Spring! (At East Wind)

from East Wind Community blog 

March 27, 2019

The East Wind Building Maintenance Crew has been pushing our infrastructure forward. The project for this Spring is remodeling of the floor and windows of our main Food Processing space.


We are still bringing in over a hundred pounds of milk everyday and dairy processing has been moved to the former showerhouse. Good thing the BM Crew got the new showerhouse up and running this past Fall, they just keep setting themselves up for success!

The old showerhouse, see previous blog posts for pictures of the new showerhouse 


Inside the temporary (possibly permanent?) Cheesehaus: the steam kettle, crucial for cheesemaking, in its new home. Featured here is East Wind’s newest Associate Member, a professional butcher and cheesemaker.

The East Wind’s agricultural areas keep bringing in the goods. Produce, dairy, meat. Potatoes, beets, and carrots are in the ground. We are still harvesting kale, spinach, lettuce, and radish. There are two new additions to the milking cow herd: Betty Boop and Carmen.


This is neither Carmen nor Betty Boop, but what a great picture, Beauxb!
Summer crop seedlings.
Derpiest dog on da farm.

The East Wind Nut Butters (EWNB) Crew is continuing to evolve. Members new to the management team are stepping up and taking on responsibility. Passing complex operations along in good, working order can be difficult in this income sharing context. Anna Youngs (Anna Young ran East Wind Nut Butters for most of the 2000s, thanks for holding it down) don’t come along but once a decade. Luckily, there are numerous young Annas here at the moment, all picking up a piece of the puzzle as they can. Effective training and effective leadership comes with time.

There was a relaxed Equinox, Easter, and Birthday combo party on the 21st (the actual Equinox was rainy). No pictures or comments from my end as I was in Dallas visiting my lovely Blood Fam, but I heard it was a good time. Happy Spring!


A relaxing Sunday morning at Rock Bottom.

All in all, East Wind is moving along quite nicely in this most interesting year of 2019. As my co Sage told me today: “things tend to work out for the best.”

Oh yeah, here is the latest video: Utopian Rope Sandals

Post written by Razz with edits from Boone. Pictures by Beauxb, Pinetree, and Panda.

Photo roll!


The garden right in front of our dining hall is being expanded with new fencing and a new gate. Get out and garden!
Communitarians hanging out. The skin being worked here was harvested from Marmalade, the Mother of East Wind’s modern dairy program. Parchment is the end goal. She was delicious roast beef and she lives on in her numerous progeny. God bless you, Marmalade.
The road leading to Fanshen. You can see one of the swarm traps (to capture honeybees) hung on a tree to the left (mentioned in the previous post).

Spring! (At East Wind)

East Wind: A New Day

Hello dear reader!

These past two months have felt like four. Lots of ups and downs through the winter time. The good news is that we are fast coming out of the cold season into the long Ozark warm season. The honeybees are out, searching for potential new nests. I saw one of their scouts fight a spider while I was relaxing at Sunnyside:

That honeybee just kept going up to the spider until a complete stalemate was reached. I took this as a sign that it was time to put up a couple swarm traps and try to capture some honeybees. There are more than a couple experienced people on the farm thinking on the honeybee hive situation for the year, which is super exciting!


Signs of Spring are plenty. One of the first crocus flowers of the year was spotted by Hedge, just behind Fanshen.

Pexter and his big pile of fertility… thanks for shoveling shit!

Each of these pictures has a story to tell. The above one’s story is pretty simple: our friend Pexter wanted some pictures taken for his profile. He keeps his soshmed (social media) on level. You can see where most of that pile of manure came from here (cow manure is a top notch soil amendment):

Happy cow means happy manure means happy greens means happy lettuce eaters.

Some pictures don’t need much explanation, here is the final fall carrot harvest with PT and Richard:

So many carrot!

Above you can see yours truly trying out our new Jang mechanical seeder to plant lettuce. Joseph, a most magical faerie, diligently and lovingly hand seeded one row to give a comparison. I don’t know why, but the legend of John Henry comes to mind. This is a precision machine and I’m happy with our initial results. The spring carrots will be the first real test, hopefully less thinning this year.

We have four new little pigs on the farm. Butchering season is ongoing with the larger pigs and cows. Farm bacon and farm eggs each morning is a mighty fine breakfast. The forestry crew has been down at The Yurt, helping out Richard get his new home established.

