News Archive

White Privilege Workshop

The Quaker Intentional Village - Canaan is hosting a series of workshops entitled:

Dismantling Racism: Building Capacity for White People to Understand Racial Injustice

The first and second worshops – on Identifying Whiteness and Socialized Into Whiteness - were well-attended and participants expressed gratitude for the opportunity to explore and learn together how to become effective allies with people of color in the work of dismantling racism and undoing white privilege.

The workshops are free and open to the public. They are stand-alone discussions, so you can attend one without having attended prior ones. Refreshments are served. RSVP’s are requested but not required to info@qivc.org. For more information call 518-392-0289 and ask for Noah.

Save the dates!  Future sessions will be held on Saturdays from 7:00 - 8:30 PM on these dates:

Session 1:  April 15 -- Identifying Whiteness / Who We Are

Session 2:  May 20 -- Socialized into Whiteness

Session 3:  June 10 -- Where and When We Come From

Session 4:  July 8 -- The Legacy of White Privilege

Session 5:  August 19 -- Allies in Resisting Racism and White Supremacy

Session 6:  Sept. 16 -- Creating Action Plans for the Future

** Attendance at one session is not contingent on having attended others. **

 

Directions to QIVC: 

Address: 235 Bradley’s Crossing Road, East Chatham, NY 12060

From Chatham: Take NY-295 E towards East Chatham. After passing through the center of East Chatham, take your first Left after 1/2 mile onto Bradley's Crossing Rd. Follow the curve in the road, cross the train tracks, then after 1 mile look for a big orange farmhouse located close to the road on the Left. Parking is either in front of or behind the farmhouse or on Bradley's Crossing Road. The event will be held in the farmhouse. 

From Albany: Take I-90 E. Take exit B1 to stay on I-90 E toward Boston / Taconic Pkwy. Take exit B2 for Taconic Pkwy. Just after the toll plaza, take the first exit (unnamed). At the stop sign at the end of the exit ramp, turn Left onto Upper Cady Rd, Merge onto Rock City Rd, (stay Left). At the T intersection, turn Left onto NY-295 E. After passing through the center of East Chatham, take your first Left after 1/2 mile onto Bradley's Crossing Rd. Follow the curve in the road, cross the train tracks, then after 1 mile look for a big orange farmhouse located right next to the road on the Left. Parking is either in front of or behind the farmhouse or on Bradley's Crossing Road. The event will be held in the farmhouse.

Latest News, Winter 2016/2017

Autumn in community is always a time of transition. We turn the clocks back, bring wood in for fires that will keep us warm during the cold Winter months, and begin to gather together indoors to share meals, stories, and songs. Here at QIVC, Fall has taken on another significance this year--the inevitability of loss.

In late October, our community lost one of its founding members after her long struggle with breast cancer. While we continue to grieve together, we also remember the incredible work that we did as a community to provide her with comfort and love at home during her final months and the support we gave each other during this difficult time. And we were reminded of the wonderful circle of friends that we have outside of QIVC, as our extended community gathered around us in support and later in mourning.

We have also been blessed by some beautiful warm, sunny Fall weather. The trees turned all hues of orange, red, yellow, brown, and purple before floating to the ground, and the horses, sheep, and wild deer gracing our fields have turned their heads to the bright daytime sun to soak up as many rays as they can before dark Winter sets in. We QIVCers have hearts full of gratitude and love to carry us forward.

 

Late Summer on the Land

We are in the deep, dog days of Summer here with really humid days weighing down on us. Everyone has been fairly quiet here all summer, with camping trips, family visits, and other travels for many of our members and other residents, and activity around the land hasn't been as high as in summers past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have had very little rain here this summer so our grass hasn't needed the attention it usually does, requiring less mowing work for those who take up that task. Our gardens are producing and have required plenty of supplemental water due to the drought. We can be very thankful for abundant and deep wells.

We were excited to have a student from Hamilton College come and spend a few days with us. She received a grant through her college for a summer research project around Intentional Communities. Her Spirit was light and friendly, and the children of the community immediately took to her and thought of her as part of our own family. She assisted around the community gardens, went out into the wider community and visited Camphill Copake, and took advantage of our gorgeous tenting area with a built platform. We were sad to see her leave after such a short visit but hope to share this space with her again in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One QIVCer has spent the summer in San Francisco for a terrific professional opportunity and he's been sorely missed. Partly filling his shoes by living with his family and helping with their small kids were summer guests from Houston - Miriam and her two children, all of whom took to QIVC like fish to water. They contributed to the community in many ways and made heartfelt connections that will last long after their return home.

Fall is just around the corner and with that the beginning of school for a majority of our children and a return to more regular rhythms. Our apple trees aren't producing any fruit this year so the autumn harvests will be different than in last year's. We are beginning to see a shift in the light as the Earth begins its tilt away from the Sun, leaving us to relish in these last Summer days with hope and maybe a little relief.

Spring 2016

Spring has finally sprung at QIVC! After many weeks of cold, rainy weather (and a surprising early Spring snowfall), the warmth has arrived, and with it lots of singing birds, tall grass, buds galore, and of course, sheep! The sheep were already here, but now they're out to pasture, rotating from one community pasture to the next and providing villagers with close-up views of newborn lambs. 

  
We've had lots of fun outreach projects lately. April's open house was on a beautiful crisp Spring day, and Noah and Jens led attendees on a tour of the land, including the house addition that Jens is hand-building. This Winter, we gave a presentation at the Honest Weight Food Co-op, and we continue to have visits from interested folks who attended that event.
 
Of course, with Spring comes lots of garden prep. Paul has, with the help of visitors from the UK, prepared a new bed in front of his house for tomatoes and beans. Seedlings abound, warming under cold frames or in the greenhouse, awaiting the warmer weather. 
 
Sheep shearing!
 
Spring is a great time to come visit QIVC. The sheep have just been sheared and the lambs romp delightfully near their mothers. The bright green buds are just coming out on the trees and should be in full green in the next week or so. Down by the stream, wild flowers abound - trillium, violets, and marsh marigolds, to name a few. This is a great time to see our seasonal rhythms in action! 

Winter?

