PermaCycle

Rolling a tread between People and Permaculture

(Noun) The Hood: (Definition) a Neighborhood Without Neighbors

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By Jasmine Wilborne

I want to live in an actual neighborhood. It sounds really cheesy to say this, but I want to be able to wave to the people who walk on the street and know them by name. I want to be invited to my neighbor’s holiday party. I want to know the intimate details of what is going on in each other’s households. I want to answer the door to a neighbor in tears and be able to guide her to our family room to talk it out. I want to know the people on my block and I want to know that they know me. Simply, I want to be connected to the people on the small block I live on.

But that world is only a dream for me-for now.

The beauty of the eco-village movement- and mind you all that I know about the eco-village movement is from little articles here and there that I have independently read and from Seth’s own personal experience at Sirius in MA- is that it reconnects people to each other and to the land. Currently, there are so many factors that have severed the human from really feeling connected to the earth that an exhaustive list would be impossible to make. Eco-village’s are created by individuals of shared minds who are hungry to re-establish wholesome agriculture and wholesome community. This is what I find beautiful.

But I do not believe that the eco-village movement is the answer to the serious problems which are damaging and growing in our society like: gentrification in cities, fossil fuel usage, the era of the dispensable human (everyone is replaceable in a capitalistic society) and the polarization between people to, name a few.

Instead, I think the eco-village movement seeks to provide an experimental vision of what could be. Well duh, that is because they are experimental! Haha.

I’ve been grappling with the following questions:

1. I define community as people who are bound to one another by geographical location–specifically where they live- and who depend on each other for survival, support and the meeting of basic needs. In a society where basic needs are met outside of one’s immediate home, how can community be re-established?

2. There are huge disparities between neighborhoods. For instance, in one city  one neighborhood can be wealthy and another can be poor. If my definition of community in Question 1 was to be actualized in poor communities, what barriers will present themselves as the new found community were to grow as one seeing that they often cannot meet their basic needs without government assistance? Will wealthier communities have an easier time creating community defined in Question 1, or will they have a harder time seeing that they do not need to depend on one another to meet their needs?

3.Is it bad to “allow” homogeneous communities? I ask this because I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with homogeneous communities as long as they are open to others. BUT I think the problem with homogeneous communities is that xenophobia ARISES from them! Haha. So I guess have a dilemma. I want people to be with the people they want to be with, while also inviting them to be open to others. I’m thinking like a cell. A cell’s walls are semi-permeable— so maybe the communities can be to!

These are just my thoughts on neighborhoods.

Have a fancy week!

 

 

 

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Author: zestyjazz

I'm a garden and a bicycle.

6 thoughts on “(Noun) The Hood: (Definition) a Neighborhood Without Neighbors

  1. We are just beginning to form a teeny tiny ecovillage… My week will be fancy, but I’m praying for simple. 😉 Thanks for making me smile…

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    • That is super cool, Aggie! I’m glad that people are making eco-villages across the country. What is proving to be the hardest part of this planning and what have you found to be the most joyful?

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      • Thanks for asking. The hardest part: finding time and money. The joyful part: the people we are meeting. We are barely beginning. How nice that your post introduced me to the Zero-Waste Chef…

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  2. I’ve lived in an intentional community for nearly 10 years and I love it. It’s been great for me and my kids. It’s a spiritual community (yoga, meditation) and I don’t belong to the church it’s a part of (I don’t have a problem with the church, just as a recovering Catholic, I’m not one to join any church). We have a CSA we started a few years ago and that’s going well. I teach fermentation workshops in our community kitchen. The grounds are beautiful…In my house, I didn’t know my neighbors’ names, which is just bizarre really. The one guy on the right pulled out of his garage in the morning and drove back into it at night. I never spoke to him once over five years.

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    • Thanks for sharing your lifestyle! Where are you located? How did you join this intentional community? What proves to be the hardest part of intentional community living? What is also the most joyful? Lol. Sorry, so many questions.

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      • Well, I found it through my daughter’s school, so essentially she found it for me 🙂 My community is pretty laid back and you don’t have to participate if you don’t want to. There are several “branches” and the main one is a small village of about 300 people in Northern California a couple of hours from Sacramento (mine is south of San Francisco). You have to belong to the church to move to that one. It’s gorgeous up there. They have a goat dairy and fruit orchards, chickens, vegetables and stunning grounds. My daughter lived up there to go to school for two years and she loved it. I can’t think of anything hard about living in my community really. I can think of drawbacks for living in this area but that has to do with Silicon Valley, not the community. It’s so dog-eat-dog in the valley (and so expensive) but the community is an oasis. My friends live just yards away from me and we help each other. It’s very unusual in a good way. Oh, I just remembered I wrote a post about it if you care to read more: http://wp.me/p4sJ3i-87

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