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Visit Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

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Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community on 280 acres in Rutledge, Missouri. It legally began in October 1997 and has grown to 75 members.

New members to the community must be approved and pay about $25 monthly to lease their land, about 1/16th acre. Whatever they build on that land is owned by them and can be sold.

The ecovillage is powered only by wind and solar. Some spaces use passive solar for heat as well as wood stoves. Natural building techniques used there are "straw bale, earth and lime plaster, earthen floors, light clay straw, timber frame, post and beam, cob, earthbag, urbanite foundation and rubble trench." Workshops, work exchanges, and building internships are offered usually in the months of April through October so it is a great place to get green building experience as well as help in building a sustainable home. Most project positions for the year 2014 are probably filled up by mid-March.

Organic gardening is practiced and garden and agricultural leases are available in addition to home leases. Forty acres of the land is forest, 30 acres have over 12,000 trees planted on them for restoration. There are six ponds, a small creek and some old farm buildings. All the acreage is held by the non-profit in a land trust.

There are six ecological covenants that must be adhered to in order to live in Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage-- "living without a personal vehicle, organic gardening, producing sustainable sourced electricity, using reclaimed and bio-regional lumber, and reclaiming organic and recycling material waste." There is a swimming pond and lots of community activities. Three vehicles are shared by all members.

A new 8700-square-foot community building is a passive-solar strawbale building which will be certified LEED Platinum as well as meeting the Living Building Challenge (LBC) standards. It will house the Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC) national headquarters, a group that has been promoting cooperative living since 1987.

Four hands-on workshops on building cob ovens were scheduled in 2013 where participants learned how to use reclaimed and natural materials to build an inexpensive outdoor oven for baking bread and pizza. The 2014 workshop is posted on the website. The cost of $300 includes camping and three meals daily, with a special homemade pizza party on the last day. Register within 30 days prior to class date for a 10 percent discount.

To visit, contact Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, telephone 660.883.5511.

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