Administrator's blog

The 2011 conference has a hot new look...

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Thanks so much to our fabulous graphic design specialist and fellow Oaker VODTJKA for designing what is surely the most beautiful & professional flier the Twin Oaks Communities Conference has ever seen!

It even has a QR code on it for all those smart phones out there. Talk about hip.

If any of you received it in the mail, I hope its gorgeous images & colors and enticing text thrilled you into registering for the conference immediately. Perhaps the flier is the very reason you found out about this website in the first place.

If so...hooray for effective marketing strategies!

Need a fee reduction? Need a ride? Need lunch?

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Hello, potential conference attendees! Janel here with a little public service announcement.

So, we've already gotten quite a few registrations for the conference, which just tickles me pink. We cannot wait to meet everyone to celebrate intentional community together. However, several of you have been asking me questions about the conference that I'd like to answer publicly. Although the following information is listed on our "Info" page, I've already recieved the following questions enough to warrant action:

1. I need a ride. Is anyone coming from my area?

Well, the answer to this question is: probably! About 2 weeks before the conference, I will email y'all a spreadsheet that includes the contact information of the pre-registrants who are offering rides as well as those who need rides.

(Please, if you can OFFER a ride to the conference, let us know when you register. You could potentially help change someone's life by getting them to the Communities Conference!)

2. What food should I bring??

If you are coming via car, we would love to have you bring a pre-cooked meal that's large enough to feed at least 10 hungry people. We also recommend bringing snacks, juice and/or fruit for about the same number of people to enjoy between meals. It's OK to bring what you think is too much food; the more, the merrier! And if you can't bring food because you're coming by bus, train or plane, please consider throwing in 25-50 dollars extra on top of your conference fee. If we are running low on food during the conference, we may have to do an emergency market run.

3. Can I come to the conference in exchange for work?!

Confirmed Workshops!

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While the structure of the Communities Conference is the same every year -- people arrive Friday afternoon, "Meet the Communities" happens Saturday morning, there's a dance party Saturday evening, etc. -- much of the content of the conference changes from year to year. We are always reaching out to new people to lead workshops. In the last few weeks, we've gotten some exciting confirmations on workshops. Here is the latest scoop for you all about what to expect at the conference:

Laird Schaub of Sandhill Community in Missouri will be leading three workshops:

Conflict: Fight, Flight, or Opportunity?
Community: Start One or Join One?
How to Handle Diversity in Community

Laird will also be running the Federation of Intentional Communities (FIC) bookshelf and benefit auction.

Ma'ikwe Schaub Ludwig from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Missouri will be a panelist in the workshop on Dark Green Ecovillages.

Joy Truskowski will be facilitating a workshop on "Doing a communities tour in the age of the internet." Joy will also be screening her documentary, "Seeking the Good Life in America," in which she tours Twin Oaks, Acorn, and Light Morning Communities.

Communities are the Answer

[Paxus] So why communities? Isn't it easier for everyone just to have their own place, their own stuff, there own separate lives? And then they can come together when they want. Aren't we trying to build a life which is all about being "at choice"?

It is certainly more convenient to have your own car, bike, washer, drier, refrigerator full of your own food that you share with perhaps just your family or your partner. It is absolutely easier. And it turns out with approaching 7 billion people on the planet, if everyone continues to do this, we will leave a dead planet to our kids.

So assuming we dont want to be that selfish we have a couple of options. The first is we can dramatically reduce our consumption patterns by having less stuff. This seems like a stunningly hard sell to me. The other option is we can share things. It turns out that perhaps 95% of the things you own sit idle 95% of the time. If we can just share things better we can change these numbers dramatically.

Communities are a laboratory for sharing. We look at issues like hoarding and maintenance and level of service. At Twin Oaks we have dramatically reduced the number of cars we have by coordinating shopping everyday, by not commuting (we live and work in the same place) and of course we carpool (and have a system which helps with this. The average group of 100 US Americans have 67 cars, we have 17 and there is still slack in the system for people (like me) who sign up late.

