A Cornucopia of Communes

Pictures of most of the communities featured in Commune Life over the last year.  (All communes are in US states unless otherwise noted.)

Acorn, Mineral, VA:


Baltimore Free Farm, Baltimore, MD:


Cambia, Louisa, VA:

Cambia 4

Compersia, Washington, DC:


East Wind, Tecumseh, MO:


las Indias, Madrid, Spain:


Living Energy Farm, Louisa, VA:


Oran MórSquires, MO:

Summer OM5a

Quercus (disbanded), Richmond, VA:

Porch music jam on our snazy palette-finished porch

Rainforest Lab, Forks, WA:


Sandhill Farm, Rutledge, MO:

Sandhill 1

Sycamore Farm, Arcadia, VA:


The Common Unity Project (TCUP),  Gitxsan Territory, Hazelton, BC (Canada):


Twin Oaks, Louisa, VA:





A Cornucopia of Communes

Northern BC Community -TCUP 2016 Update

by Sweetgum

TCUP is a community in British Columbia.


Winter is coming – as evidenced by the frozen pond. Some still choose to break the ice and enter the pond for a refreshing bath after the sauna, others take the more convenient but perhaps less refreshing method of using a pot of water heated from the stove.
Our sauna stacked with offcuts from the birch mill. They make a hot fire quick. On the left are some garden beds mulched with leaves for planting apple seedlings next spring. We started several dozen from seed and whichever survive our neglect and the winter cold will be rootstock.
Working on finishing the second story of the pentagon tower so we can cover it for the winter. Last year we made a contraption of sticks and cardboard that sort of made it through the season before being ripped to shreds by the wind.

Comparison photo. The inside of the plastic “roof” over the first story of the pentagon last year.

And a brief recap of some of what we’ve been doing over the summer and fall:

tcup7Volunteer Max working on leveling the floor, his pet project.
tcup8Group picture with some donated coffeehouse shirts.
tcup9Music by the fire.
tcup10Rocket mass heater and bench, under construction.
tcup11The lonnng contour hugelkultur bed for our perennial food forest.


Rocketmass heater showing where to put the wood.

Martin happily harvesting garlic.
Northern BC Community -TCUP 2016 Update

An Introduction to TCUP

The Common Unity Project or TCUP is an communal farm/homestead in Gitxsan Territory, Hazelton, BC. It began as two friends who bought 160 acres in 2011 with the help of an interest free loan from a relative. Since then, it has expanded to seven adults, contracted from four kids to none, and has since receded again to four or so members. Our goal is to sustain ourselves from our region as best as we are able, and we employ permaculture styles of agriculture, urban and wild foraging, hunting, and trade. For us a lot of that revolves around a mutual aid connection with local indigenous peoples and others.

Currently we are income-sharing, which means we pull our resources together, monetary and otherwise. Ideally all money earned goes into the collective pot, and time worked for an income is valued equally to time worked on the collective project, which is sometimes difficult to define. We don’t record hours and our evaluation of whether things are working is based on whether we are making enough money to sustain ourselves and whether all community members are satisfied with how things are going.

We live in tents, campers, and buses most of the time. There is a cabin that has been on the property for awhile that we will be staying in this winter. The communal house, a two-story hybrid strawbale-earthship, will hopefully be finished within the next year or two.

We cook in an outdoor kitchen, sauna and jump in the pond for showers, and watch movies on the big screen TV occasionally. A typical day involves starting the woodstove for breakfast, organizing the freegan food boxes, checking on the chickens, watering the greenhouse, and then working on whatever project needs done that day – wood framing, cob, pounding tires for a community greenhouse in the reserve, mulching the plants, picking berries, canning salmon, harvesting rotten wood for huegelbeds, planting trees, going to the dump to search for materials, etc.

The last two summers we have hosted volunteer camps of 10-20 people, mainly to help with construction on the building. We are planning on lowering the numbers of volunteers in the future, but want to continue to be a place where people can come and experience a different way of living, learn about permaculture and alternative building, and develop themselves.

We are looking for like-minded people who want to live in a rural/town setting, individuals who are willing to communicate openly about conflicts, and those who want to live a simpler lifestyle in community with others. We are open to all ages, genders, races, orientations, and people of various physical abilities and spiritual beliefs. If you have an interest or are part of a similar community and want to connect, contact us!




An Introduction to TCUP