NICA Panel Discussion-Wednesday, Oct. 13, East-West Bookshop

Small, intentional communities are an important part of the solution to the problems of our age, offering a much-needed example of a way of life based on co-operation, harmonious living, shared resources and human relationships. Their strength comes from their intention- the conscious purpose of coming together to create a better, more human-scaled lifestyle.

Learn more about this exciting new way of life as representatives from the diverse Shared Housing, Student Co-ops, ashrams, and Co-Housing communities that exist in the Seattle area share and answer questions on many of the facets of community living that have relevance to all of us: finances,relationships, communications, leadership, aging, ecology, permaculture, family, education, decision-making.


  • Event: NICA Panel Discussion: Hope for a Better World
  • Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2010
  • Time: 7:00 to 8:30pm
  • Location: East West Bookshop (6509 Roosevelt, Seattle, WA)

Map and Directions:


Workshop: Growing a Successful Ecovillage or Sustainable Community: Aug 11-13

Diana Leafe Christian is leading a workshop on how to grow a successful Ecovillage or sustainable community. Here are the details:

  • Wednesday – Friday, August 11-13
  • Lost Valley Educational Center, near Eugene, Oregon
  • $175 for commuters (includes lunches) or $255 for workshop, room, and board for people staying overnight.

For more information, & to register: or call (541) 937-3351 x112

Also see the event Web page.

* Transportation. Both Amtrak and Greyhound go to Eugene. Lost Valley is about 30 minutes east of Eugene, and its staff can pick up workshop participants at the bus or train station.

More information:

“Growing a Successful Ecovillage or Sustainable Community”

With dynamic presentations (Diana does goofy drawings on the whiteboard of whatever she’s describing), lively small-group exercises, frequent photo-rich slide shows, and many stories and anecdotes about how real-life ecovillages solved their problems, the workshop covers the major steps needed to start and maintain a healthy, thriving ecovillage, cohousing neighborhood, or other kind of intentional community.

“I don’t think I ever learned so much in such a short time.”
— Susana Michaelis, Pacific Gardens Cohousing, Nanaimo, B.C.

Topics include:

  • Antidotes for common kinds of “structural conflict” and interpersonal conflict
  • The “Board Game” — demonstrating the relationship between mission, membership process, and decision-making method
  • Methods for building trust and connection, increasing social capital, and dealing with “the challenging group member”

“Worth six months of individual research on how to form a new community.”
—David Boddy, San Mateo, California

  • Case histories of how real ecovillages purchased, financed, and developed their properties
  • Permaculture-based site plan design principles and examples from real ecovillages
  • Community economics and internal community finances.

“Completely surpassed my expectations . . . incredibly valuable to our future community.”
—Brooke Lehman, Bluestockings Bookstore Co-op, New York

Diana’s workshop is “information-dense” — so each 60 to 90-minute section is followed by a break. A handout booklet is included.

“Many Windsong members said it was the best workshop they’d ever attended”.
—Valerie McIntyre, Windsong Cohousing, Langley, B.C.

About the Presenter:

Diana Leafe Christian is author of Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities, about forming successful communities and ecovillages, and Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community, about researching, visiting, evaluating, and joining a community. (New Society Publishers, Canada, 2003 and 2007).

For 14 years she was editor of Communities magazine, and now publishes “Ecovillages,” a free online newsletter about ecovillages worldwide  Her monthly column about ecovillages appears on the homepage of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) website.

Diana leads workshops, offers consultations, and speaks at conferences internationally (i.e. keynote speaker at the Japanese Ecovillage Conference in Tokyo, 2007; instructor at Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) courses in the US and the Philippines.) Her articles have appeared in Mother Earth News, Permaculture Activist, and the Encyclopedia of Community. She has been interviewed on New Dimensions Radio and Peak Moment TV. Diana lives in an off-grid homesite at Earthaven Ecovillage in North Carolina.

For more details about the workshop, here’s the breakdown of the 3-day schedule:

Ananda Community Open House & Summer Solstice Celebration

The Ananda Community of Lynnwood hosts an Open House on Saturday, June 19. All are welcome to tour and ask questions about the 20-year old intentional spiritual community. Tours will include the four vegetable gardens and the hoop house of Ananda’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Following the tours from 4-6 pm will be a public Solstice Celebration at 6pm.

Free and open to all


  • Date: Saturday, June 19
  • Time: 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Location: Ananda Community (20715 Larch Way, Lynnwood WA 98036)

Map and directions:


Communities Welcome Bees, with a Cautionary Tale

Port Townsend EcoVillage and Songaia Cohousing welcomed bee hives this spring. Here are a few shots, the first two from Port Townsend, and the second two from Songaia:

Kees Kolff from Port Townsend shared this cautionary tale about being sure to count your zippers while tending the hive:

There I was, all suited up with the top of the hive open.  The bees were particularly feisty and this hive at Sunfield Farm was not my favorite.  I suspect they were a slightly aggressive Russian hybrid but don’t really know since I had volunteered to care for them after the previous beekeeper left.  So I was treating them with all due respect and care when I noticed that part of my blue shirt was sticking out of the zipper in my bee suit.  In fact, my bee suit wasn’t zipped up at all and there were hundreds of bees on my shirt and now inside my suit.