But the real key is that the rich social interactions which are central to community life. What do i mean? Come to the communities conference and find out.

Threads and Transparency

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by Paxus

Borrowing from other clever events, we are going to run several "threads" at this year's conference. These are clusters of workshops on related topics happening at different times, so that people interested in the theme of the thread won't miss out. This year's threads will be:

* Diversity in Community
* Sustainability Culture and Technology
* Communication/Connectivity

One of the things I am excited about is a workshop on transparency groups. Several of these groups have started recently around Twin Oaks, Acorn & Charlottesville's Woodfolk House and they appear to be having positive, transformative effects on the people attending.

These groups use tools like go-rounds in which one finishes the sentence, "If you really knew me, you'd know that... [insert what feels appropriate]" It could be, "...I have a head ache" or "...I have a huge crush on Fuliano" or "...I am thinking about going back to school." It's all about how you want to show yourself to others. Here is a blog post of mine on the topic of transparency groups.

Twin Oaks' Annual Communities Conference 2011!

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Hello, communitarians and friends! Janel from Twin Oaks here. We've already begun thinking about this year's Communities Conference, and let me just say that it is sure to be an unparalleled celebration of positive change!

Our annual conference is an excellent place for those interested in learning about the Intentional Communities movement. Whether you are looking for a community to call home, wish to network with others already in community or are simply curious about an alternative lifestyle to the "mainstream," come camp out at the beautiful Twin Oaks Community with fellow community-minded folks from August 19-21st! When not attending fascinating, challenging workshops on everything from sustainability to group communication, you'll find yourself making friends, swapping stories and admiring the forest from a homemade hammock.

For more information about the event, the content and the people, feel free to peruse our website. Oh, and do please check back in every once and while--we'll be blogging about our preparations from now on!

Communities Conference Website

Diversity in Community

2010 Conference Logo!  Putting Down Roots!

There are many different kinds of intentional communities across the globe, and each one is united for a different reason—service to others, ecological concerns or spiritual beliefs, to name a few. But there’s one thing that all communities have in common. Instead of sitting back and complaining about the systems and social norms already in place, these groups have actively chosen to create a new way of life for themselves. They’ve transcended the negative in favor of the positive—in favor of empowerment. For this reason, we've decided to make "Diversity in Community" the theme of this year's conference. Our intention is to encourage intentional communities of all kinds to come together with the single goal of creating a better planet.

Of course, "Diversity in Community" can also mean diversity within an individual community, which has its benefits and drawbacks. It can be balancing to have a wide array of opinions, backgrounds and life experiences within a community, but it can also be a source of disagreement and strife if this diversity causes a communal identity crisis. How should a group navigate such a dilemma? If you have the answer, let us know—we’re looking for people who are interested in leading workshops inspired by this year’s theme. Please contact us if you have something you're itching to say about diversity in community.

(But if you’d rather just come to the conference to learn and play, that’s great, too!)

Meet the Organizers

Hello, Conference supporters! The 2011 Communities Conference is swiftly approaching (Aug. 19-21!), so we would like to introduce the Twin Oaks Community members who will be making the magic happen this year.

read more

Twin Oaks' Annual Communities Conference 2011!

Hello, communitarians and friends! Janel from Twin Oaks here. We're already getting excited for this year's Communities Conference, so we'll be blogging about our preparations from now on.

The communities conference is an excellent place for people who are interested in learning about the Intentional Communities movement. If you are interested in joining a community, are considering starting your own or are just curious about this lifestyle, come camp out at the beautiful Twin Oaks Community with fellow community-minded humans from August 19-21st!

read more

Welcome to our new site!

Hello, friends of the annual Twin Oaks Communities Conference! We are proud to unveil our brand new website. It’s one of several changes we are making to the Conference this year, such as hosting the event during Labor Day weekend instead of the middle of August; optional indoor accommodation at nearby retreat cabin Sophia House; better picnic tables at our conference site; more communities in attendance; and information about everyday cooperation in non-intentional living settings. We hope to see you at the Conference this summer!

Your 2012 Organizers,
Joanna and Janel

Welcome to our new site!