Winter has been gentle on us this year. These past few years have found us buried under snow and ice and hibernating from the freezing cold. This year, we are seeing the weather soar to 40+ degrees during the day, even warmer on some days, allowing for our woodstoves to heat our homes on embers alone.

Having more warm days than cold ones has made it possible for our sheep to continue to be on pasture and not seeking refuge from the cold. They have been able to graze a little longer on the dried grass and, I can only imagine, are enjoying the warmth just as much as we are. The humans of QIVC are taking full advantage of these warmer days by walking about the land, stopping for visits with each other while coming and going, dreaming more readily about the Springtime that is just around the corner, and doing the usual winter chores with fewer layers of clothing and maybe not even a hat or mittens! It seems as though we are all being lifted a little by the warmth, soaring along these mild heat waves, and, truth be told, we are wearing more smiles on our faces than in Winter's past. 

 

Seraphina and Lev reading, and the QIVC Little Free Library under construction

We've been inspired a lot this Winter to reach out within our wider communities to help spread our mission and seek more like-minded, community interested folks. We held an Open House in Novemeber that was successful in that everyone who showed up was eager to learn and talk about our intentions, how we live, and what we hope for in the future. We are holding a workshop at Honest Weight Coop in Albany (see button above for more information) in hopes of reaching those in the Albany area and potentially building a network of kindred spirits that might opening the channles to friends who would be interested in expanding QIVC and joining our community (see the link above for what we have to offer those interested in membership to QIVC). We are excited for these upcoming endeavors and are looking forward to speaking on our passion for living in community. 

As we continue towards the ever expanding Sunlight, with days becoming longer and longer, we are reminded that no matter how dark and challenging times may be, we have the warmth in our hearts, the years in our friendships, and the love and committment that encourages us all to keep moving forward with this Intentional Community dream...although, it is no longer just a dream, but a reality. 

Latest News

Rhythm Days: Quarterly, on the occasion of each solstice, we come together as a community to remember our inseparable connection to the Earth and her seasons. We express our gratitude for the cycles of darkness and Light, birth and death, growth and harvest, abundance and fasting.  

Traditionally, in the fall, we make cider. We gather apples from our own trees and from those of neighbors and friends, and using a hand-powered press we make cider that lasts through the winter and early spring when containers emerge from freezers throughout our community.

Last year, for some reason, there were so few apples that we had only enough to make a small number of apple pies. This year, as if the energy saved from a low output last year could no longer be contained, trees all over our area had more apples than their branches could hold - literally! More than one friend told us of branches with a six-inch diameter breaking under its load of apples. We estimate we made nearly 100 gallons of cider!

The abundance of this harvest season was not restricted to apples. Our canning shelves include tomatoes, sauerkraut, applesauce, and various jams and jellies. Our freezers are packed with stuffed peppers, soups, raspberries, and pesto (both garlic scape and basil), and will soon hold pork, lamb, and turkey. In the cold storage are potatoes, onions, and varieties of squash. Still in the gardens are kale, brussel sprouts, and a few scarlet runner beans. We are even eating late season salads!

Our blessings abound!

Latest News

Since May our community has added 4 Chinese weeder geese, two little pigs, chickens, and an expectant human mama to the joyful lambs who arrived in April. The geese were delivered by mail when 1 day old and bonded with Dee and Paul, running to them, necks out-stretched and squawking, whenever they pass by. The piggies, Sugar and Cinnamon, quickly acclimated to affectionate touch, falling over in apparent ecstasy when scratched. The Coalters' hand-raised, little chickens, though still small, escape daily by flying over their 5 foot high enclosure. On the human side, two year old Lev will become a big brother when his parents, Hana and Noah, welcome a child in December.

We also recently celebrated the first weddings of grown children of member families since our community's beginning. Dee and Paul's son, Keith, married Luella in a small, outdoor ceremony in Luella's parents' beautiful, mountain-view yard in Vermont. Spee and Jens' daughter, Natalie, married Aaron in a large Quaker wedding in Old Chatham Quakers' new meetinghouse. These weddings are a blessing to family and community alike, as they manifest and increase the love we all have to share.

 As a community, we seem to be entering  a more reflective stage as we talk more about how we communicate and as we sometimes find the courage to say difficult things to each other. We also recently had an experience of spontaneous, group conflict resolution. We were working on setting up swings and a sandbox near the Farmhouse and there was disagreement about the best place to put the swing set. Many of us hold and express strong opinions and the atmosphere felt tense. Somehow, maybe someone suggested it, we gathered together, heard each other out, and came up with an acceptable solution. It seemed natural, after the fact, like a spontaneous, though un-clerked, business meeting. It is heartening to experience the ways we are growing, as we also seek to uncover aspects of our cultural conditioning that continue to need attention and change.

We continue to welcome visitors, many of whom are interested in buying or building a home in our community. We would love to hear from you! Contact us at info@qivc.org.

Latest News

Spring has sprung with an abundance of daffodils and apple blossoms, hot, sunny days, and baby chicks and lambs. Our lawns are growing rich and green with scattered dandelions - a bee's springtime, best friend. We enjoy being out and about, hearing the buzz of folks gathering daily for morning walks, beginning their gardens, and anticipating projects to improve or repair their homes. There is a welcoming renewal winging it's way through the community, and it feels divine.

We celebrated the coming of Spring with our bi-annual retreat this past April. All members of QIVC gathered together for an entire weekend to worship, connect, inspire, and create. We held close our connection to our first intention:

"To live in worship, increasing our mindfulness, spiritual focus, and God-centeredness by intertwining our daily lives with others who share these intentions"

With a wonderfully adept facilitator, we found ourselves at ease with each other and working hard at identifying those things that call us mindfully to Spirit. We were able to allow for space to flow freely, and to easily create a feeling of warmth and acceptance. We held each other in tears, in frustration, and in feelings of aloneness, as well as in joy, excitement of new things to come, and in revelry. While we grumbled a bit about losing an entire weekend (each of us has long lists of to-dos that pull our attention away), we all left feeling bolstered and loved, looking forward to gathering again in the Autumn.