The next scene would have been a hit on YouTube but unfortunately nobody was around to film it.  I went racing down the wide-open field in a panic, shedding my veil, gloves, boots and eventually the entire suit while I ran for my life with a stream of bees in pursuit.  The queen guardian of beekeepers must have been smiling down on me that day since I did not get a single sting!

So what’s the moral of this story?  If you have a zipper on your blue jeans and you are fully suited up and you need to relieve yourself, remember to count the number of zippers you zip down and then zip up again.  And count your blessing every day!

Cohousing Bus Tours Scheduled for Seattle and Portland

Two bus tours organized by the Cohousing Association of the United States have been scheduled for Portland and Seattle.

The Portland Cohousing Bus Tour will take place Saturday, May 8, 2010, from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, and will include stops at Columbia Ecovillage, Peninsula Park Commons, Daybreak Cohousing, Trillium Hollow, and Cascadia Commons. Lunch will be served at the Commons House of Daybreak Cohousing.

The Seattle Cohousing Bus Tour is scheduled for Saturday, May 15, 2010, also from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, and will include stops at Puget Ridge Cohousing,  Jackson Place Cohousing,  Bartimaeus Community, Winslow Cohousing, and Duwamish Cohousing, with lunch served on the Ferry.

On both tours, the tour leader will share general information about cohousing, answer questions, provide fact sheets and site plans, and prepare you for your 40-60 minute visit to each community. At each stop, a community host will guide you through his or her neighborhood, talk about its history and how the community is run.

Price: $95 – Group pricing available

To learn more and to register, visit the Cohousing Bus Tour page or contact: Neil Planchon at

Here are the flyers for each tour:

Register today for NICA Spring Gathering

Ravenna Kibbutz has graciously offered to host our Spring Gathering this year. Please help us anticipate how many folks will be coming by registering here.

Pre-registration is NOT required; we’re only trying to get a rough idea of how many to expect for space and food considerations.

More information on the event can be found here.

Questions, comments, recommendations?  email

Daybreak Cohousing Grand Opening Celebration, April 17

New North Portland Cohousing Development Opens Doors to Public for Music, Food, Tours and Welcome by Public Officials

Daybreak Cohousing will host a Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, April 17 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the community at 2525 North Killingsworth Street in North Portland. The public event, which will mark the six month anniversary of the first residents moving into the new, sustainable development, will feature tours of the facilities, light refreshments, and music by Celtic harpist Elizabeth Nicholson. City Councilwoman Amanda Fritz and other officials will speak at 2:30 pm. A potluck supper will also be served after the event concludes at 4 p.m. in the Daybreak common house. The event is free and open to the public.

Please consider taking public transit/biking to the Open House to limit impact on the neighborhood. Bicycle parking will be provided and monitored in our basement. Daybreak can be easily reached from bus lines 35 and 72, and the Yellow Max line.


Food as Celebration at NICA Spring Gathering: April 24 at Ravenna Kibbutz

NICA Spring Gathering
Saturday, April 24th
10 – 5 pm

hosted by:

Ravenna Kibbutz
6211 23rd Ave NE

, WA 98115
(dead end off 65th Ave)
Suggested donation (onsite): $10

parking on side streets, carpooling encouraged


Whether you live in an intentional community or are interested in the idea, please come and join in a day of sharing as we meet up with old friends, make new friends and together explore the theme of

“FOOD AS CELEBRATION: how food helps build community”

  • Share a happy memory around food
  • How does food create a sense of community for you
  • Do you have a ritual around food
  • How does food nourish your Spirit?

Help us anticipate the number of participants by registering here.


Daybreak Cohousing in Portland to host Fellowship of Intentional Communities semi-annual event, May 21-23

The FIC Invites NICA Members to Join Us in the Rose City!

The Fellowship for Intentional Community will be holding its semi-annual organizational meetings May 21-23, 2010 at newly constructed Daybreak Cohousing in Portland OR, and you’re invited!

Portland is a hotbed of community interest and this will mark the first time we’ve met in Oregon’s largest city. Topics in the queue include a proposal to hold an Art of Community weekend in northern CA in spring 2011, selection of this year’s recipient of the Geoph Kozeny Communitarian Award (Fred Lanphear was the inaugural recipient last year), discussion about collaborating with the Transition Town movement, and plans for enhancing our family of websites.

Thursday evening we’re having an evening soiree for people interested in community building to talk about their dreams, struggles, and accomplishments. Friday evening we’ll be meeting with Mark Lakeman of City Repair to discuss what they’ve been learning about building stronger neighborhoods.

This is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with FIC’s movers and shakers, finding out where your energy might fit into the mix, and observing some consensus veterans in action. We hope you’ll join us for the camaraderie and stimulating conversation!

For reservations or to ask questions, contact:
Jenny Upton at (434) 361-1417 or by email at