Hello, friends of the annual Twin Oaks Communities Conference! We are proud to unveil our brand new website. It’s one of several changes we are making to the Conference this year, such as hosting the event during Labor Day weekend instead of the middle of August; optional indoor accommodation at nearby retreat cabin Sophia House; better picnic tables at our conference site; more communities in attendance; and information about everyday cooperation in non-intentional living settings. We hope to see you at the Conference this summer!

Your 2012 Organizers,
Joanna and Janel

Thank you!

Thank you for a wonderful conference!

The site was beautiful, the people were warm and friendly, and the workshops were insightful and provocative. What else could we ask for?

If you had photos or stories about the Communities Conference you would like to share, please send them to us! You can email them to conference@twinoaks.org

Just a week away!

The communities conference is just a week away!

The new fire pit is all finished and beautiful, the living roof we built over the shower is looking beautiful, and we just finished major upgrades in our kitchen! Everything is falling into place and we are expecting nearly double the turnout this year.

Below are a list of workshops and presenters given this year. We have a few more details to finish before we finalize our workshop schedule, so things may change.

Cooperation Is The Ecological Solution

by Alexis Zeigler

Cooperative living is the most effective solution for peak oil and
global warming. We will look at how alternative energy and
conservation strategies can be cooperatively applied to live lightly
and well, and how cooperatives can lead the environmental movement
toward real solutions. We will look at cooperative energy
conservation in a global context, as well as some of the nuts-and-
bolts of different conservation and alternative energy technologies
as they can applied in small groups.

Alexis Zeigler is a self-educated activist, green builder, and
orchardist living in central Virginia. He has organized numerous
campaigns around environmental and social justice issues, built super-
insulated buildings and alternative energy systems, and has lived in
intentional community all of his adult life. More information,
including articles, interviews, and downloadable books, can be found
at his website, conev.org or by contacting alexis@conev.org

How Do We Choose The Communities We Join?

by Irena Hollowell

The Leaves of Twin Oaks Issue 108

The Leaves of Twin Oaks, Summer 2010 Issue# 108

News of the Oaks Issue #108

by Valerie


Since the last edition of the Leaves, we've gone from the frigid cold of Winter to the sweltering heat of mid-Summer. We're taking advantage of the sun these days with our latest solar energy project. We've just completed the installation of a 10 KiloWatt array of 48 photo-voltaic solar panels in the central field of the community. The electricity generated will be used to power three of our buildings and one of our well pumps, with any excess electricity being fed back into the main power grid (via our local electic co-op), and we will be compensated for that power.



installing one of the 48 panels
for our new solar energy array.



Earlier in the year, we found out that there's nothing like being snowed in for days and weeks on end to bring out people's creativity. In January, Twin Oaks took advantage of the avalanche of snow we received (and the 30-hour power outage) and members' inventiveness was bustin' out all over! Our very own 'outsider-artist-in-residence', aka our member Purl, used the time to construct a chair out of hickory saplings and hemp rope for his daughter Anya, aged 15 months. And when our pond froze, Noah decided a game of ice-hockey was in order, but we only had 2 sticks. Undaunted, he used some scrap wooden stretcher bars from our hammocks business to construct 6 very realistic hockey sticks, 5 of which lasted until the end of the game! And on a more cultured artistic note, Kayde organized a Variety Show in which members could showcase their talents, including poetry, singing, piano, dancing and a puppet show featuring Marshall Rosenberg of NVC (Non-Violent Communication) notoriety as the main character.



Anya sits in her new chair.



Another big January event was the arrival of our newest Oaker, a healthy baby boy born to Elsa and Scott. Elsa delivered him into the world at home, with the help of a midwife, her assistant, a doula, Scott and big brother Luuk. We welcome Ridgeley Ember Jennings Linden to our lives!



Ridgeley Ember Jennings Linden


In February, as an alternative to Valentine's Day, Twin Oaks celebrates Validation Day, a day in which everybody, not just people in intimate relationships, receives a handmade, individually designed card, inside of which other members have written validating messages. On Validation Day, we hand the cards out after dinner, and then break out into a dance party. This year, we also had a 'Songs of Love' performance, which was graced with the presence of the KITCH Army, sharing their version of KISS's new song 'Stand'.