As the weather has turned summery, many of us feel pulled to mindfulness of the rhythms of the natural world - noticing the bursting tree limbs, pregnant with leaves about to unfurl, gathering together in the light of May's Full Flower Moon, and seeing and noticing all the varied and beautiful feathered friends that have made their way back to the land (some of us can thank our dear friend, Adrian, for that renewed interest). The Finches and Flickers have returned along with Purple Martins, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Wrens, and many others. Purple Martin houses have been hung high in gardens and were immediately taken as homes by the ones that they were hung for. It's a magical and whimsical sight to see a bird eagerly and mindfully prepare their space to welcome new life, much like what's happening here at QIVC.

We eagerly await the abundance of our garden beds and orchards, with life bursting forth full of vital fruits and vegetables. We are looking forward to honoring the New Moon in May (May 18) with a bonfire and other delightful, fun ways of welcoming and accepting the darkness. We continually join hands together to find ways to serve each other as we travel down uncertain roads and new paths. Springtime is the land awakening, in itself and in us.

" The Springtime of lovers has come,

That this dust bowl may become a garden;

The proclamation of Heaven has come,

That the bird of the soul may rise in flight.

The sea becomes full of pearls,

The salt marshes becomes sweet as kauthar,

The stone becomes a ruby from the mine,

The body becomes wholly soul."

~ Rumi

Latest news 1/27/14

Winter on the land--snow-covered branches glistening in the cold sunlight, deer prints following paths into the forest; ewes, heavy with their lambs-to-be, standing proud in the snowy pasture. Amidst the beauty and majesty of Winter, we humans naturally gravitate indoors to escape the cold and snuggle next to wood fires. QIVC in the winter means more planned indoor activities and early-evening get-togethers, impromptu community dinners at member homes, and reflective spaces to deepen our intentionality. Recently our Community Life committee has started a monthly conversation space, where we can come together to informally discuss various topics of interest to the community, such as aging and elders, hierarchy in community, and how to be good stewards of our land. These spaces serve wonderfully as a structural middle ground between the formality of meetings for worship and the total looseness of regular socializing. In the new year Jens is off to Bolivia on behalf of the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund and Carolyn has left for her long anticipated gap-year trip to Nicaragua, where she is volunteering during school days at an orphanage and living with a local family. The Coulter kids can be seen sliding around giggling on their icy driveway and building big snow-people in their backyard. And we are excited to now be part of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), which includes a searchable online database of communities with an essential ecological component. We are still seeking at least two new households as members, and anticipating some interested visitors to the community later in the winter. Paul said goodbye to his pigs in late December, and some of us are now with great thanks enjoying fresh lard and bacon. Jens and Spee have kept their fun flock of chickens, including one exotic bird with a head full of spiky brown and black feathers. Meanwhile Hana and Noah, after many batches of chicken soup from their last flock, plan to rebuild their coop this spring and raise up a new flock from chicks.

Latest News

The trees have been beautiful this fall and a bountiful raspberry harvest (second crop of the year) continued until the last days of October.  The unsteady weather has produced both crisp frost-covered fields in the mornings and confused dandelions by the roadside in November. As the leaves inevitably fall from the trees, we find ourselves gradually settling into the rhythms of the cold season on the land-fewer visitors, less impromptu socializing outdoors.
 
But over the summer and fall, we extended many welcomes as a community. Hana, Noah and their toddler Lev have moved onto the land and into the Red House as renters who are exploring the possibility of membership. Jens and Eric's parents, Helen and Gene, visited from Ecuador for much of the summer. The first week of September saw the Farmhouse filled with young people from the Agile Learning Center in NYC, joining with the ALC home-schooling community here in Chatham (Cloudhouse). QIV-C was momentarily swelled with the energy to build forts, dance 'round trees, and be werewolves.
 
Adrian and Mark, our first international short-term intentional residents (STIRs), were here for 11 too-short weeks exploring their own calling to intentional community as part of their year-long "purposeful adventure." You can read about their experiences on Mark’s blog. They brought joy and light to the community as "hearthkeepers" in the farmhouse, generous friends, and silly-game hosts extraordinaire. Their absence has ushered in the new season and has left the farmhouse waiting expectantly for future guests.
 
Now in mid-fall there is still work to be done and fun to be had outside--wood collecting, bucking, and splitting, harvesting those last persistent heads of kale, and quite spectacularly, picking those raspberries after not one, not two, but three frosts. New arrivals Hana and Noah slaughtered their old laying hens--a deeply spiritual process for everyone involved--and made delicious chicken soup for the community. Dee moved her office onto the land, Spee traveled to Oslo for work, and Ellen presented on her research at a midwifery conference. Jens continues work on his green-roofed, timber-frame house addition, which is supported by an overturned tree trunk at its center, with its roots reaching out to hold up the big wooden beams. 
 
lev_firewood.jpgTwo of our teenagers have started boarding school at nearby Buxton, a progressive boarding high-school. Other kids from 1 to 18 are variously homeschooling, riding horses, working while taking a gap year before college, and beginning to toddle all over the land and "help" stack firewood. 
 
Gardens are being put to bed for the winter, and pigs and grown lambs will soon go to the slaughterhouse as we complete our yearly agricultural cycle. As it gets darker earlier every day, we already find ourselves spending more time drinking tea by the fire and entering a time of greater introspection. Meanwhile, may the kale survive for months and months!

Latest News

That "back to school" feeling may be creeping up on us, with some of our number actually going back to school, but the balmy summer weather continues and the community grill keeps being lit. We have much to be thankful for. Last year our fruit trees had "boughs… bent with thickset fruit." This year sees the branches much sparser in their offerings. We assume they’re having a rest. The land continues to be bountiful in other ways, with an abundance of basil and zucchini, cucumbers coming out our ears, and if Paul is to be believed, the size of his baking potatoes is the stuff of legend! Hana and Noah’s chickens have had their coop spruced up, and are now gracing them with eggs. We were glad to welcome a swarm of bees as they found a home in one of our abandoned hives. 

Along with the bees, many other welcomes have been extended in recent months. Hana, Noah and their baby Lev have moved onto the land. Jens and Eric’s parents, Helen and Gene, visited from Ecuador. Adrian and Mark, our first international short-term intentional residents (STIRs), are here from England until the end of October. Exploring their own calling to intentional community, they’ve been baking bread, clearing weeds and avidly cataloguing the local bird life. You can read about their experiences on Mark’s blog. The first week of September saw the Farmhouse filled with young people from the Agile Learning Center in NYC, joining with the ALC home-schooling community here in Chatham (Cloudhouse). QIV-C was momentarily swelled with the energy to build forts, dance 'round trees, and be werewolves.