Richard chainsawing at his personal shelter, The Yurt. This was today! Feb. 19, 2019

I am going to be directing less and less energy to this blog and the East Wind Community channel for sometime. Other things in my Life need more attention. I have really enjoyed writing this blog for the past two years or so. One of my initial goals with redoing East Wind’s website and restarting the community blog was to attract people to come check out East Wind. Well, that is happening and I live with so many wonderful, loving people right now. Seeing your intentions become reality by committing yourself to being something different is an incredible experience.

I truly hope you have enjoyed reading my blogs. No doubt, I will post more here, but I want to make it apparent that this blog will no longer be an obligation of mine (I set a goal to put something out each month, I average one every six weeks probably). This is where you pick up and I fade into the background. This is how a proper hand off begins, by making your intentions known. 2019 will be a great year. =)

East Wind celebrates Imbolc, 2019. What a Beautiful Day.

P.S. If you don’t know already, I have put out a number of videos on the “East Wind Community” channel on YouTube. For the most self indulgent video, you can click here. And here are the rest of the most recent:

Richard, the Ent
2018 Dairy Overview
Milking Cows in a Community Scale Dairy
Cheesemaking with Liuda

Post and pictures by Pinetree


East Wind: A New Day

Creating use value while making a living in egalitarian communities


“If one wanted to crush and destroy a man entirely, to mete out to him the most terrible punishment … all one would have to do would be to make him do work that was completely and utterly devoid of usefulness and meaning.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky in The House of the Dead

I observe a lot of suffering related to senseless work. David Graeber describes the entire system of “bullshit” jobs that causes emotional suffering. The quest for sense and usefulness has attracted many to peer production projects and to intentional communities. It is one of the elements of the postcapitalist mode of production to enable people to contribute in a meaningful way, to produce use value.

In this article, I will present egalitarian communities, mainly Acorn community in Virginia to examine whether the postcapitalist mode of production in the physical world can be introduced by establishing intentional communities. It should be noted that the opinions presented here are not necessary those of the founders or members of the community where I have done research. I interpret my findings with regard to their significance for imagining the postcapitalist mode of production. Acorn community does not define itself as a peer production project so the following analysis is not an evaluation of the implementation of peer production theory into practice. It is instead an extrapolation from the practice to how peer production organizations in the physical world could operate in the current system and in the future. The main characteristics of this form of production are: 1) Self-selected spontaneous contribution of participants in the production process;{1} 2) creation of use value rather than exchange or market value, which results in free access to public goods; {2} 3) non-delegation and distributed coordination, in contrast to hierarchical state and market providers. The first article of this four-part series focused on the consequences of self-selected spontaneous contribution as a model of organizing production.

In this article, I will examine how producing use value can be translated into production in the physical world in the context of the constraints imposed by the capitalist system. I will describe how structuring production via intentional communities can generate use value at different scales: for members, for the communities movement, and for society at large. I also explore how the production of use value can be accomodated within the necessity to make a living in the present system and what role communities can play in the transition towards a system where work/working produces use value rather than exchange value? How to navigate the pressure to make a living? – this is the dilemma of many in the peer-to-peer movement. Some have already contributed to this subject: Las Indias in their blog post on the fear of selling out or Lars Zimmermann in his post on Sensorica. I hope that the examples described below will widen the range of possibilities that can be imagined.

The main tenet of the peer production model is that one’s self-selected contribution is motivated by the opportunity to pursue public interest. There is no expectation of reciprocity (access is not dependent on involvement in the production process) and the results are distributed for free. {3} According to Benkler and Nissenbaum, peer production is based on and will inculcate a new set of virtues such as self-selection and volunteerism, gift culture, and the will to contribute to a broader community. {4} Currently, most of the peer production projects in which use value is created in the form of open source and open access products results from the involvement of peers who have other sources of income than their involvement in peer production. However, the motivation behind the contribution to open source projects may be also influenced by the fact that many peers can expect a postponed monetary reward because their participation in digital peer production builds their reputation in the domain of software development. Skills development can be another reward. As long as remunerated work is necessary to sustain public benefit work, it will be difficult to see a pure example of peer production in which peers are solely motivated by the production of use value. Ignoring the material bases of survival for the contributors in a peer production project may have dangerous consequences for the entire project because it may induce motivations to overtake the project by its most active contributors. Therefore, organization models that make the for benefit contribution sustainable and meet the logic of survival are interesting to explore.