Memory, Calliope, Claire and Keith transformed in to the KITSCH ARMY



Some people might say Twin Oaks has hit the big time, when we were featured in an Earth Day special on CNN news in April. In two of our fifteen minutes of fame, the piece focused on Twin Oaks as an example of how to live a sustainable lifestyle in contemporary America. We were pleased that information about our alternative culture was able to reach the masses.


There's also good news for our two largest community businesses. We've launched a new and improved website for Twin Oaks Hammocks. We sell hammocks both to wholesalers and to retail customers, and the new site makes it easier for our retail customers to make a purchase. Please go to
www.twinoakshammocks.com if you'd like to take a look. And with our newest tofu account, we've increased our workweek to 5 tofu production days. This enables us to make the additional 5000 (yes, five thousand) pounds each week for the new account.

And several members have been busy working on creating new community.
We've been having meetings of a group of former and current members
who are working towards creating the Living Energy Farm. Now in the
process of finding land, the project will ultimately encompass an
intentional community with an environmental education center, which
will focus on sustainable ways of living, free of fossil-fuel. It has
been informally dubbed neo-amish (ie. Amish-style, minus the
patriarchy).

For more information: http://www.livingenergyfarm.org


A Day in the Life of a Communard

by Mushroom


6 a.m. My alarm wakes me up and I roll out of bed, ready to start my day. The sun hasn't quite come up yet, but there's some soft light coming through my east-facing window. I don't have to get up this early--we each set our own schedule--but I like being up before the hustle and bustle of the day really begins. Plus, since nine of us live in my building, I probably won't have any competition for the shower.


6:15 a.m. I make myself breakfast (toast with homemade bread and an egg from one of our chickens) in the kitchen in the Courtyard, where I live. Lunch and dinner are served buffet-style at Zhankoye (ZK), our main dining facility and community center, but we also have a handful of smaller kitchens for breakfast, snacking, and preparing meals for small groups of people. As I eat, I read a novel I pulled from our public collection of several thousand books--no library card needed.


6:55 a.m. Since I like being up early, I signed up for a 7 o'clock tofu-making shift last week when all of our labor was being scheduled. I head to the Tofu Hut, a mere two-minute walk through the woods from my room--not a bad commute. It's chilly out, but the Hut is warm and steamy. I put on boots, gloves, a hairnet, and an apron, and start pressing curds into big slabs of tofu.


10 a.m. My shift is over, and I head back to the Courtyard. I check my email on one of the public computers in the office. In addition to actually making tofu, I also do a lot of customer service for our soyfoods business. Someone has contacted us to find out where they can buy Twin Oaks' tofu in their area; I respond, and also check out the orders that have come in locally from stores and restaurants in Charlottesville and Richmond.


10:45 a.m. I see my friend Sabrina outside with one-year-old Anya in a carrier on her back. She's doing a "primary," labor-creditable child care. We make tea and go for a walk together, Anya making cute faces at me the whole time.


12:05 p.m. It's lunch time, so we walk up to ZK. Lunch is mostly leftovers, supplemented with a fresh salad and baked potatoes. We grow greens throughout the winter in our huge greenhouse, and we harvested enough potatoes in the summer and fall to last us through the winter.


12:50 p.m. I walk back to my room to put on work boots for my forestry shift, then ride a public bike up to Modern Times (MT), where Carrol, River, Purl and I will meet for the shift. MT is our main shop building, with space and tools to fix our cars, bikes, tractors, and vacuums.


1 p.m. We head out into the woods, where we'll selectively cut trees and haul them in to be processed into firewood. All the wood we harvest is done so sustainably, and all of our buildings are heated with wood all winter long. It's too hot to do forestry work in the summer, so during the off-season, I'll switch some of my work scene indoors to do data entry and accounting work to monitor our communal money budgets.