As the community continues to reflect on its identity and calling, several experiments in corporate spiritual practice have sprung up: on weekdays there is early morning meditation on the Farmhouse porch; Mark and Adrian invite us to welcome the week with prayer on Sunday mornings, and give thanksgiving on Saturday evenings; and we've had a few evening fellowship meals followed by Meeting for Worship.

With Lev taking his first steps amongst us, we’re reminded that there is so much still for us all to learn – how to be open and honest with each other and fully live our intentions together. Lead, kindly Light… Lead Thou me on. Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me.

Latest News

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”       ~ John Lubbock

Summer days are meant for walking in lush grasses and woods, listening to the buzz of the honeybees and the songs of our resident birds. Summer is a time of refreshment. The sprouts of ever-giving gardens and fruit trees renew our senses after a very long, cold, icy winter. It feels good to be here at QIVC in summertime.

Our community is bustling with newness: new babies, new visitors, new additions on homes. (New newsletter!) We have new members, new residents, and a refreshed view on the intertwining of our friendship/family relationships. We have come to a place of acceptance within our group and are opening ourselves up to be in and settle conflict, to grieve and hold each other in the process, and to release it as the Spirit guides us to do so. After all the busyness of “Phase 2” we are now settling into a phase of being: being in all the changes, being with all the policies written (and rewritten), and now sitting with each other through new work that seems to be more spiritual in nature.

QIVC is now home to eight new members: the Coalter family has been lovingly and warmly welcomed into the fold as of May 2014. Yet our community is also saying good-bye to a member family: the Hanley/Scheibles are making their way to the Pacific Northwest where more vital work pursuits are sought, as well as deeper connections to family who live there. Their departure is a somber time but we are holding them in constant Light and are eagerly wishing them joy and happiness.

As we enter the throes of summer, we will chop wood and carry water. We will continue to plant seeds and harvest our bounty. We will open our doors to sojourners who wish to pass on through and set up space to welcome those who wish to come and stay a little longer.  We hope to see you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Latest News

Finally we have wonderful snow which reveals otherwise obfuscated animal pathways. It’s fun to amble around the Land, seeing, and sometimes guessing, what creature passed there before you. Then there is the coyote stalking the sheep! Not unexpected, but luckily observed before it could accomplish its mission.

The cold weather played a key role in our spur-of-the-moment community punch party on the porch of the farmhouse a few days after Thanksgiving. Jens dumped out a frozen rain barrel and it was 2" thick walls of ice with a solid top & a non-frozen bottom, so once inverted it was an ice-barrel filled with unfrozen water. We siphoned out the unfrozen water, rinsed the ice-barrel, moved it to the porch, went home for ingredients, invited everyone, and made ginger-ale, seltzer, and fruit punch in the barrel (lit from the side to show it off). Spontaneous community building!

We got together, too, to decorate Sandy’s Christmas tree and celebrate her birthday. We were surprised to be visited by Santa and his Elf!

According to Marcy, her baby will be born at dawn on the Winter Solstice. We support her in this intention and in having a baby who is easily birthed. Those of us not involved in the birth are planning a solstice celebration beginning and ending at the rock denoting the center of the Land. At 7:20 AM, we will place a rock in the spot where the first ray of sun touches the land. When the last sun ray departs, we will place a stone in the spot it left. After the morning sun-marking, our Community Life Committee will provide breakfast for all. When the sun sets, we will gather for a bonfire, singing, and potluck to close the day’s celebration and appreciation of our connection to the land and to each other.

Our fall retreat focused on our Intentions, newly rewritten to better reflect where we are now, ten years after they were first written (see the updated intentions on your left).

Here is a fun, interesting, and educational blog by one of our homeschooling students, Will: Creations and Reflections.

UPDATE: Though she did not arrive on the solstice, as requested, the expected baby did arrive on Jan. 2, 2014 in the morning. Daphne Ramona Snow is 8 lbs, 9 oz and 20 inches long. All are healthy and well!

 

Latest news--October 2013

The leaves are turning, the mornings are crisp even when the afternoons are warm, and mowing has given way to apple-picking and now to more firewood work and planning for snow removal.  Kids are back to school and we've already had our first fire in the apple abundanceFarmhouse woodstove.  It's Fall!  

In late September we had our annual cider-pressing Rhythm Day.  We had lots of apples from friends' orchards, and we started the day by picking apples from some of our "wild" apple trees on the Land and from some of the apple trees Jens has planted over the years on the slope behind East House.  All day long we washed apples, chopped apples, loaded them into the big cider press, cranked down the plunger with ever-more muscular turns of the handle, and watched the cider pour out into buckets.  Then it was strained and poured into containers...endless containers...a hundred containers?  We all drank what we wanted while we worked, or--in washing the apple abundancethe case of the little kids--played around on the grass, tractor, and cart.  At the end of the day we had lots of cider, a cart full of pressed apples to make the sheep happy and possibly drunk, and a bunch of tired community members and friends.  As usual it was a fun, messy, delicious, long day.

This fall we've gained some permanent sheep fencing, some new Shetland sheep for the flock, and a lot of produce from our gardens and trees hat has been canned, frozen, and dried to nourish us in the coming seasons.  Besides a fantastic apple year, we were deluged with sweet yellow plums, peaches, and kale that Community-made Cider!has taken over the gardens of Jens and Dan.  In the realm of idea production, we've come almost to the end of a year-plus period of working out many policies and procedures that help us work together as a community and open ourselves up to different kinds of residents.  

As we move into late Fall and Winter, we continue to welcome interested visitors--especially on Fridays for potluck.  Let us know if you'd like to come find out more about our community.

Latest News - Summer 2013

Summer is here and we have peonies in pink, a variety of vegetables growing, newly hatched chicks, and aerial silks hanging from the large maple in front of our farmhouse. We are all spending more time outdoors here at QIVC.  

