Winter on the land--snow-covered branches glistening in the cold sunlight, deer prints following paths into the forest; ewes, heavy with their lambs-to-be, standing proud in the snowy pasture. Amidst the beauty and majesty of Winter, we humans naturally gravitate indoors to escape the cold and snuggle next to wood fires. QIVC in the winter means more planned indoor activities and early-evening get-togethers, impromptu community dinners at member homes, and reflective spaces to deepen our intentionality. Recently our Community Life committee has started a monthly conversation space, where we can come together to informally discuss various topics of interest to the community, such as aging and elders, hierarchy in community, and how to be good stewards of our land. These spaces serve wonderfully as a structural middle ground between the formality of meetings for worship and the total looseness of regular socializing. In the new year Jens is off to Bolivia on behalf of the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund and Carolyn has left for her long anticipated gap-year trip to Nicaragua, where she is volunteering during school days at an orphanage and living with a local family. The Coulter kids can be seen sliding around giggling on their icy driveway and building big snow-people in their backyard. And we are excited to now be part of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), which includes a searchable online database of communities with an essential ecological component. We are still seeking at least two new households as members, and anticipating some interested visitors to the community later in the winter. Paul said goodbye to his pigs in late December, and some of us are now with great thanks enjoying fresh lard and bacon. Jens and Spee have kept their fun flock of chickens, including one exotic bird with a head full of spiky brown and black feathers. Meanwhile Hana and Noah, after many batches of chicken soup from their last flock, plan to rebuild their coop this spring and raise up a new flock from chicks.
Seeking New Members!
Who we are
We are currently a community of six member households and several others interested in membership, living close to the land on 135 acres of mixed woodland and pasture. We range in age from infant to 70s, with 17 adults and 11 children. We strive to live spirit-focused lives that are simple, sustainable, and joyful, benefitting from and enjoying our close connections with each other and the land. We don't all need to identify explicitly as Quaker. We welcome diversity of all sorts. (More about us)
Where we are
We are in the gorgeous Hudson Valley of upstate New York (2.5 hours from NYC/Boston, 10 minutes from our local Quaker Meeting), in the foothills of the Berkshires.
How we live
We are thriving in a range of green homes such as strawbale, slip and chip timberframe, stickbuilt, passive solar; many of us built our own. Many of us farm our land organically, raise chickens, sheep, and other livestock, and produce piles of pesto. We also support several local farms through CSA shares (that's Community Supported Agriculture). We use Quaker processes in our self-government, including consensus that seeks God's will, discernment, and the clearness process. We value equality, diversity of experience and viewpoints, and deep listening. We come together around five guiding intentions:
Our Five Intentions
We believe conscious culture creation in community can be a means to advance our intentions:
1. To live in worship, increasing our mindfulness, spiritual focus, and God-centeredness by intertwining our daily lives with others who share these intentions
2. To create a village setting that values and engages participation by people of all ages, expands our experience of family, and supports our expression in the world.
3. To create wealth that embodies integrity and Truth by carefully examining our engagement in the current economic order and stepping away from its destructive elements
4. To live in unity & harmony with the earth by considering the near and far environmental impact of our actions while striving for thrivability.
5. To include a good measure of joy, fun, creativity, and service in our lives
We believe that our communities' success in achieving these five intentions will be aided by membership diverse in race, age, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, and economic situations, and therefore it is our aim to gather a community whose members are diverse in these ways as well as others.
If you have questions about QIV-C and would like to find out more or visit us, please e-mail qiv-c@qivp .org or call Spee Braun at 518-392-0891 (between 9 and 9 please).