5:15 p.m. I hang out in my room a bit before dinner, finishing up a letter to my family and listening to music. I find it's important to carve out alone time for myself--it's very easy to get sucked into the social scene 24/7 here. There's always something going on, someone to talk to.


6:00 p.m. Dinner is served! Tonight it's my favorite--veggie burgers. (And, OK, hamburgers too. But I'm a vegetarian.) There are plenty of side dishes, like steamed spinach and sweet potato fries. A large percentage of the meal, both veggies and meat, is homegrown. I sit in the Lounge with about ten people and chat with McCune about his latest plumbing adventure. Sometimes at dinner there's one main conversation but tonight several smaller discussions have sprung up. Besides copper-vs-plastic waterlines, people are talking about the new fruit orchard we're planting, the latest news from our sister community 8 miles up the road, and trying to work out if people's schedules will allow our belly-dance troupe to meet on the same night as the queer-theory discussion group.


7:30 p.m. Mala has invited me to her residence (named Beechside) to hang out--there's a really cozy kitchen/living room there that's highly conducive to fun social gatherings. A bunch of people come over, and we sit draped on the couches and on the floor. Debbie and Trout play fiddle and guitar, Casey is knitting a pair of socks and Ezra makes a large amount of popcorn. Zadek, age 4, and Samir, age ten months, provide a lot of the entertainment. It's a festive atmosphere, though there's no particular occasion; we just like to enjoy each other's company.


10:00 p.m. I head home to my room. I record the work I did today on my labor sheet and write in my journal a bit to unwind before bed. I'm very tired, but happy. It's been a good day.



Jessica Marie Quintet

by Summer


Debbie (above), Elsa, Jessie and Summer, 4/5 of the Quintet


I'm standing downtown in Charlottesville with my 6-month old daughter strapped to my front, singing with four other women. We run through our repertoire as a small but steady crowd of people gathers to listen. We are appreciative of the donations they leave, and afterwards we go to soothe our voices at the gelatto place down the street.
I am part of the The Jessica Marie Quintet, nee Oakapella or FEC-Sharp, which started in 2008 with eight original members singing a broader range of a cappella music, and has gradually narrowed to a focus on barbershop. When the idea first arose, I squealed with irrepressible dorkiness my delight at the thought of being in one of these groups again--in high school I was head of our 8-member a capella group. Characterized by close harmonies and four distinct voices that often sing the same lyrics (as opposed to doo-wop, which usually features a lead singer and several backup vocals), barbershop feels more egalitarian, more cooperative.


After a few months we were down to 5 people, and renamed the group the Jessie Marie Quintet, in honor of the two members who share that name (Jess, our bass; and Jessie, our tenor). Free online sheet music eventually gave way to specific arrangements ordered off the internet; one practice grew to two 2-hour rehearsals a week; and we began to perform as much as we could, including at homespun coffeehouses, busking in Charlottesville, at the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello, Christmas/Solstice caroling, at a nursing home, at Acorn's Land Day, and for Twin Oakers in full-on JMQ concerts. Twice we've taken an educational trip to town to rehearse with the Skyline Chorus, Charlottesville's Sweet Adeline 30-member women's barbershop chorus. Their director has come out to Twin Oaks with two members of the chorus to help us through a rehearsal. We finished the practice with new warm-up exercises, help with posture, breathing, mouth shape, diphthongs, and lots of other information that has helped us advance our singing together. Last summer we used Twin Oaks' recording equipment and squeezed ourselves into the young adult library on hot evenings to put out our first CD.


Recording together was another learning experience: how far away do we each have to stand from the mic? Which room captures the best sound? We feel proud of the result and hope to make another album once we've added enough new songs to our repertoire. Right now the group is working on our theater debut singing and dancing for the community's performance of Greasel. After that, a belated two-year anniversary concert is in order. And after that, who knows? [The Jessica Marie Quintet is comprised of Jessica Marie (Jess) on bass, Summer on lead/baritone, Debbie on lead/tenor, Elsa on lead/tenor, and Jessica Marie (Jessie) on lead/tenor. Our CD, *In the Good Old Summertime and Other Modern Hits* is available for $8 (sliding scale).]


