Driftless Area Collective

It doesn't really feel like I've done anything. I tried to find other people in this area who would be interested in creating an intentional community, but have had no luck so far. I posted on local FB groups, looking for people in this area, but while I did IMG_1755.JPGmeet new people, I didn't find any who would be interested in creating a new IC. My farm may be small, but trying to maintain it alone is extremely challenging. Considering the amount of land - 13 acres - and the climate, this farm could support at least another 5 people. Alone, I feel uneasy just opening the doors to anyone who happens to wander by, as there is no one to back me up if things go badly.

Several years ago friends suggested I try WOOFERs organization to find people enthusiastic about staying or living on an organic farm. I finally scrapped together the membership fee and completed the application for WOOFERs over this past winter. So far, two people have contacted me through WOOFERs, wanting to schedule visits to the farm. I am hoping to engage people in the tree planting project I'm working on, or in enlarging the vegetable gardens, with emphasis on perennials. I'm hoping that by enlarging the gardens, and the number of perennial garden plants growing will further enhance the farm's ability to support more people, for longer periods of time. Several long time friends have expressed interest in coming here. I spent several years living on the streets as a runaway as a teen, and the friends contacting me now are people I met back then. Each of them has significant emotional issues which has made living with them in the past very difficult. Now, these people are pretty much homeless once again, living in motor homes, buses and RV's. They want to come and stay here on this farm, as I have the space for their transient homes to rest for a while, plus access to electricity, water and food.

IMG_0911.JPGOne such friend, I referred to The Transition, asking her and her current boyfriend to sign up and do Your Action Plan. She did sign up, but I don't think she's done much else afterward. I agreed to let her and plus one stay for a short, provisional visit, to see how things would work out. They are currently living in an old school bus. At first she said she'd only want to stay overnight, but as we talked, it became clear they are looking for a semi-permanent place to park - they're looking for a new home. We have talked briefly about expectations of each other and have agreed on a short trial visit, with the possibility they would return a few weeks later for a IMG_0890.JPGlonger stay. Another old friend who is living in an old motor home asked to stay here. It breaks my heart to do it, but I had to turn her down, for the time being. I know this woman has significant mental health issues and, quite frankly, I would be afraid to have her stay here with me, me being alone with her. She does irrational things, and becomes quite stubborn about doing them. I would be afraid to leave her alone here, even for an few minutes - like to go out and do the chores I have to do to keep the farm running. In order to have her stay, I would need a much larger group of people who could support both her and myself, to keep an eye on her, to ensure she doesn't hurt herself, others or do damage to the physical buildings of the farm. I grieve not being able to help her when she has asked for my help and clearly needs it. But for my own well being and to ensure this farm is an active resource, I have to admit I am not in a position to give this woman the support she requires. Trying to do so anyway could result in harming both her, me and the farm - as an on going asset.

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