Living in an Intentional Community
I have recently just returned from a great stay at an Intentional Community in the little un-incorporated town of Johnsons Landing, also a retreat centre, located in the pristine Selkirk Mountains of beautiful British Columbia overlooking Kootenay Lake. My journey took me to Nelson, then North along the edge of Kootenay Lake and an hour and a half(drive time) beyond the closest town with any ammenities, like a grocery store or cafe.
Being so isolated from everything, the small community is trying to be as sustainable as they can be, slowly making the transition with the limited resources and workers available. They take on WWOOFers as well as Volunteers, as I had done, in exchange for working and helping out around the community. They also offer some quality workshops that can change the way we live our lives, set in the most amazingly breath-taking landscapes this country has to offer.
I was given a comfortable room with a roof over my head, as well as 3 vegetarian meals a day(the best and healthiest I have eaten in a LONG time). They grow most of their own food as well as trying to trade and barter with other locals for fresh eggs and produce. I was happy to get a chance to help out in their gardens and put some of my Permaculture Design into use, but mainly I learned the most from the people there.
The peace and tranquility out there, combined with the lack of anything city-like(Time, Internet, Cell Phones, Noises, Bright Lights) created an atmosphere in which I lost track of the time of day, the day of the week, day of the month or even what month it was. My 10 days surrounded with like minded, ethical, passionate individuals felt like over a month, and my temptation to stay was great.
Alas, the need to be in society was greater at the moment, as I have much to learn and do before I can make the journey into a Community like that one. So back to my Yards(other peoples' yards) and the growing season, which is at least 3 weeks behind theirs, in my attempts to become sustainable and feed myself for an entire year. A truly magnificent task considering our short growing season here in Calgary, Alberta. But try I will, falter and fail I will, but persevere I will as well for there is always the back up(going to the store and buying some food), lucky enough for us city dwellers.
For anyone interested in a free vacation, in exchange for work that is, or to learn about Intentional Communities, how they function, or what the daily life of a member of a community would entail, I would highly recomend checking out Johnsons Landing Retreat Centre, http://www. johnsons landing retreat.bc.ca/ (omit the spaces).