“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

Helen Keller

 

This past week our family embarked on quite the adventure. We attended the Sustainable Living Visitor Program at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, a sustainability demonstration community in Missouri. Not sure what that means? Perhaps it would be best to let them explain it in their own word.

Pretty cool stuff, huh? Besides just getting away for the week, our goals while at Dancing Rabbit were to learn as much as we could about all things sustainable living and see if living in a close knit intentional community seemed right for us. We definitely learned A LOT that we will be carrying forward with us and we are still digesting the community experience. Perhaps more on that in the future. But back to last week!

After a 6.5 hour drive from Kentucky to the prairies of northern Missouri, we arrived during the afternoon on Sunday, May 21. Kendal and Sloan were quite eager to get out of the car and take this picture for you all.

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After a meet and greet with the other visitor program attendees we settled into our accommodations in the two story, 6 bedroom, straw bale structure known as Skyhouse. The days that followed featured educational sessions of everything from Communication and Conflict Resolution to Alternative Energy and Construction, the later being of far more interest to me personally. We were given tours of most every structure at Dancing Rabbit along with detailed information of their construction methods. For me, it was fascinating to be able to see all of these examples in one place. Below are just a few of them.

We were also able to get some hands on education and stimulation. One afternoon we had a garden work party where we weeded the strawberry patch (compensated with tasty little berries as we worked) and built some new beds. Surprisingly, it turns out Kendal loves tenderizing manure with a pitch fork. Who would have guessed?

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Another day we were taken on a property walk and learned about Dancing Rabbit’s prairie restoration and conservation work. They own close to 300 acres of depleted agricultural land that they are working to bring back to it’s native glory. Part of that program includes prescribed burns to replenish the soil and eliminate non-native plant life. The area below was burned this past winter and is bursting back to life.

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And then there was the social element. Our days were filled with amazing conversation……

……impromptu ukulele lessons from one of the other attendees…..

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….and lots of great food and drink!

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The amount of social interaction was both rewarding and at times overwhelming. In modern society we have really lost the close connections with our community that for millennia were not just the norm but necessary for survival. These moments where what really made the experience. Well, that and the occasional miracle….

YES, that is a wild bird. It just hung out for about 15 minutes. Where else does something like that happen except an ecovillage or Disney movie? It was crazy and the kids loved it.

As you can see, we had a great time and learned so much. If you get the opportunity to attend their visitor program or even just visit Dancing Rabbit I highly recommend it. They are doing great work and passionately want to share it with everyone they can.

Have you visited an ecovillage or other intentional community? Comment below and let us know.

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