It’s high summer and nature is unleashed. Everything bursts its bounds. Temperatures rise to oven proportions, storms dump rain like waterfalls, weeds and vegetables vie for soil, and insects and parasites become utterly uncontainable. Even summer’s song is made of loudness, a primordial surround-sound, seething and swirling on air as soft and sticky as breath.
Summer is not a time to hold back, and we’re in full swing at Common Ground Ecovillage. This Almanac* is packed with goodies – news, events, and images that aim to feed inspiration, purpose, and delight in all our lives. If you are hungry for meaningful connection and contribution, look at what’s cooking at Common Ground.
If you like what you see, there’s a place for you at our table.
There’s a lot to be grateful for at Common Ground Ecovillage. New members with terrific skills and life experience are appearing at a steady pace. We’re nearly through the pre-development engineering stage for the village and are making steady progress on achieving financing for our limited equity housing co-op. The farm is in its high summer glory.
Yet there are challenges aplenty as we feel the need to shift into a higher gear; evolve our systems to meet new needs; develop stronger relationships; and keep the faith that yes, we can do this, if we pool our talents and resources towards a common vision.
This Almanac will help you to catch up and catch on to what’s happening. Does this feel like something you want to be a part of and a world you want to help create? If so, then let’s show up, lean in, and help strengthen each other’s hearts and will to make a real, positive difference in our lives and communities, right now.
The Summer Solstice is nigh and the natural world is exploding in fullness and fertility. The tiny buds that wintered on the tress have yielded leaf upon leaf, each unfolding, stretching, and galloping towards the sun. Itty-bitty seeds sown in Spring’s soil have (somehow) morphed into creamy cauliflower and exuberant cabbages. Butterflies and bees visit eager flowers of every hue. Who can fail to be dazzled by it all?
Amid the searing tragedies in our human world, we yet have it in us to behold beauty and create connection, aliveness, and harmony. Sometimes its so simple and other times so seemingly impossible; the obstacles within and without too great. But, at Common Ground Ecovillage, we persist in tending to dreams planted long ago that have firmly taken root and are continuing to emerge and evolve as conditions and resources support.
You’ll find in the pages of this Almanac so many ways to grow, learn, and express your gifts and passions in the service of a more loving way of living. It’s not easy and certainly not always pretty, but we continue to reach towards the sun by day and the stars by night, as best we can, together.
Spring is a time both tender and powerful as new life wakens and stretches out of winter’s sleep. In this month’s Almanac,* you’ll get a taste of the aliveness of Spring at Common Ground—children frolicking on the farm, sweet blossoms and baby leaves unfolding out of their cozy bud-beds, and the first lip-smacking strawberries, fresh for the picking.
The growth spurts and changes of Spring are mirrored at Common Ground. It’s a time of Great opportunity as we become more visible to the wider world through new branding and messaging (unveiling soon!). Great challenge as we forge ahead with a vision that bucks the status quo. Great contribution as we continue to invest time, money, and energy into creating more beautiful and life-giving ways to dwell and relate with each other and the land.
A great vision attracts great people. We have a lot of them and need more. You’ll find opportunities galore in these pages to visit, explore, join, relate, and offer your resources and talents to help manifest this culture-shifting Ecovillage.
Spring is coming at its usual unsteady pace. Some days, blustery wind blows warm and thick; other days dawn with a twist of frost in the air and ice underfoot. Spring reminds us that no progress is linear or without risk. Sometimes, like oak leaves still encased in buds, you can hold tight; sometimes, like the red maple trees, it’s time to burst out of what confines you and give your gifts of beauty and aliveness, whatever may come.
We’re doing a bit of each at CGEV this Spring. Waiting for YOU to invest in this vision and say YES to co-creating a life-giving space for generations to come. AND, bursting with activities, ideas, projects, to connect us with each other and the land to bring about the vision of an agrarian ecovillage that will address the imperatives of our time.
Well, it takes a village to build one and you are just in time. May this Calendar/Newsletter inspire you to show up, pitch in, and experience community-in-motion. We’ll be welcoming you. Your friends at Common Ground Ecovillage
P.S. For those of you who contributed photos for this calendar, apologies if you were not credited–Hope lost track!
Walk anywhere on the land near water these days and you’ll be serenaded by Spring Peepers. They are tiny but, oh my, they sound a stupendous chorus! And daffodils, crocuses, red maple magenta blossoms, spring beauty–they are all popping up FAST as late Winter tussels with Spring. The season is calling us to be awake and aware, for all that lies dormant will soon emerge.
