East Wind Community In Missouri Has Space For New Members

East Wind Community is an intentional community in the Ozarks of southern Missouri that has been around since 1974. In fact, we’re going to be celebrating our 50th anniversary this spring. We have over 1000 acres of land, and currently around 50 members living here. We have room for closer to 70 members, so we’re open to more potential members. Those interested in membership need to come for a three week visitor period and be accepted by the community, the process of which is described in detail on our website.

East Wind is an income sharing community, with most of our income coming from our business, East Wind Nut Butters, which is a small factory operation where nuts are roasted and milled and made into nut butters to be sold. Members are expected to work in our industry at least a modest amount, as it’s what pays the bills, but one of the advantages to our communal structure is that much of our time is available to work on our internal domestic projects which include projects on the land that work toward greater self sufficiency, sustainabiliy, and resilience.

East Wind has two main garden areas as well as orchards and an agroforestry area. We have animals including dairy and beef cattle, pigs and chickens. The majority of our land is forested. Some of our forests are managed through selective cutting to get lumber (we have a sawmill) and firewood. The less accessible areas are left to be wild. Our garden projects include an increasing amount of seed saving and plant breeding using landrace methods, as well as a project to grow and propagate chestnut trees. We also have two herb gardens for growing both culinary and medicinal herbs. Homemade herbal products such as tinctures, salves and dried herbs are made available for community use. The animals are managed using rotational systems. Our agriculture and forestry are mainly for internal use as it’s the nut butter business that is the main income source (the nuts for the business are not grown here), but 50-70 people eat a lot and everything we can obtain from our land is less money that we need to spend, as well as having a quality that would be hard to get otherwise, and also increases our resilience to supply chain issues and other potential disruptions. I should say that we’re not close to fully self sufficient. We’re on the grid and we do buy plenty of stuff, but there is lots of potential to further increase our self-sufficiency for any member who is willing to put work in to do so.

The Ozark region has lots of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Woodlands, caves, springs and clear rivers abound. Float trips are popular during the warmer seasons. Be prepared for plenty of heat and humidity in the summer. Winters can get cold briefly but usually don’t stay too cold for very long. Snow rarely stays on the ground for more than a week. We are pretty remote, so if you need to be close to a city this probably isn’t the right place for you.

It generally works best for new people who have both self motivation and a willingness to help with things that the group needs. Visitors get orientations covering many of the important things but then have a lot of freedom to figure out which areas of community they work best in. Everyone is expected to work at least a modest amount of hours for our industry though as that’s needed to keep the community going. Jobs like cooking community meals and cleaning communal spaces are also labor creditable work.

People come to East Wind for many different reasons. Growing food and working with the land was one of my major reasons, and we do attract a significant amount of people with those interests. However other people are here for other reasons. Ask ten East Winders the same question and you’ll get eleven different answers. So, if you’re someone who insists on ideological purity, East Wind probably isn’t the best fit. If you bring enthusiasm and willingness to participate and learn (skills are a plus too but not a requirement), things are likely to go well, and you’re likely to have the opportunity to be involved and eventually initiate (if you so choose) plenty of cool stuff. However, if you come with an attitude that you know what’s best for everyone and we should all just do things how you think they need to be, then things are not likely to go too well for you.

Feel free to ask me any questions on this thread, but please read our website first because many of your questions will be answered there.

I sent y’all an e-mail 2 weeks ago, and am still awaiting a response.

I don’t personally answer membership emails, but I talked to someone on the team who does today. Membership generally tries to respond to emails and inquiries promptly, and I asked them to check if there were any that had come in the last few weeks that hadn’t gotten responded to. They said they’d responded to all but one, and the one they hadn’t responded to was because someone the letter was mostly a rant about the writer’s sister and asking us to “rescue” him from her. That letter was awkward enough for them that they didn’t reply. If that wasn’t you, possibly your email didn’t get through and you should try sending it again. Make sure you have the right address, which is ew.membership@gmail.com

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That was me. I am in a inescapable situation due to her. I do not have any resources whatsoever, and am trying every option that hits my radar, which really are few and far between.

That said, please know I would bring 35+ years of experience in everything “natural” and “eco-friendly”, et al*, and as well, have a huge passion in living the life that encompasses those concepts. I truly feel I belong there, and would be forever in y’all’s debt if y’all helped me get up there. This is a once in a lifetime deal :slight_smile:

Thank you.

*(I have studied, and have had extensive hands on experience with, native plants/botany, horticulture, geology, some animal biology, food, waste management, permaculture, and conservation)