Acorn Community sustains its roughly 30 members through operating an heirloom and organic seed distribution business, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (“SESE”), and through subsistence agriculture. The enterprise is an interesting example that integrates profit making into the production of use value.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the contribution to production is not entirely spontaneous because the members are obliged to meet 42-hour labor quota and because some members may resent people that do not contribute and consequently make it difficult for a free-rider to feel socially integrated. Therefore, the work in the community, especially within the labor quota, is motivated by self-interest, although less strictly than in the classical employment system. My interviewees mentioned that escaping the stress and anxieties of having a job in the capitalist system and sufferings related to having a boss and pursuing senseless activities were one of their main motivations for joining the community. Other individual motivations were to be able to live a healthier life and be part of a community. Many interviewees mentioned that their involvement is part of their pursuit of the struggle against capitalism. As one of them, a former environmental political campaigner, put it, he decided to shift from oppositional to propositional action. Many members see their lifestyle as an experiment that may inspire society to change. One needs to take a selection bias into account, though. The 15 individuals that I have interviewed may have agreed to be interviewed because they consider participating in the community a way of inciting a broader change. Therefore my project of spreading information and further analysis may correspond to their vision and motivation to participate in the community.

Acorn’s members do not receive a salary but rather are granted unconditional access to all the resources and services produced by the members and made available according to their needs (except for tobacco and alcohol). This is supplemented by a small monthly stipend that can cover needs that are not met by the community. All members have the same position in the community. This is one of the reasons why the community calls itself egalitarian. The enterprise produces use value by redistributing its income to all members of the community, even those who do not play a major role in the success of the business in a monetary sense, as is the case in the capitalist mode of production. Although I have not interviewed anyone who does not work for the business at all, in theory it is possible to do only domestic jobs, grow food for the community, and engage in other subsistence-related activities to fulfill one’s labor quota. Since there is no special reward for individual effort or skills, one can define their work as being closer to work for benefit rather than for profit. The system resembles what one could imagine as an advanced form of an unconditional basic income at a group scale with two modifications:

1) Access is conditional on overall conformity with the labor quota (some proponents of an unconditional basic income also are in favor of a social contribution quota).
2) In contrast to a monetary transfer, the same for everyone, almost all goods and services are freely available to all members. Actual consumption varies widely between individuals. The model looks similar to free public services. {5}

This model can be an inspiration in the discussion and imagining of how the production of use value could be imagined at a broader national scale.

Acorn business model: integrating exchange and use value

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, the enterprise run by Acorn community, is an example of how a profit making enterprise can produce a use value. The enterprise sells heirloom seeds and provides services helping gardeners grow and preserve them for the next season. They work with about 60 farms that produce seed for them, which they test for good germination, weigh out, and sell or freezefor future use. The seeds are chosen according to their reproduction potential, by which we mean that gardeners can reproduce seeds from the harvest instead of buying them every season. The enterprise conducts and publishes research on the varieties so that customers take less risks when planting them. The orientation on reproducibility of seeds and increasing food autonomy is certainly an alternative to the major seed distributors who have an interest in generating dependency on their seeds. Instead of creating dependency on their seeds, the enterprise focuses on widening their selection, currently having about 700 varieties in stock. As a result, its promotional activities increase the biodiversity in the region.

One can compare the business model to an open hardware initiative. Expertise and a product that can be reproduced are provided to the customers. However, the customer needs to pay for the material part of the product. This model, being very locally oriented, could be implemented by other enterprises. The promotion of heirloom seeds that is a part of the enterprise’s activity can have broader impact on the environment in the local area.

Benevolent investment: earn money to change the world

The profits from the business are invested in projects that have broader social change as an objective. The material and human resources of this thriving enterprise are invested in the replication of the model in different settings. It distinguishes them from charity funding, which often is oriented on short-term goals instead of sustainable structures that would improve quality of life. Examples of investments include expanding the infrastructure of the community and helping other communities expand creating a complementary network of egalitarian communities which have developed an internal system of labour exchange. One current initiative, PointA, which wants to bring the community-organization to urban areas and benefit from urban-rural exchanges illustrates how the community’s resources can serve to increase autonomy from market forces through sharing and exchanging.

Producing exchange value and participating in the market system may actually contribute to the sustainability of the communities, making more use value production possible. A member of East Wind community in Missouri, which runs an enterprise producing peanut butter, observed that the authorities probably do not bother the community because the enterprise is one of the major taxpayers in the locality.

One of my interviewees thinks that a complete withdrawal from the money system would be the ideal final stage in the intentional community movement because as long as the community takes part in money exchanges this sustains the system. Instead, by operating on “zero dollars” and by setting an example, undermining “faith in money” would contribute to its end. Certainly, this long term vision can be achieved by creating prefigurative practices of postcapitalist modes of production. Participation in them, despite being sometimes motivated by the advantages to one’s quality of life and not necessarily the pursuit of a social change, may be an opportunity to inculcate non-hierarchical organizationalstyles and develop skills needed to live outside of the employment system.