With the memory of winter’s cold still with us, we worked on putting fuel by for winters to come. During our spring firewood workday we tackled a huge pile of (bought) logs: first chainsawing them into lengths, then splitting them by hand because our log-splitter was in need of a new on-off switch, then stacking them head-high along the west wall of the farmhouse.  It was too much to do in one day, so in the days and weeks that followed, various people spent time splitting and stacking for exercise. There was a lot to do!

 

Spring brought a gleeful group of gamboling lambs.  One day their moveable fencing was set up in an area with a woodchuck hole, and the lambs spent much of the afternoon playing in and around the entrance--jumping into the wide, shallow vestibule, butting each other over who got to stand in it, lying down in it, and sniffing at the entry hole itself. The woodchuck itself was nowhere to be seen that day!

 

The apartment below Sandy's house is complete, a certificate of occupancy has been granted, and our newest inhabitants of the land (except the aforementioned lambs) have moved in! The apartment (owned and rented out by QIVC) is light and bright with many south-facing windows and a view down the hill of the fields and pond. Local builder Andrew Stall did a great job and Anne managed the project and put in lots of time tiling, painting, budgeting, etc. to get it all done. We are excited to have a new dwelling in the community with new dwellers in it!

 

We've hosted interested visitors over the winter and are expecting more during the summer. If you'd like to come visit QIVC and find out more about how we live and what we are about, you are welcome to contact us.

Latest News--April 2013

Spring is here, daffodils are blooming, and we are all spending more time outdoors here at QIVC.  

A few weeks ago we had a firewood workday in which we tackled a huge pile of (bought) logs: first chainsawing them into lengths, then splitting them by hand because our log-splitter was in need of a new on-off switch, then stacking them head-high along the west wall of the farmhouse.  It was too much to do in one day, so In the days that followed, various people spent time splitting and stacking for exercise.  There is still a lot to do!

With spring come lambs.  We have four so far with lots more on the way.  Two have black noses which greatly raises their already high cuteness factor.  One day their moveable fencing was set up in an area with a woodchuck hole, and the lambs spent much of the afternoon playing in and around the entrance--jumping into the wide, shallow vestibule, butting each other over who got to stand in it, lying down in it, and sniffing at the entry hole itself.  The woodchuck itself was nowhere to be seen that day!

The apartment below Sandy's house is 95% completed, a certificate of occupancy has been granted, and our newest inhabitants of the land (except the aforementioned lambs) have moved in!  The apartment (owned and rented out by QIVC) is light and bright with many south-facing windows and a view down the hill of the fields and pond.  Local builder Andrew Stall did a great job and Anne managed the project and put in lots of time tiling, painting, budgeting, etc. to get it all done. We are excited to have a new dwelling in the community with new dwellers in it!

We've hosted interested visitors over the winter and are expecting more in May and June.  If you'd like to come visit QIVC and find out more about how we live and what we are about, you are welcome to contact us. 

Latest News January 2013

We are enjoying a cold winter with snow and many woodstove fires. Though sometimes in winter we run into each other less often as we go about our days, the snow tends to bring us together. Lots of us come out to shovel snow together, or gather and stack firewood for the farmhouse. Sledding also brings us together, with the pleasurable sound of children’s shouts and laughter. In spite of the cold (or perhaps because of it?) our Friday night potlucks have been full, warm, and convivial with new and old friends.

We recently welcomed some new members of our Advisory Council - the group of F/friends and neighbors who provide spiritual guidance and help us reflect on our five intentions and how the community as a whole is living up to them. This new group of advisors is delightfully diverse: one is a neighbor up the road who is a retired teacher from NYC and who now teaches dance classes for seniors and others. Another is a retired professor and knowledgeable Quaker who lives in a co-housing community to the south of us. We also have our youngest advisor to date, a woman in her mid-30s who was born and raised in an intentional community that is still thriving to this day. Other advisors are a local CSA farmer and activist, a Quaker outreach wizard (and an activist for prison reform), and a jazz and rock musician/IT professional. This is another thing that keeps us warm and thriving: the willingness of these diversely talented and spiritually grounded folks to participate with and help guide us.

One project on the land is nearing completion and another is about halfway complete. First is the newly built, nearly complete greenhouse. With donated glass, creative skill, and cooperative effort, the area that used to be a porch attached to the (original) farmhouse is now a greenhouse, almost ready for seedlings this spring. The second project is the completion of the lower living unit under Sandy’s home. It is exciting to watch as windows are framed in and walls are sided. It will be even more exciting when Anne and her son Milo move in March 1.

 

 

 

Latest News Oct. 2012

QIVC has officially launched Phase II, which is about bringing in the next wave of participants, with broader options for engagement and residency.  Over the summer, we worked hard on “project management” – revamping policies, drafting new procedures – and now we’re off! 

We’ve officially welcomed Anne, who is working with contractors and community members to turn the lower unit on Lot 4 into a residence, into which she and her son will move this winter.  Prior to starting construction, a team helped scope out access routes for construction vehicles:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another team helped move old construction materials from that space into the Machine Shed:

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a wonderful fall retreat on the topic of Pathways, during which we considered how, both literally and metaphorically, we rely on the construction and maintenance of pathways to create and sustain our relationships with the Spirit and with one another.  We worked on physical pathways, such as these:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our youth worked on metaphorical pathways on the porch roof:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life sure seems idyllic at times!

 

Morning mist

 

 

 

 

 

A trail into the woods, cleared during our retreat

 

 

 

 

 

Imaginative play on a Sunday afternoon

 

 

 

 

 

Sheep grazing on greener pastures

August 2012

The first cool mornings are greeting us here at over 900 feet in elevation, but it's August still--by afternoon, it's time to go jump in the pond for a swim to cool off.  This summer QIV-C is helping to host an exciting project: the Emerging Leader Labs seed project.  Watch this great short video to find out more:

We've had quite a few visitors over the last few months as people hear about us from friends, the neighboring community, the Intentional Communities Web-site directory, Quaker connections, and some advertising we've done in Friends Journal.  Some are interested in this community for themselves; some are interested in starting a similar project elsewhere; some just sense themselves fellow travelers and want to connect.  We welcome your interest and your visit, especially on Fridays when we have weekly potlucks (a good day to visit for both visitor and hosts).

