Since first I met Dancing Rabbit founder Tony Sirna at the Communities Conference in Willits, CA in 1998, I have understood that the “village” part of ecovillage here was meant as more than a euphemism. Dancing Rabbit was intended to be more or less like the village of popular conception– small, rural, surrounded and supported by agriculture and practical arts, and made up of villagers whose lives would doubtless be intertwined in many ways.
When I subsequently arrived at Dancing Rabbit for an internship in July 2001, I found a small (at that time, members numbers perhaps 10, and the village hosted upwards of 20 interns over the warm season) group of people with a lot of commitment to a beautiful vision. It was not a village yet. It did feel intimate, in the ways that we all worked together and relied on each other to feed ourselves, survive in our tents, and share very little sheltered space while trying to build some of the first structures. We were pioneering. Intimacy was born out of necessity, though aided by common purpose.
Here’s a brief look at the seasonal aspects of life at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. Daily routines are largely influenced by the current season – winter is a time for relaxing, socializing, indoor projects, spring planning, and most importantly, staying warm. And by the end of winter, members are gearing up and itching for spring with new or continuing building projects and gardening plans.
In this video, Alyson describes wintertime maple sap collection, Liat shares her plans to transform a school bus into a house (complete with greenhouse), and Dan talks about seed saving and starting seedlings.
Mushroom hunter, tent dweller, food fermenter, odd jobber and eco-expounder, Thomas has been living at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage for the past five years. In Life with Thomas, we get the chance to familiarize ourselves with one of the community’s unique denizens. Thomas shares his personal story and how he came to desire a more ecological lifestyle, inspired by life experiences and global environmental issues. He also gives us a cooking lesson, goes mushroom hunting, reflects upon his wigwam, and pursues other exciting daily activities at his home in Dancing Rabbit.
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