Communities may use their resources to have an impact on society outside their network. For example, Acorn has been involved in a lawsuit against Monsanto. The Midden, an urban egalitarian community in Columbus, Ohio, enables its members’ political involvement by sharing their resources and decreasing their costs of living. A member of East Wind community (another egalitarian community located in Missouri) would like to help the local town next to his community become a place where food is grown in public spaces and accessible to all. For this purpose, the community can donate seeds and help in setting up the initiative.

The same person wanted to become a biologist before joining East Wind community but he dropped out of his studies. Now he works on experiments with aquaponics and growing trees. It is a way of continuing his passion outside of the rigidities of science funding and the limitations imposed on researchers in academia (check, for example, the writings by David Graeber). Since the labour quota in this community is 35 hours a week and includes varied activities, some time and energy may still be left for pursuing passions and creating a use value.

Securing basic needs and freeing time for useful activities by organizing into intentional communities may be a response to the dilemma that the p2p movement is facing. When the contribution is directly linked to profit, this may influence the motivation and produce other disadvantages to the final product (see Zimmermann’s post). However, the movement needs to address the subsistence problem if it wants to thrive. So by rearranging the mode of production, the communities may be places for producing knowledge and science to develop more autonomy. That may be their transitional role.

{1} Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Expanded Edition (London: Athlantic Books, 2008), 36. Pekka Himanen, The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age (Random House, 2002).
{2} Michel Bauwens and Sussan Rémi, Le peer to peer : nouvelle formation sociale, nouveau modèle civilisationnel, Revue du MAUSS, 2005/2 no 26, p. 193-210.
{3} Lakhani, Karim R.; Robert G. Wolf (2005): Why Hackers Do What They Do. In: Joseph Feller, Brian Fitzgerald, Scott A. Hissam, Karim R. Lakhani (eds.), Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Michel Bauwens and Sussan Rémi, Le peer to peer : nouvelle formation sociale, nouveau modèle civilisationnel, Revue du MAUSS, 2005/2 no 26, p. 193-210.
{4} Yochai Benkler and Helen Nissenbaum, “Commons-based Peer Production and Virtue,” The Journal of Political Philosophy 14 (December 2006): 394-419.
{5} I appreciate the comment of GPaul Blundell that helped me see the distinctions more clearly. The definition of public services in the model of unconditional basic income is one of the problems to be solved by the movement.

What is Acorn community?

Acorn community is a farm based, egalitarian, income-sharing, secular, anarchist, feminist, consensus-based intentional community of around 32 folks, based in Mineral, Virginia. It was founded in 1993 by former members of neighboring Twin Oaks community. To make their living, they operate an heirloom and organic seed business, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (“SESE”), which tests seeds in the local climate and provides customers with advice on growing their own plants and reproducing seeds. Acorn is affiliated to the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, a US network of intentional communities that commit to holding in common their land, labor, resources, and income among community members.

Information on sources

I spent three weeks in August 2014 at Acorn community in Virginia where I conducted interviews with 15 inhabitants of this community (accounting for about half of the membership). The interviews will be used in my book analyzing a scenario of a postcapitalist mode of production from a personal perspective. It will be published in Creative Commons license. My research trip has been co-financed by a Goteo crowdfunding campaign. Some inspiration comes from four public meetings with a member of East Wind community, which I organized in October 2014, in Strasbourg, France. In total, 47 people participated in these events.


I would like to thank my interviewees, Couchsurfing hosts, and Acorn community for their hospitality and their time. The following people have contributed to the Goteo crowdfunding campaign: pixocode, Daycoin Project, Olivier, Paul Wuersig, María, Julian Canaves. I would like to express my gratitude to these and eight other co-financers. I would like to thank for the editing and suggestions from GPaul Blundell, communard of Acorn, instigating organizer of Point A DC.

Further publications

Another article on a Montreal-based enterprise where I conducted interviews for the book in progress can be found here: “There is such a thing as a free lunch: Montreal students commoning and peering food services.”A longer article on the same enterprise is published by a closed-access academic journal. Gajewska, Katarzyna (2014): Peer Production and Prosumerism as a Model for the Future Organization of General Interest Services Provision in Developed Countries Examples of Food Services Collectives. World Future Review 6(1): 29-39.