A weird early heat spell topped off by a hard frost killed our apple and peach blossoms months ago, so our trees are getting a rest this summer from production.  Elderberries are getting ripe, though, gardens are producing tomatoes and other bounty, and we have hopes for the wild grapes come September and October (jelly!).

Latest news - June 2012

The beginning of summer finds the households of QIVC branching out of our fall-winter-spring routines of school and work.  Two of our teens are home from Westtown School and enlivening the land with their cheerful energy.  Some of us are going to nature camp and sleepaway camp, enjoying family trips, picking strawberries, and swimming in local ponds on hot afternoons; gardens are being tended and harvested, CSA produce is being enjoyed (wait...MORE lettuce?), and we have daily sightings of swallows, deer, and rodents both picturesque (bunnies) and lumbering (woodchucks).  Paul's two pigs of 2012 are happily rooting near his garden, which is--as usual--impressively extensive.  A new electric fence protects it from the aforementioned rodents.  

The longer days allow for walks after dinner, playing on the lawn after potluck, and a beautiful firefly display at about 9 PM most June nights over the fields.  Two of us got together late one night recently to make at least 12 cups of garlic-scape pesto as a break from editing and studying. Despite summer's tempting fun, we continue to tackle the challenges of our chosen vocations and careers: publishing papers, divorce-mediation training, getting at least a C in pathophysiology, helping troubled kids, writing procedure manuals for sprawling organizations, and preparing grant proposals.  Challenges at home include sick little ones, chronic illness, and (a positive challenge) integrating a new baby into the house.  The residents of East House added baby Seraphina to their family early in June and we are looking forward to getting to know her (and help out by holding her).  

A local alternative paper, the Hill Country Observer, recently featured an article about us, which you can read here.

Latest News - May 2012

Spring has sprung and the trees on the land are showing off their new finery--ivory blossoms, pale green leaves, yellowish leaves unfurling, and the constant background color of the conifers.   The sheep have produced 14 lambs, doubling the size of the flock for now, and they form a river of wool on the hoof as they move in an excited eddying stream from trampled-and-eaten grass to fresh new grass every day or two.  Some of us helped Jens care for a few lambs who needed nursing help over the last few weeks, but he is still the best Ovine Lactation Counselor among us.  
 
After a weirdly mild winter and an unsettled early spring, we are finally getting a seasonal mix of warm days, drizzle, rain, sun, and cloudy skies.  Many of us are sprouting seeds and putting in gardens--although we had a (last?) frost in early May.  The local groundhogs must surely be looking forward to the gardens of August...
 
Some of us have been involved lately in MoveOn.org's 99% Spring movement, fostering nonviolent actions in local communities.  In April QIV-C members hosted a 99% Spring training here, which was attended by about 30 people, and an ongoing local group includes some of us.  
Our farm intern Sky, who has been a great addition to our community, departs mid-May (leaving behind the beginnings of a cob oven!) to cook for the Co-Cycle project, a summer cross-country bike tour of cooperatives along the northern United States, organized by college students in honor of the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives.  We will miss her!  Later in the summer we will host two founders of The Transitioner for short residencies.  The Transitioner does research and development on collective intelligence, wisdom, and consciousness, with the goal of creating new technologies and methodologies that will improve the decision-making capacity of humanity and its organizations. We enjoy the new personalities and perspectives of our visitors!

Latest News - February 2012

Pete Seeger’s song “Maple Syrup Time” has an introduction that calls us at this time of year:

Forget about the mess o’ merchandise the modern world is sellin’
Take a little time to take a little tip from Scott and Helen [Nearing]
Up among the maple trees – harmonizin’ with the breeze
I heard someone say…
It’s maple syrup time
It’s maple syrup time

 

Then the song tells you how to do it:

First you get the buckets ready, clean the pans and gather firewood
Late in the winter, it’s maple syrup time
You need warm and sunny days but still a cold and freezing nighttime
For just a few weeks, it’s maple syrup time

We boil and boil and boil it all day long
‘Til 97% of water evaporates just like this song
When what is left is syrupy, don’t leave it too long
Watch out for burning!  Maple syrup time, maple syrup time

 

Towards the end of the song is the real message for QIVCers and others:

As in life or revolution, rarely is there quick solution
Anything worthwhile takes a little time

 
We boil and boil and boil it all day long
When what is left is syrupy, don’t leave it on the flame too long
But seize the minute, build a new world, sing an old song
Keep up the fire!  Maple syrup time, maple syrup time

Keep up the fire!

Latest News - January 2012

Here at QIVC we’ve moved from the busy, “doing” seasons into the contemplative season, giving more time to worship and examining our intentions for right living in this world.  There’s still activity -- for example, solar panels are being installed on the roof of one house and people are out and about daily to tend to animals and firewood and go for walks.  Woodsheds have been the most popular construction project this year and some are still under construction in the cold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among our pleasures are frequent explorations of the streams, which are not yet frozen over, amazing pink sunrises for those up early, and occasional bonfires made of the brush piles collected in the meadows.  When it snows, the sledding hill is very busy.

We invited friends from our larger neighborhood to join us for Christmas Eve and had a good turnout for Christmas caroling and hot homemade apple cider.  On New Year’s Eve, we gathered to make Ecuadorian hot air balloons out of tissue paper and then once night fell, went into the middle of a field and launched them.  Well, at least we tried to launch them.  The first one floated up and away and was stunningly beautiful.  The second and third ones were buffeted by wind and caught fire before they were released.  The flames were quickly blown out and those balloons are in the “shop” for repair.

As to topics for contemplation, here are some questions under discussion:

  • What makes an intentional community different from a close neighborhood?
  • What balance do we seek between “doing” and “being” in our lives, individually and collectively?  How much action and projects vs. discussion and going with the flow?
  • We seek economic diversity, but are we open to the implications?  Are some members prepared to pay significantly higher annual dues to allow for economic diversity -- even to the point of covering the cost of others’ basic needs?

If you’d like to share your thoughts in writing, we would welcome them.  Just send them to info@qivc.org.  

Even better, come join us in participating in the rhythms of the planet, gathering at the fire circle on top of the hill at 10:00 p.m. whenever the moon is full.

