Are you itching to get out of the city and live off the land? Are you tired of the filth and hopelessness of city and suburban living? If so, you’re not alone. The off-the-grid lifestyle was once characterized by loners, extremists, and outsiders, people marginalized by mainstream society. Today, people going off the grid are not quite so off kilter. We don’t want to be isolated from other people. We simply want a better life for ourselves and our families. We want to be self-sufficient and live in a community of like-minded people. If this sounds like you, welcome to Dancing Rabbit.
A Cooperative Community
There are many locations within the U.S. that make great spots for living off the grid. If you want a true community where you can live near others who think like you, Dancing Rabbit could be your place. Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an ecologically sustainable community in rural northeastern Missouri. Around fifty people live here amongst the beautiful plains and rolling hills.
The founders of Dancing Rabbit dreamed of living off the land and living in a way that was environmentally responsible. Finding that difficult to do in modern society, they purchased 280 acres in 1997 and began building their dream community. Buildings here are made from natural and local materials like straw bale, cob, wattle, daub, natural earth plaster, thatch, and earth flooring.
Residents at Dancing Rabbit use alternative energy sources and minimize their energy usage as much as possible. They use wind and solar power, biodiesel fuel for running the shared vehicles, and scrap wood for heating and cooking. Food is a big part of life here. The residents use as much local and organic food as possible. Some eat independently, while others join the food co-operative and share growing, gathering, and cooking duties. Currently, Dancing Rabbit has several private and co-op organic gardens. They also plan to start orchards for fruit in the future.
The community at Dancing Rabbit makes decisions through committees. These oversee things like pets, land management, visitors, membership, and the common house. Smaller decisions are made amongst the members of the individual committees, and major decisions are made by full consensus of the whole community. For personal conflicts, the village has a committee and a resolution process in place.
The economy at Dancing Rabbit is naturally quite small. They use an alternative currency, the hour, one of which equals seven dollars. There is a minimal amount of work to be done within the community. Residents are encouraged to start businesses that meet the needs of others here. For instance, there is an inn, a bookstore, a web design company, and an editing service already in place. Residents at Dancing Rabbit need to have some money to live here, but not much.
Who is Right for Dancing Rabbit?
Dancing Rabbit is a unique off-the-grid community. Unlike many other people who choose to live off the land in a rural place, Dancing Rabbit founders and residents choose to live and work with each other. This is not the right place for you if you are interested in being isolated from others. If, however, you find the off-the-grid lifestyle appealing but worry about missing other people, this could be right up your alley. Many people who go off the grid or decide to homestead in an isolated location don’t realize how lonely it can get.
The community at Dancing Rabbit is an ideal size. With only fifty people living here, you can have a sense of community, opportunities for socializing, and help when you need it. It can be really tough to go it entirely alone, and at Dancing Rabbit, you don’t have to. On the other hand, you can have your alone time when you need it. While there is co-operative living here, you can also build or rent your own building and live alone. The land surrounding the village is completely rural and wild. You can explore the plains and rolling hills to get away from the community when you have had enough togetherness.
If you have dreamed of living a better, simpler, and more rewarding lifestyle with other people who share your values and goals, you should give Dancing Rabbit a look. They are welcoming new residents, and you can try it out before you buy in by staying at the Milkweed Mercantile.