At Common Ground Ecovillage, seeds we planted long ago (and have carefully tended and amply watered) are sprouting as our village and farm rapidly attract those who will help bring all to fruition. We hope you’ll pour over this Calendar and find what inspires you to show up–on the land and/or on Zoom–and add your unique voice, talents, and rhythms to this Ecovillage chorus.
We are small, yet we can make a mighty noise in a world crying for justice, harmony and right relationship with each other and the land.
Though there’s a cold wind blowing outside, our hearts are warm as we pull together to realize our vision of an agrarian ecovillage. There truly has never been a better time to join CGEV. Momentum is building and reservation forms to live in the village are coming in fast.
It takes a village to build one, and we’re thrilled to welcome new members who value this community and wish to help shape and realize its mission. If you think you’d like to be a part of what’s happening here, then don’t hold back.
At Common Ground Ecovillage, we have reason to be excited about 2022. Want to know why? Read all about here.* This issue is a year-in-review, with links to stories and photos from each of our fantastic Circles.
There’s never been a better–or more important–time to join Common Ground Ecovillage. CGEV aims to a place where people who want to forge a more sustainable, more healthy, more connected path can find a home. If this sound like you, then we invite you to jump on in and start learning what this vision is all about. Get to know the people who have put CGEV in a position to realize our dream of a co-operative village and farm. We’d love to meet you and see how you can fit in this picture.
It’s a new year. Time to begin! We hope to see you soon.
This fundraising letter* from the Foundation for Intentional Communities came my way a few days ago and struck a chord. There’s a truth spoken here; that the growing polarities in our society will not be reconciled by seeking sameness, and that intentional communities have a vital role to play in creating spaces where we can live amongst differences, to learn from each other, and to stay in relationship even when we disagree.
If this were easy to do, our world would look very different. In the 10 years since we’ve been developing our community, we’ve tried to lean into our conflicts and come out the other side enlarged. There have been some wonderful hits and tragic misses. Nonetheless, it’s a vision we continue to try to actualize as we seek to build the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.**
In this wintry time of enveloping darkness, we hope you’ll come and experience some communal warmth and genuine connection with others at Common Ground–whether in-person or from afar. How about taking a look at the December issue and choosing just one morsel, if you like, and see how it tastes and feels to you?
There’s something different about autumn on the land. The light is different. During the day everything is golden as if bathed in the glow of the sun’s low flame. But as the sun sets and day turns to dusk, things get dark quick. The trees that draw the horizon line turn black in silhouette. I don’t remember that about summer evenings; it seemed like there was more light even as the sun was setting. I feel myself retreating earlier as well, spending more time in reflection and coziness. Funnily enough though I also find myself reaching out more for connection. I look to the plants around me and realize I’m not so different after all. As the temperatures get colder, they begin to put precious energy into their roots rather than into new growth, flowers, or fruit. As my initial internship with Common Ground winds slowly to a close in the coming weeks I find myself desiring to put energy into setting roots here for perhaps another season, rather than buzzing off to the next new thing. Like the delectable persimmons that have been nourishing my taste buds, I am finding life keeps sweetening right where I am and the beauty of building relationship to place.
I am reminded of a seed lesson I learned from Doug earlier in the summer about stratification and scarification. Some seeds need to go through a dormancy period before they can properly germinate and ultimately sprout to their fullest potential. So, too, do we and our relationships need to pause and go inward to bring forth new life. Other seeds need to be scratched a little bit to break through the hard exterior shell in order to germinate. Only then can they break through to spread their leaves. It takes another being whether that be a human, a stone in the soil, or another animal to exfoliate or scarify the seed. So too we need each other to push through our self- and society-imposed barriers. We need both the loving nudges and sometimes the abrasive challenges of community to blossom.
Speaking of blossoming, I continue to revel in the fullness and abundance of the garden even in the colder season. I’ve found in my time here on the farm that farming in this way is more than a job or occupation but is really a way of life. I see myself more and more reflected in the food we are growing, in the relationships we are tending, and the land we are occupying. I have really begun to love the way life on the farm has spilled out into other aspects like fostering pollinator habitat, cultivating the perennial patch, and tending to the trails and land structures. I am inspired by the passion, creativity, and ingenuity of the folks in this community I get to work with in all the above. This furthers my desire to engage in deeper more meaningful and creative ways to foster my own role in Common Ground beyond my time and title as the farm intern.
As the tendrils of time wrap around once again, we will see how well the seeds I am planting in this community come to fruition in the seasons to come!