What’s up: News and Ideas

News and ideas of interest to Twin Oaks Tofu fans, friends, family, and all people of the planet.

News and ideas of interest to Twin Oaks Tofu fans, friends, family, and all people of the planet.

The View from a Real Sustainable Community


By Janel H.

In the airport last week, a large advertisement beckoned me to “spend more time with family in nature.” The ad bore an image of a father and son fishing together, laughing over some shared musing while their boat gently wafted down a river. However, under this image was the fine print—this lifestyle could be yours only with the purchase of an expensive home in a secluded gated community.

Imagine if you could spend more time with your kids and friends, live closely with nature and be a part of a movement for social change, no matter what your socioeconomic background. At the Twin Oaks Community in rural Louisa, Virginia—the place I call home—you can. Here, we lead an egalitarian, income-sharing way of life. What this means is that the 94 residents of Twin Oaks share homes, cars, gardens, greenhouses, pastures, rivers, canoes, Frisbees, board games, washing machines, tools, tractors, and the fruits of our successful community-owned tofu and hammock-making businesses as a family. As a tribe.

People are drawn to Twin Oaks for all sorts of reasons. Maya, mother of two, loves raising her young children here. Day in and day out, her kids interact and bond with a number of trusted adults, and Maya and her partner are surrounded by peers whom they can turn to for love, advice and child rearing assistance. The community is also committed to taking care of the family’s health and happiness needs. Twin Oaks is a living example of the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Here, the isolation and anxiety of the traditional American nuclear family unit have been diffused. Read more.

Janel H. lives on an agrarian, non-violent, income-sharing intentional community in Virginia. In addition to being one of 94 co-owners of her community’s worker-owned businesses, she enjoys writing and editing and does both professionally. Her goal is to provide people with the information they need to survive and thrive in a post-petroleum world.