The community is forming online, among friends, through word of mouth and outreach events. We are a group of nearly 500 potential members (Facebook Group) with a wealth of skills, talents and abilities. A core group of about a dozen people met throughout the summer of 2014 to create our vision, mission, and goals. We now have a four managing members: Sunny Freeman Genz, Benjamin Nelson, Cheryl Mendiola, and Dave Keck.
As we began the land search we decided we all wanted to be urban, which narrowed things down a bit. Walking the greenbelt west of Glenwood, I came across a farm just south of the Boise River off Chinden and decided to connect with the land owner. We are now leasing 9 irrigated acres of agricultural land on which to start our project, at Riverside Farms.
A few of us have read “Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities.” Some of the communities used as examples in this book have similarities to our community, yet none have taken the route of partnering with a farmer, so we are pioneering this approach as far as I know.
In the spring of 2015 we began by planting cover crops and working to restore the soil biology. We are going to host a bokashi composting program onsite, as well as a potential auqaponics project in the fall. A tiny house is in the works, and the beginnings of a tiny homes village.
Our community welcomes all kinds of diversity, including socioeconomic status. We have families and people of all ages. We also have urban farmers, permaculturalists, horticulturists, homesteaders, builders, teachers, a fabulous attorney, musicians and artists. It appears we have many kinds of healers joining the group so I believe we will have a wellness center in our future.
In time we would like to host workshops, retreats, events, conferences and festivals. A Permaculture Skills Center may also emerge in time, based on the model created in Sebastopol, California. We would like to be a model of sustainable living in all forms, and teach these skills at our education center. For this reason we want to be accessible and integrated into our larger community, in an urban setting. We want to think in terms of “yield” so if you have an idea on how to create more yield on this land, and can put it in terms of a business model, we’d love to partner in your success!
We have chosen Sociocracy as our governance model, after reading “We the People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy.” We plan to bring Diana Leafe Christian to Idaho in the fall so that we can all be trained in sociocracy.