From Seed to Seeds

By Cloud Supernova



Edmund processing seeds.


As Winter comes to an end, and warmer seasons slowly unfurl, I look
forward to working again in the Seeds gardens. I remember last year,
three days after harvesting a van full of over-ripe (as they must be
to ensure proper seed maturity) Suyo Cucumbers, the experience of
slimy, smelly, fermented cucumber pulp on my arms, which I admittedly
enjoyed, as I plunged through phase II of the project. After
fermenting the seeds in buckets of water for three days to help
disengage them from the gooey cucumber innards, as well as kill off
potential pathogens, I disturbed the viscous liquid and waited the
minute or two it took for the viable seeds of our bounty to sink to
the bottom of the bucket. Once the floaters were poured out, and the
process repeated 2 or 3 more times, good seeds were set onto screens
and placed into fan powered drying racks. Germination tests were
administered and met the standards of our biggest buyer, Southern
Exposure Seed Exchange, which are often much loftier than the national
average.


Twin Oaks Seeds business is contracted by seed companies, such as
Southern Exposure Seeds and FedCo, to grow and then process our own
organic seed yields. And like our seeds, we've grown. The business
started out as a solo project in 2006 by ex-member River with an
income of approximately $5,000. Under the managership of Edmund
Frost, along with a dedicated crew and expanded growing area, Seeds
generated an income of $27,600 in 2009.


We project doubling our profits, which means doubling our output for
the 2010 growing year. Why? We have demonstrated to the Community
that the Seeds business is a viable business and one worth investing
time and money in. It's an income area we feel really good about;
it's organic, our methods of cultivation rely heavily on our own
sweat, and the products couldn't be Greener. Our seeds inspire
backyard garden sanctuaries, help provide nourishing food for many,
and promote the genetic diversity necessary in preserving our food
sources for the future.


Twin Oaks Theatre: 'Greasel'

by Kelsey


To most of American society, 'community theatre' means a group of theatre people, who happen to live in general proximity of each other, bound together by the act of putting on a professional-looking show. Here, it seems we take the word order of 'community theatre' more literally. It's more community, with a 'Hey! Since we're all here, let's do a ridiculous Twin Oaks-based spoof on Grease this winter!'


Talent? That, we have in buckets here. It started with the unbelievably hilarious team of writers (or re-writers, rather) creating songs and a script for the fantastic band and actors that then assembled. From within our ranks also came choreographers, set designers, props and costumes managers, publicity, lights, and no fewer than three directors. Not to mention those that pick up the slack within the community for this motley and brilliant team to have time to put a show up.


We knew we wanted to spoof the plot of the original show, placing it in a Twin Oaks setting, with lots of references to our alternative culture. Just the name alone-- 'Greasel' -immediately presented itself as a tip of the hat to the alternative energy practice of using vegetable oil for fuel, so-called 'greasel' instead of 'diesel'.


The 'cool kids' in this show were we communards. Members Michael and Summer starred as a hippie, dread-locked Danny paired with Sandra V, the mainstream commodities trader plopped into the middle of our commune for a visit. Musical highlights included 'Oberlin Dropout' as Crunchy (aka Frenchy) ponders returning to grad school, and 'You're The Ones That I Want' as an homage to polyamory. And what would Grease be without 'Hopelessly Devoted to Tofu' (performed, of course, by some of our most committed tofu workers)?


Really, though, there is more to what makes theatre here so interesting: while we do happen to have a lot of talent residing on these 450 acres, talent is also not exactly the point. In community, art is everywhere, and everyone can have a role-not just the 'artsy' people in society to whom we delegate the task of moving our culture forward. Anyone that wants a way to contribute here can probably find one, and while we don't aspire to Broadway with our work, we do aspire to enrich all of our lives through a collective creative process. So, we do. We shape our time together as we wish, and it is certainly never boring. Besides, what makes life worth living if not some Twin Oakers singing about how unexpected romance can blossom over pickling the beets?


