Common Home Farm is an Interfaith Catholic Worker community living out the works of mercy and practicing sacramental agriculture on Persimmon Ridge, 10 miles north of Bloomington, Indiana. We are composed of three families, two who live on the land and one who lives in town. We have an extended community of supporters who help us with work projects and who partake in the bountiful harvest we grow. Let us know if you’d like to get involved.
A Vision for Common Home Farm (Draft: Apr. 22, 2018)
“The fact that our fate is a common fate has tremendous implications. It means that in facing it together openly and humbly, we find again our mutual belonging and our power to act.” – Joanna Macy
Mission Statement: Through the formation of a land-based intentional community, we seek to recreate a way of life that cultivates our connections to one another, our neighbors and all of creation.
Our Physical Manifestation: We are located on a 10-acre parcel (2 acres for farming, 8 in woods and building space), just 20 minutes north of Bloomington (NW of Lake Lemon). There are currently three dwellings on the land – a cabin, a workshop-turned-home, and a tiny house for a guest or intern. We plan to build another home a few years down the road.
Our Processes: We use consensus-based decision making, believing that our collective wisdom is greater than our individual wisdom. We commit to developing community processes and practices that nurture our relationships, where we practice behaviors uncommon in our daily lives, e.g. attention, deep listening, silence, and truth telling.
Our Values: Community; Simplicity & Sustainability; Hospitality & Activism; Interfaith Spirituality; Peace & Reconciliation; Creativity
We bind our lives together in mutual need and mutual aid to create a place where it is easier to do good. Community is the lived antithesis of capitalism; we learn to collaborate rather than compete. Some of the ways we hope to weave our lives together are through shared:
- land ownership and stewardship
- partial income sharing
- child care and elderly care
- meals, rituals, song and dance
We also recognize the need to balance community commitments with personal time and space. We will strive to create community rhythms, structures, and spaces that create this balance and thus facilitate the long-term sustainability of life together. Likewise, we recognize the importance of personal care and will prioritize members looking after their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health, as well as the health of their intimate relationships, marriages and families.
Simplicity and Sustainability
We will aim to live simply and frugally, with a spirit of joyful sacrifice and risk taking. We want to decrease our dependence on a food production system that exploits the labor of our brothers and sisters and decimates the earth at the same time. We want to heal the earth and be healed in return.
- Intentionally limiting outside paid work in order to make space for community work
- Maintaining a mindful pace to the rhythm of our days
- Becoming homes of creation rather than consumption
- Intentionally discerning the use of appropriate technology, asking ourselves questions such as
- Does it reflect our mission?
- Does it enhance family and community?
- Is it joyful and satisfying?
- Learning and practicing skills and handicrafts that replace the need for machines, industrial inputs and non-renewable resources such as heating and cooking with wood, utilizing a solar shower, composting food scraps and human waste, line-drying our clothes and ride-sharing
- Becoming reliant on renewable energy within 5-10 years of starting this project
- Using organic and permaculture practices to raise our food, tend our animals and steward the land.
Hospitality and Activism
Our land, buildings, time and energy are not ours to use solely as we please, but are here for the common good. We will share what we have with the wider community, particularly our brothers and sisters suffering from poverty and oppression. We want to be a place of respite for strangers, travelers, seekers, children and elders. We want to make ourselves available to the gifts that come through strangers and guests.
We also recognize that restoration of the land is justice work, that the creation of a healthy intentional community is activism integrated into daily life.
- Maintaining a guest space
- Hosting open table meals
- Organizing workshops and events
- Sharing our harvests
- Being attentive and responsive to the needs the marginalized and imprisoned
We strive to incorporate spiritual practices into our lives, both individually and communally. We seek to honor each individual’s unique spiritual path while also integrating as creatively as possible a set of shared daily and seasonal practices centered around gratitude, reconciliation and a deep sense of connection with all of life.
- Daily shared spiritual practices (silent meditation, liturgical prayer, song, etc.)
- Book and discussion groups
Peace and Reconciliation
We cannot dream of peace for our world unless we practice peace among ourselves. To live with other people is to invite collaboration, cooperation, the sharing of joys and burdens. To live with other people is also to open oneself up to disagreements, annoyances, frustrations and conflicts. Maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships is the most difficult and rewarding work that we will engage in together. Rather than run from this work, we desire to welcome it with tenderness and compassion. We are like rough pebbles in a pocket, our daily contact wearing down the sharp edges. Over time we refine our character and expand our capacity to love.
- A weekly practice of confession and reconciliation
- A willingness to address feelings of conflict when they arise
- Presuming goodwill and refraining from speaking ill of other people in our community
We desire to be a community that nurtures creativity and imagination, offering both time and space to members and visitors to write, sing, create artwork, dance, and play. A commitment to creativity offers us a chance to become ourselves more fully. Practical manifestations TBD!
Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities by Diana Leafe Christian
Coming Back to Life by Joanna Macy
Loaves and Fishes by Dorothy Day
The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
* Also check out Communities Magazine available at the library