“Our goal is to create a beloved community, and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”

—  Martin Luther King

* 6/17/24 Update from Tom: I am back from Europe, organizing Zoom and in-person meetings, getting the word out and building the network in general.

At Strawberry Fields Farm, we strive to balance individual freedom with interdependency and recreate the way our grandparents used to live before modern times. Within two to three years, we envision our community working well, living in a balanced and healing environment, offering a holistic lifestyle, and practicing and enjoying arts and cultural restoration for all involved.

Human beings need a sense of belonging; this is what connects us to the many relationships we develop. Our instinct is to find strength in numbers, and our happiness is actively linked to our connections. This is how human society used to be organized: people knew their neighbors well and supported each other.

Communities are rich in resources and knowledge, and when they use them well, members enjoy greater well-being than their nominal per capita income would suggest. Ideas breed new ideas, and sharing them stimulates innovation and growth.

We will have up to 24 people becoming a community and living harmoniously on four shared properties, each having a distinctive function. Members will work together to increase our quality of life and stay self-sufficient. Established members will serve as mentors for newcomers and ease them into the foundational and daily aspects of a working intentional community.

The necessities of life rarely come from one’s own hands but rather from a complicated web of mutuality, as Martin Luther King, Jr. once phrased it. However, beyond having a basic safety net, there is something indescribably lovely about being a part of a group — something more substantial than geographical location. Goals people feel passionate about and activities that, when shared, make individuals seem less lonely.

The word “community” has a strange power to it. It conveys a sense of togetherness and positivity; it speaks both of solidarity and homeliness. We could simply interpret the concept as “love thy neighbor.”

With community participation comes empowerment and a sense of control that can influence positive change. Providing an outlet for their passions gives people confidence, encouragement and reinforcement — an effective learning tool to encourage desirable behaviors and provide motivation.