Politics at Twin Oaks

by Valerie


Here at Twin Oaks, we generally consider ourselves beyond conventional conversation restraints; this becomes immediately obvious by listening to a mealtime discussion of the lurid details of gruesome symptoms related to the latest sickness going around.


When it comes to talking about politics, it becomes a little more complicated. There are certain topics that we can all discuss with ease and generally agree upon. However, somehow there are others that are more like opening a can of worms while walking through a field of landmines...


Acceptable: global warming and polar icecap melt


More delicate: what temperature to set the communal hot-water heater, and the ecological implications of using ice-cubes


Acceptable: Obama versus Hillary


A bit trickier: Organic versus Local


Acceptable: increasing water shortages and the evils of the bottled-water industry


Tread carefully: the fact that a certain communard-who-shall-remain-nameless replaced the low-flow shower head with one that delivers the approximate force and volume-per-minute of Niagara Falls, without any process.


Acceptable: the discriminatory aspects of impending US immigration policy


Walking on eggshells : our membership process about whether to accept that controversial visitor from the last visitor period.


Acceptable: gay marriage


Call in the Process Team: your lover announces their desire to form a polyamorous triad with that statuesque blonde who arrived as a new member last week.....

Copyright 2008, Valerie Renwick-Porter and Communities magazine. This
article first appeared in Communities: Life in Cooperative Culture,
Autumn 2008; for further information on Communities: communities.ic.org.


Twin Oaks Conferences!



You are invited to come to Twin Oaks and participate in our two summer events:

Join us for a weekend of sharing and celebration at the 2010 Communities Conference, August 13-15th.


With workshops and events focused on:

  • Intentional relationships
  • Group process
  • Collective child raising
  • Creating culture
  • Forming communities
  • Sustainability
  • Appropriate technology
  • Community economics
  • Music
  • Dancing
  • Slide shows
  • Campfires
  • Swimming
  • Magic
  • More!




    The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for anyone
    interested or involved in co-operative or communal lifestyles.


    Friday August 13 through

    Sunday August 15, 2010

    $85 (sliding scale) includes

    meals and camping.


    http://communitiesconference.org

    Come join us for the annual Twin Oaks Women's Gathering on August 20-22nd.




    Our 27th gathering to celebrate the strength, diversity and power of women in community! All female and non-male ID folks are welcome to this event, which is a three day conference on themes ranging from sex and sexuality to positive relationship building to DIY music, art and movement. There will be scheduled workshops and performance spaces, as well as lots of free time to network, drum, dance and play at beautiful Twin Oaks Community. Registration fee (sliding scale from $60-$160) includes meals and tent space.


    Learn more and register online at http://womensgathering.org



  • Conference Soon!

    Dear friends, communitarians, and explorers,

    We are in the midst of getting the word out about the Conference.
    With barely over a month to go, we're posting to relevant websites,
    e-mailing friends, and sending a press release. Now is a great time
    to tell or remind any of your friends, too, if they might want to
    come.

    Valerie is putting together the list of workshops and events that will
    take place, so if you want to offer an event, it's a great time to get
    in touch with her. Meanwhile, we're also continuing to get the site

    read more

    2010 Communities Conference!

    The 2010 Communities Conference at Twin Oaks will help you learn more about communal living, connect with potential and current community members, and give you the opportunity to play and celebrate with others who believe in communal living.

    The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for anyone interested or involved in co-operative or communal lifestyles. Join us for a weekend of sharing and celebration!

    Friday August 13 through
    Sunday August 15, 2010
    $85 (sliding scale) includes
    meals and camping

    Register now!
    http://communitiesconference.org/?q=registration

    With workshops and events focused on

  • Intentional relationships
  • Group process
  • Collective child raising
  • Creating culture
  • Forming communities
  • Sustainability
  • Appropriate technology
  • Community economics
  • Music
  • Dancing
  • Slide shows
  • Campfires
  • Swimming
  • Magic
  • More!

    Respond to:
    Twin Oaks Communities Conference
    138 Twin Oaks Road, Louisa, Virginia 23093
    540-894-5126
    http://communitiesconference.org
    conference@twinoaks.org


    The Schedule: The conference begins late afternoon/suppertime on Friday. Activiites are scheduled throughout the weekend, and will either be posted elsewhere on this page, or email us for details.