Please, do not hesitate to ask me for an electronic version at the address: k.gajewska_comm AT zoho.com

I have also published other articles related to peer production and unconditional basic income:

Gajewska, Katarzyna, “Technological Unemployment but Still a Lot of Work: Towards Prosumerist Services of General Interest,” Journal of Evolution and Technology.

Gajewska, Katarzyna, “How Basic Income Will Transform Active Citizenship? A Scenario of Political Participation beyond Delegation,” Paper for 15th International Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network, June 27th to 29th, 2014, Montreal, Québec.

About the Author

Katarzyna Gajewska is an independent (unpaid) writer and social activist. In her book in progress, she explores potential psychological consequences of transformation towards a postcapitalist mode of production in the physical world. Formerly an academic (precarious) researcher, she builds upon her scientific background in industrial relations and political science and incorporates other lenses in the analysis of a scenario of a potential future. She focuses on personal and daily life in order to stimulate collective imagination and democratic debate.

For updates on my publications, you can check my Facebook pageor send me an e-mail to the address to get updates by e-mail: k.gajewska_comm AT zoho.com

Katarzyna Gajewska is an independent scholar and a writer. She has a PhD in Political Science and has published on alternative economy and innovating the work organization since 2013. She is also interested in preventive health and emotional and psychological aspects of economic change. You can find her non-academic writing on such platforms as Occupy.com, P2P Foundation Blog, Basic Income UK, Bronislaw Magazine and LeftEast. For updates on her publications, you can check her Facebook page or send her an e-mail: k.gajewska_commATzoho.com. If you would like to support her independent writing, please make a donation to the PayPal account at the same address.

Creating use value while making a living in egalitarian communities

East Wind’s Path to Membership

Living in an intentional community can be a deeply rewarding experience. Many people are realizing the shortcomings of consumer culture and are searching for a better way to live. Living at East Wind offers the opportunity to be your own boss and pursue work that truly interests you, to develop a deeper connection with the natural world, to share your day-to-day life with an extended family of like-minded people, and to be a part of a movement to create a better quality of life for everyone in your community. East Wind isn’t the place for everyone, but some of our current members consider moving to community to be one of the best decisions of their lives. If we desire something better than ‘the American dream’ for ourselves and for future generations, we must develop alternatives and set an example for others to follow. So take some advice from Mohandas Gandhi and “be the change you want to see in the world.” That’s what East Winders do every single day.  Leading an autonomous life is an incredibly empowering experience.  You will certainly be amazed as your innate potential reveals itself.


Those interested in joining East Wind are welcome to inquire about arranging a visit. Contact us first at ew.membership@gmail.com, as dropping in unannounced is not accepted. After completing a three week visitor period, visitors can apply for either provisional membership or associate status at East Wind. Provisional membership is somewhat of a trial membership, and is a year-long process to becoming a full member. You can click here to read all legislation pertaining to membership and visitors.

East Wind is self-governed through direct democracy. All members and visitors are welcome to participate in our political processes and speak in community meetings. However, visitors, provisional members (those during their first year of membership), and those with associate status are not granted a full vote. Provisional members receive a half vote in community ballots after three months of membership, and can vote on all issues except for those that deal with membership. Visitors and individuals with associate status have no voting rights, but may still attend community meetings and share their opinions. All full members have an equal vote and equal access to utilize the established processes. Only full members can sign and pass petitions.

After one year, provisional members are subject to a vote on their membership—if they receive a simple majority of yes votes, they are awarded full membership, full medical coverage, and a full vote in future ballots. However, if they receive a majority of no votes, they will be asked to either extend their provisional membership by six months before undergoing a second vote or to leave community. If this sounds like a lot of pressure, please keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of membership votes are in favor of the new member. This process is designed primarily to keep out individuals who do not do their fair share of work or make current members feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

All full members are equal owners of our land, our businesses, and our assets. Full members can only be expelled from community by the action of two-thirds of full members through petition or vote. Expellable offenses include failure to do fair share, physical violence, theft, violating the community’s property and income codes, and deliberate attempts to destroy or disband the community. The decision to expel a member for these or other offenses is made by full members of the community on a case-by-case basis. Though problems do occasionally arise, we are usually able to resolve issues amongst ourselves and expulsion is extremely uncommon.

East Wind offers a home to those who want to help us in our mission to create a sustainable and egalitarian communal lifestyle. If these values are important to you, please consider visiting us in the Ozarks and getting involved.


