them.

We're still not sure if we'll join, so far we've just gone to one meeting and joined internet discussions. Most of the people involved share a lot of out values as far as eco building, small space living, and community. Most the homes will be town home style and since we're involved early, we have more of a say in how they're built. We all want solar panels and other energy saving options. But if they end up building in Payson, we may forgo this option. Part of me really likes the idea of rural living, but we've gotten really used to a 5 minute commute. That's hard to give up.

Anyway, in case anyone else is interested in it, the group is called Utah Valley Commons and here's the website and yahoo group site. Check it out if this sounds like your thing.


  1. I've been following the Utah Valley Comons cohousing group discussion from afar for quite some time, and it sounds like they're finally getting down to business with regular meetings and a critical mass around a shared vision.

    Of course, as you correctly identify, this is a real estate venture, and that means the top 3 criteria are Location, Location, and Location, and while rural living has its charm, the energy and social benefits of short commutes and urban density are highly valuable, and likely to get more so with increasing fuel costs.

    It is a process that does involve risk... but the upsides (social, not just financial) are so large, and the risk reduced through community participation, so it may well be worth it. It was for me.

    Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach
    Planning for Sustainable Communities
    living in cohousing in Berkeley, CA... and can't imagine living any other way.

    P.S. The national cohousing association website is at:

  2. I think it sounds like a great idea. As long as the community values don't involve the group voting on turning rebelling kids into fertilizer (some twilightzone/outer limits I once saw).

  3. Great post. I particularly liked your section on the alternative lifestyle ideas you have.

    I once lived in a housing co-op in Turkey in the mid-1980s where there were lots of musicians and artists and we built cob-houses and cob-studios and so on. We grew our own vegetables and it was great. It was just outside of Antalya and I believe it's still going.

    Just wanted to lend my support. I say go ahead and do it.

  4. Happy to see the interest our cohousing project, the Utah Valley Comons. Our next potluck is August 2nd. All are welcome! Please check the website for updates.