Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dancing Rabbit: Ten Learnings

I was only at Dancing Rabbit for one three week visit, but there were a bunch of things that impressed me.  Here’s my list of things anyone could learn from DR:

  1. Commitment to Ecological Living Everyone at DR follows six Ecological Covenants and they’re pretty strict about it.
  2. Openness to Experimentation They have a wide variety of housing from immaculately constructed strawbale and earth-bermed houses to fanciful domes and old school buses and grain silos.  They talk about the fact that they are “housed in a variety of living arrangements, eat a variety of foods, and work on varied projects.”  They also talk about being flexible, and they are.
  3. Land Use Planning  I attended a workshop on their land use planning (see my post on Land Use Planning, 5/31/13) and it was fascinating.
  4. No Flush Toilets At least no water based ones.  Although almost all of the toilets at DR are humanure (see my post on Humanure, 1/10/13), the The Milkweed Mercantile (see #10) has a more conventional looking toilet that is actually a composting toilet.  At DR nothing goes to waste.
  5. Skill-Based Classes in Visitors Program  The numerous workshops (see my post on Thoughts as I Leave Dancing Rabbit, 6/14/13, for a list of them) were all focused on things you need to learn to build an ecological community.  Great for anyone who wants to become a member there, but also really good for anyone interested in building community anywhere.
  6. Women’s and Men’s Groups  Important and helpful.  I participated in a men’s group while I was visiting DR and found it very useful.  I mentioned this in my post on Some ‘Software’ Tools, 10/23/15.
  7. Work Parties  In addition to all the skill based classes they hold for visitors, they also have work parties where, in addition to practicing skills, you help build needed stuff there.
  8. Four Communal Cars  That’s it.  Four.  For 70 people.
  9. Connections with Very Different Local Communities It’s cool that Dancing Rabbit, an ecovillage with a variety of lifestyles shares the small town of Rutledge, MO, with an agricultural income-sharing commune from the 1970s (Sandhill Farm, see my post of 6/8/13) and a community that is basically a patchwork of homesteads (see Red Earth Farms, 6/4/13).  The three communities cooperate and work with each other and they are only 40 miles away from another, quite different community: the Still Waters Sanctuary (also known as The Possibility Alliance, which I wrote about on 6/11/13) which they also occasionally cooperate with.
  10. Ecological Inn  The Milkweed Mercantile is a strawbale constructed building powered by solar and wind with a café and general store and a couple of very friendly inn-keepers.  Since Dancing Rabbit hopes to eventually be a small town, this inn is one of their early businesses.

Next: My top four learnings from this series…

Quote of the Day:  “Dancing Rabbit is an intentional community. That means that we are a group of people working together toward shared goals. … The communities movement is a rich subculture, emphasizing creative approaches to living, cooperative systems and culture, and deliberate consideration of the impact on others (and often the planet) in how we live our daily lives. - from the Dancing Rabbit website

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