East Wind’s Path to Membership

A Detailed FEC History: Part One, the ’60s and ’70s

by Raven Cotyledon

This is for commune geeks.  

Maximus put out a video of The Phylogenetic History of the FEC.  It was surprisingly popular. My one complaint was that it left out so many details.

Maximus shared with me the spreadsheet that his video was based on.  Using that, Kat Kinkade’s books, Laird’s blog, the Communities Directory, and my own memory of events in the 1960s, 1990s, and recently, I intend to put out a detailed description of the history of the communes and the Federation of Egalitarian Communities.

I will break it up by decades and publish one a month to keep it from getting too long and boring.  This part covers the 1960s and 1970s.

The 1960s

1967  Twin Oaks is founded.  That was fifty-two years ago and Twin Oaks is still going strong with nearly a hundred members. To put it in context, there were hundreds of ‘communes’ formed in the late sixties.  Very, very few of them are still around. Kat Kinkade attributed Twin Oaks survival to a combination of hard work, structure, and freedom, and getting big fast enough. She thought thirty people was “the minimum for security” and said that TO reached that in their third year.

Signing up for labor in the early days at Twin Oaks


The 1970s

1970  East Wind was started. Kat Kinkade claimed that she “left Twin Oaks, taking two members and some visitors with me, and we set out to form a community that would be just like Twin Oaks in every way except one: We would never close our doors!”  East Wind is also still around with about sixty members.

REIM, one of the original structures at East Wind

1974  Sandhill Farm founded.   Laird Schaub described its founding this way: “In February 1973 I was in a public library and happened across the current issue of Psychology Today. It included an excerpt from a new book by Kat Kinkade, A Walden Two Experiment. It described the first five years of Twin Oaks Community, and it changed my life. …

“By the following spring, we had founded Sandhill Farm: four people willing to try to make that happen.
“Because Twin Oaks was the inspiration and because I’d already done a fair amount of work to reject materialism, we set up Sandhill as an income-sharing community, where all earnings would be pooled. The community still operates that way today.”


1976  The Federation of Egalitarian Communities was formed.  Laird’s description: “…five North American communities shared a dream of cooperation. As a result, representatives of these communities got together and founded the Federation of Egalitarian Communities.”  The first Assembly was in November of that year. Attending communities were Twin Oaks, East Wind, Aliya, Aloe, Dandelion, Genesis, North Mountain, and Springtree.

1977  There seemed to have been three Assemblies that year, one in February, one in October, and one in November. (At least, that’s what was listed.)   Aliya and Springtree seemed to have already dropped out. The February Assembly lists the population of the other communities at the time, Twin Oaks (72), East Wind (55), Aloe (6), Dandelion (13), and North Mountain (12).

Undated picture of an Assembly at Twin Oaks

1978   On the other hand, there only appeared to be one Assembly in 1978, in July, with the same five communities.

1979   There were two Assemblies in 1979, one in January and one in August, and a new community, Los Horcones, came to the January Assembly, and the August Assembly saw Sandhill attending for the first time.   The August Assembly also listed community populations at Twin Oaks (75), East Wind (55?) [yes, that’s how it’s listed], Aloe (10), Dandelion (10), Los Horcones (12), and North Mountain (12). There was no population listed for Sandhill.

That was the beginning.  Only Twin Oaks, East Wind, and Sandhill are still around today and right now, Sandhill is struggling. But the FEC continues to this day, with new communities and new energy.

Next month, I will detail the FEC through the eighties with communities coming in while others leave or disband. It will probably have too much detail for most folks, but I find it fascinating to watch the communities and the organization as it grows and struggles. This is how we change the world folks, one small step at a time.

Kat Kinkade and others harvesting corn at Twin Oaks around 1969 or 1970

(If you have any information about the early days of the FEC or its history at any period, please add it in the comments.)


Thanks for reading! This post was made possible by our patrons on Patreon. The Commune Life team works hard to bring you these stories about our lives in community, and that work couldn’t happen without support from our audience. So if you liked this article, and want to help us make more like it, head on over to https://www.patreon.com/communelife to join us!

Deep gratitude to all of our patrons:  


  • Acorn Community
  • Compersia Community
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  • East Brook Community Farm
  • The Federation of Egalitarian Communities
  • Twin Oaks Community


  • Tobin Moore
  • Kai Koru
  • Jenn Morgan
  • Jonathan Thaler
  • Nance & Jack Williford
  • Julia Evans
  • William Croft
  • Aaron Michels
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A Detailed FEC History: Part One, the ’60s and ’70s