    Facilities And What To Bring: Our gathering site is rustic but has showers (often hot), hammocks, picnic tables, a fire circle and a kitchen. There are tent sites in the woods nearby (and space for a few small RVs, but call ahead). No electricity for individual use. You will need a tent, sleeping bag, toiletries, flashlight, towel, rain gear, mixed-season clothes, and good natured flexibility. No pets, please. You may want to bring musical instruments, toys, games, and any outreach literature (brochures, feature articles, slideshows, photos, videos, etc.) you might have about your community, if you live in one. Child care will be cooperative: we will arrange space for parents and others to share child care.

    About Food: Food will be predominantly potluck. Twin Oaks will provide breakfasts, bread, milk, yogurt, salad, and much more. We ask you to bring three things to share:
    1.) a refrigerated covered dish (stew, casserole, soup, but not chili), preferably frozen,
    2.) some fruit, and
    3.) a snack item or juice.
    Each should be enough for 10 hungry people.

    What to Expect: We invite people to get together and talk about intentional community of all sorts. We expect about 200 participants including members of many communities: large, small, spiritual, secular, tightly communal, loosely cooperative, and so on. We also welcome people looking for a community, and those just interested in the idea of cooperative living. This conference will be lightly structured. Everything is optional. There will be workshops and sharing circles, but also lots of time to just hang out, meet people, network and play together.

    What is Twin Oaks? This conference is hosted by Twin Oaks, a community of 100 people living on 450 acres of farm and forestland in central Virginia. Founded in 1967, we share communal income and property, a labor credit system, and a self-sufficient economy. Tours will be available during the conference. The community is off-limits except during tours.

    Who we are: This conference is sponsored by two different inter-community organizations. The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC) is a loose organization of almost 100 communities in North America. The FIC publishes the Communities Directory and Communities Magazine (you can order them through Twin Oaks). The Federation of Egalitarian Communities (FEC) is a network of groups which hold their land, labor, and other resources in common and are committed to equality, participatory government, ecology, and non-violence.

    Benefit Auction: As one of the conference events, we will be holding a fast-paced, high-energy benefit auction for the Fellowship for Intentional Community, publisher of the Communities Directory. Proceeds will help the FIC continue to bring the exciting news of community to a world hungry for it. You can help in two ways: 1) bring items to donate to the auction-- products, crafts, services that can be delivered locally, a weekend stay for two at your luxurious home... use your imagination! 2) bring your wallet--there will be bargains galore, and every dollar spent will be used to make community that much more accessible to those seeking it.communities conference

    Where: We are located near Interstate 64, between Charlottesville and Richmond, VA, 100 miles southwest of Washington, DC. We will send you a map and directions after we receive your registration. If you want to carpool, we will try to match drivers and riders until August 19.

    To register, complete the registration form
    and send it to Twin Oaks.

    The conference is often full to capacity--please send your registration form and fee before August 1. We cannot guarantee space to late registrants.

    To Contact Us:
    Twin Oaks Communities Conference
    138 Twin Oaks Road, Louisa, Virginia 23093
    540-894-5126

    conference@twinoaks.org

  • Twin Oaks on CNN

    East Wind Community in the news:

    Another Update!

    Hey again,

    Just another update from Louisa, VA...Bucket has been hard at work preparing the conference site for this year's event, and a new and improved shower area with a living roof (!!) is on track to be completed in time for us all to enjoy in August. The blueberry bushes are in, and Winter and Shakaya are doing wonders on the stone fire-pit.

    After working out some kinks with online registration, all is finally well, and we're excited to be adding this new option for the first time. Paper registration is still a-okay, though, and the big push next week will be to get a 5,000 piece mailing (a flyer and registration form) up and out to folks across the country.

    As always, we want to hear from you! Do you want to lead a workshop, or are you hoping to see something at the conference this year that you've been missing? Let us know...

    With love,

    Clementine

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