Latest News (Nov-Dec)

Help Us Celebrate 10 Years of QIVC!  You’re invited to our Open House on December 18, from 2:00 to 5:00 at 235 Bradley’s Crossing Road, East Chatham, NY.  

The Quaker Intentional Village Canaan was founded ten years ago this year and it has now been one year that we have all been living on the land.  We hope you can join us for cider and cookies and have a look around.

It's finally fall, we have weathered two early snowstorms, and the leaves are mostly off the trees that surround us.  In October we had our Fall retreat, during which we worked on our vision for the future of our community and our visions for our own growth as invidivuals.  We considered how we could support the community and how the community could support us in our growth.  We also cooked and ate great food!  We are also working on how we can make membership in QIV-C possible for households with fewer economic means.  

Fall also means saying goodbye to some of the animals raised and loved here during the spring and summer.  All four pigs are no longer in their pig wallow down by the big garden, and some of our freezers are full of pork.  We have also taken many lambs off to the slaughterhouse, ending a summer of community lamb-chasing.  Boy, do they like to escape their fence.  We started or interrupted many gatherings over the last few months with "sheeplechases"!

In the last few months one of us has become a Certified Professional Midwife, one has completed a year-long immersion program in Non-Violent Communication Mediation, one has decided to apply to nurse-midwifery school, various members visited Occupy Wall Street, and one of us presented his ideas about metacurrency there.  One of us had a consulting job in Ramallah (in the West Bank) with an NGO, one of us went to a conference on Lyme Disease as part of helping a child overcome Chronic Lyme Disease, one us has embodied the Egyptian god Ptah for a school project, one of us coping with chemotherapy, and two households are building woodsheds for a winter's worth of firewood.  We are busy folks!

We have invited two people in their 20s to live with us for a few months this winter to do work projects and participate in community life.  We look forward to the opportunities, accomplishments, and insights this will bring our community.

Join us for our Open House if you can!  And enjoy the dark but sparkly days of late fall and early winter.

Latest News

Though areas within an hour of us suffered serious damage and loss from Hurricane Irene, we here at QIVC, and our friends who are farmers, were spared except for a less-than-24-hour power outage. In fact, our four pigs, visited in the midst of the storm, were in their glory - up to their hocks in mud! 

The only small disappointment was the postponement of Natalie’s college graduation party, rescheduled for September. Natalie is the first “child” who mostly grew-up among us to graduate from college. Her graduation is a milestone for us as a community as well as for Natalie and her family. We’re looking forward to celebrating!

As a community, we challenge ourselves and each other to find alternatives to participating in the global consumer economy. This harvest season provides us with an opportunity to ask ourselves, “What do I truly need to buy from a grocery store and what, as an acculturated American, am I conditioned to think I cannot do without?”  Gotta have guacamole salad with the fresh yellow peppers, onions, and tomatoes we’re growing, right? Maybe not when we consider, among other things, the cost in petroleum to ship in avocados. But maybe buying protein-rich garbanzo beans for scrumptious, cooler weather curries is a trade-off I am willing to make. How would you decide?

These habits of convenient consumerism are challenging to break, but when we harvest our own bountiful gardens and support local CSAs for the things we do not grow ourselves, we remember the satisfaction of nourishing ourselves with what we have and using our creativity to provide the variety we crave. Cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, green beans, yellow squash, potatoes, and garlic are turned into cold cucumber soup, ratatouille, gazpacho, and veggie stir-fries (among other delicious creations) for our community potlucks. Yum!

September, of course, heralds the return to school for our younger members. Elias has already begun home-school kindergarten and will give you a lecture on fossils if you visit his house. Others are off to local public school, local Montessori school, or to a Quaker boarding school where generations of some members’ families have attended. And as the air is cooler, we schedule our first Firewood Work Party in which we gather, cut, chop, and stack wood for our farmhouse woodstove and wood-burning heating system. Working outside, together, is more fun than I ever imagined it would be!

 

 

 

 

 

Latest News - July

Summertime brings more opportunities for togetherness with community members of all ages.  Communal dinners enjoyed outdoors in the fading sunlight are popular.  Trips to nearby swimming holes and lakes draw small crowds.  On one recent day, several of us happily responded to a friend’s request that some QIVCers come pick her raspberries, as she couldn’t keep up with the volume her patch was producing. 

The evening of the summer equinox, we had a “Community Fruit Walk,” where we visited places around the land where fruit was bursting forth.  This took us not only to our official berry patches and orchards, but also to some less traveled locations where old apple trees still produce and wild blackberries are prolific.  Some of us noted that we were visiting such spots for the first time, and some of us were surprised at the great volume of fruit we can produce.  Now, several weeks later, we’re enjoying sweet and tart berries – raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, currants, and gooseberries – and looking forward to enjoying luscious peaches, plums, pears, and apples.

About those old apples trees, of which we may have 100 (mostly non-producing) around the 135 acres, here is a bit of history:  The Kirby family migrated from Connecticut to East Chatham and established this place as a farm in 1795.  In the 1800s, they would bring hay and apples to the railroad depot for shipping to the growing urban center of New York City.  A newspaper article in January 1879 stated, “King and Kirby have just shipped a carload of apples to New York, loaded during the cold snap.  With a lined car and a coal stove they defied Jack Frost.”

While Jack Frost seems far away right now, we’re splitting and stacking firewood for winter nights and will soon be laying up food to enjoy a taste of summer once these hot days fade away.  Come join us in our adventure to live a better life!

Update of June 2011

It’s summertime and the rhythms here at QIVC have changed.  We hang out more with each other during these long days – sitting together on the Farmhouse porch, keeping an eye on children at play, hanging laundry, working on a garden project, or chatting after a chance encounter on one of our many paths.

We’ve begun holding post-potluck discussion hours for adult members.  At the first gathering, we enjoyed several deep belly laughs (ask Dan about the monk-mashed-potatoes joke).  At the second, we delved deeply into the question of aging as it affects one’s ability to participate in and contribute to our community endeavors. 

The latter conversation returned us yet again to a more fundamental question:  How do we measure the success of QIVC?  By the number of members, where more is always better?  By how long the community has been in existence, where longevity is always better?  These measures are inadequate. 

Might we measure instead how well we are living up to our 5 intentions?  For example, we could calculate what percentage of our food comes directly from the 135 acres of land under our stewardship.  But how would you measure the degree to which we are living God-centered lives??


