Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Twin Oaks

Today we had the pleasure of visiting Twin Oaks Intentional Community, which has been in existence for just over 40 years. For those of you who may have read "A Walden Two Experiment" by Kathleen Kinkade back in the day, that particular book chronicled the early years of Twin Oaks, and piqued Keith's interest in intentional community as a teenager.

Books notwithstanding, our visit to Twin Oaks was wonderful and informative, and we were lucky to have a personal tour of several of homes, common spaces and cottage industries (which include their famous hammocks and tofu production).

Twin Oaks is one of only a handful of communities that practice complete income-sharing, a lifestyle that is certainly not for everyone. We felt quite at home at Twin Oaks, and would actually be open to a three-week trial visit at some point in the future, although Tina would unfortunately not be welcome. So, an extended stay at Twin Oaks may be something we undertake some time in a post-Tina future.

We are very grateful for the tour and visit, and came away feeling very good about this village of like-minded and industrious communitarians.


  1. Maybe if they knew that Tina was 1/2 rabbit, 1/2 dog they would be more accommodating? I'm curious why intentional communities tend to be anti-pet. An unintended consequence of an intentional community perhaps? Love kEN

  2. Just checking in on you all. Glad your travels are progressing nicely and that old Virginny has been good to know. I had no idea that Twin Oaks was the oldest intentional community in the US!
    See you in New Mexico in many months and miles.

  3. Kenny, many intentional communities have quotas for animals. I want to clarify that she would not be welcome during our initial 3-week trial period and also not for the next 3-month period after that. Even then, if the quota was full when we became full members, she would still not be able to come to the community to live.

    When it comes to communities and pets, there are some limitations due to allergies, and there are also people who simply don't like dogs and cats. And when looking at income-sharing communities like Twin Oaks, there are also budgetary reasons for limiting the number of animals on the community, since the community itself foots all of the bills for the care and feeding of the animals.

    We may very well find a community where Tina is more than welcome and she can live a comfortable life as a canine retiree. Til then, she's our co-pilot on the continuing search.

  4. Twin Oaks is the oldest secular commune in the United States, not the oldest intentional community as 'intentional community' encompasses many styles of living from fully-income sharing communities to simple co-housing arrangements. As a disclaimer.

  5. Anonymous, thank you for the disclaimer and informative clarification!