This intentional community, the first near Rutledge, Missouri, could be the poster child for sustainability, simplicity, and cooperative living. Started in 1974 by four friends from Carleton College who wanted to reproduce the support and stimulation of dorm life, Sandhill has evolved into a model of living without the conventions of modern society. Indeed, it has played an influential role in each of the other communities in Missouri’s Scotland County, all that are within a mile or two of each other.
The six adult members (and various summer interns) grow 80 percent of their own food and share income, meals, labor, vehicles, and other resources. Sandhill’s 135 acres has large vegetable and herb gardens, orchards, bee yards, hayfields, cropland, pasture, and woods. Members raise chickens and turkeys and produce and sell sorghum, honey, garlic, mustard, condiments, and horseradish. Tours are offered for a suggested donation of $5 and include a look at the gardens and sorghum processing facilities, as well as “a peek into our living spaces” and the opportunity to ask members about their lifestyle.
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