Would you like to join us as we harvest spinach, peas, lettuce, and rhubarb or engage in conversations important to right living on this earth?  Feel free to spend time with us.  If you have questions or want to organize a visit, just contact Spee Braun at speebraun@fairpoint.net or (518) 392-0891.

 

Update of May 2011

Yesterday was our Spring Farmhouse Work Day.  Before we started on the real work, some of us participated in a wonderful hour of yoga and many of us filled our bellies with delicious pancakes.  You may wonder if people then headed to take a nap, but no, they got to work, tackling a long to-do list.  Several hours later, the Farmhouse was looking much spiffier both on the inside and around the outside.  Adding to that lovely effect, the purple lilacs chose to burst forth in bloom on that same day.

The apple trees are blossoming everywhere – more than 100 of them all over the land – and the peach, pear, plum, and cherry trees in our orchard and near our houses have also burst forth in white and pink.  We never know how many apples we’ll have, but there should be plenty for cider making in the fall.  Each year we wait hopefully to see how many of the young peach, pear, plum, and cherry trees will bear fruit.  Will this be the year that we have so much bounty that we can produce jam to last all the families for months?

This time of year – blossom time – is when the number of inquiries QIVC receives jumps.  People are looking for new beginnings.  They are seeking to align their convictions, their yearnings, and their dreams with how they are living day by day.  It’s exciting to talk about QIVC’s five intentions and explore whether or not there’s a match.

We have more visitors, too.  They admire the community we are building and bring enthusiasm.  They ask questions about why we’re not more radical and offer encouragement.  They enrich us.

We have an Advisory Council that is charged with providing spiritual guidance and reflection on how QIVC is living up to our stated intentions.  Recently, they have stepped forward to worship with us and share wisdom as we face challenges with group dynamics.  We are blessed to have this assistance.

Would you like to join us one of these days to sit on the porch and watch the mother birds feeding their young, to bottle feed the lambs dubbed Headlights and Padiddle, or to inhale the perfume of the lilacs?  Just contact Spee Braun at speebraun@fairpoint.net or (518) 392-0891.

2 of our 15 new lambs

Update of April 2011

Ah, the sounds of spring at QIVC:  bird songs in the early morning, the racket of the peepers later in the day, and in between, the shouts of the children and the hammering of the builders.  Among the deep baaing of the ewes you will hear the higher pitched bleats of Lucy’s newborn lambs.

With the warmer weather, QIVC residents are out and about much more.  Wander around for a while and you’ll see someone hanging laundry, another building a chicken coop, and a third preparing garden plots for planting.  You’ll see kids biking, interacting with the animals, and jumping on the trampoline.  You might catch one of our committees meeting on the Farmhouse porch.

Would you like to see for yourself?  Consider visiting us this spring.  Just contact Spee Braun at speebraun@fairpoint.net or (518) 392-0891.

 

In other news, one recent Saturday, we organized a barbecue dinner to bask in the presence of the Keating-McLaughlin family, QIVC members who moved to Illinois last December and were visiting for a few days.  Despite a whipping April wind, everybody came out – over 30 people, including one neighbor family and 3 visitors.  A couple of days later, we sadly bid adieu again to our Illinois friends.

At the same time, we’ve welcomed the family renting the Keating-McLaughlin house and, more recently, another one renting the Farmhouse upstairs.  Among them are 5 children, who have rapidly joined the other young people in taking advantage of the many opportunities offered by living in community.

 

Update of March 2011

If you listen carefully, you can hear rushing water all over the land, the product of the BIg Spring Melt of 2011.  With the reappearance of grass and dirt, the gardeners are full of excitement and starting their seedlings indoors.  They discuss who will grow what vegetables, how to avoid unwanted cross-pollination, who has extra seeds, and how to arrest the spread of thistle.

The children, too, are full of excitement and enjoying the warmer days.  The lacrosse sticks are out.  The trampoline, now clear of snow, is seeing more action.  Two teenagers are running every afternoon to get in shape for spring sports.

It's maple sugaring time and that, too, generates a lot of excitement among QIV-Cers of all ages.  For the second year in a row, one of the kids is doing a science project on syrup production.  This year's research question is, do trees in an east-to-west line produce more sap than trees in a north-to-south line?

We're working now to get out the word that we're recruiting new members.  How do you like our recently launched updated website?  We've begun receiving numerous inquiries about membership in QIV-C and hope the website provides useful information.  Please send feedback to info@qivc.org.

INTERESTED IN EXPLORING MEMBERSHIP AT QIV-C?  We currently have 3 housing possibilities:  build your own house, build your own one-bedroom apartment, or buy an existing 3-bedroom house.  But first, there's a whole process to take you from inquirer to prospective member to attender to member - click on "Getting Involved" above for more information.  Also, be sure to check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - click on "FAQ" above.  We hope to hear from you soon at info@qivc.org or (518) 392-0891 (ask for Spee).

Update of February 2011

By the end of 2010, we finally had all the QIVC families on the land after years of dreaming, planning, and building!  Sadly, we also had to say farewell to one QIVC family - Larin, Cricket, Maddie, and Gabriel - when they moved to Illinois for Larin's new job.

Now that house building is mostly over, we can turn our energy to other pursuits in support of the 5 QIVP objectives, which we have renamed our 5 intentions.  At the same time, we are working out the nitty-gritty of living together with all of us physically present in the village.  For example, we have been:

- Learning about and being trained in Non-Violent Communication (NVC), to support our intention to strengthen our spiritual practices and seek that of God in every person we meet

- Spending more structured time together, with community dinners offered by one adult or another almost once a week, and with Friday morning worship twice a month

- Finding the best ways to keep the Farmhouse warm and use it well

Friend Nadine Hoover visited for two weeks and shared with us some of her passions, including exploring and practicing the Quaker process of discernment.  She urged us to consider what new practices we could take on individually and collectively.

Winter has been fierce with snow and ice, but signs of spring are appearing!  We've noticed the return of the first robin, the growth of tree buds, the stronger sun, the longer days, and - if we look very hard - the growing girth of the ewes that are pregnant.  Can you hear the sap running in the sugar maple trees?