Thank you for your interest in Stowe Farm Community.
We put this list together to help you get an idea of what it’s like to live here. You will get a better idea when you visit. Attend a gathering, coffee klatch, workshop or work party, or set up an individual visit. Get to know us! It’s a gradual process, and important to take the time needed.
We are a rural community
• Our houses are clustered on a south-facing former orchard with a magnificent view down the valley.
• Each household owns its ~¾ acre house lot and shares the remaining ~80 acres with 11 families. We make community decisions about building and land use.
• We strive for energy and efficiency in our homes.
• Our homes are surrounded by fields, crops, farm animals, and homesteading activities, not manicured lawns. Some of us are involved in homesteading practices and agricultural or other sustainable business ventures. Others are not, but we all support these enterprises.
• We do grocery runs, but are striving to grow and raise much of our own food, and support local farmers for the rest.
• Paths to houses, community structures, greenhouse, and other areas of Stowe Farm are hilly. We get good workouts!
• Some of us have pets and are responsible pet owners.
• We use natural landscape and agricultural practices to avoid using harmful chemicals.
• We share a community truck, a tractor, and other useful tools and care for them responsibly.
• We purchase many of our large tools, equipment, and infrastructure (such as our greenhouse and storage sheds) as a community.
• Driving distances:
⁃ 1.25 hours from the nearest large airport (Hartford, CT)
⁃ 25 minutes from the hospital and services (Greenfield)
⁃ 15 minutes from smaller shops, food co-op, etc. (Shelburne Falls)
Ways we act as a Community:
• Tolerance, compassion and compromise are ongoing exercises to which we are committed. Our decision making process has enabled us to work through many differences.
• We value a diverse multi-generational neighborhood
• We are willing to give up some individual choices for the benefit of the community.
• We respect each other’s privacy. We all participate in some projects and social events.
• We celebrate our successes, enjoy the beauty of our surroundings, and are serious about keeping a sense of humor.
• We live here because we want to be good neighbors. We all contribute to creating a vibrant community in different ways: gardening, building, cooking, canning, helping with child, elder, or pet care, bookkeeping, organizing, being a good listener.
As a prospective buyer at Stowe Farm you will have certain community responsibilities including:
• Participation in monthly meetings of our governing body, in which all households are encouraged to attend
• Participation in committees (Circles) and work parties that carry out most of the operational needs of the community including grounds maintenance, planning and design of future capital projects etc.
• Striving (and sometimes struggling) to learn to live in community including a willingness to compromise, respect for others, care for other people’s feelings, speaking out when something doesn’t feel right, and being quiet when you need to listen
• Exhibiting deep curiosity about other people’s opinions, especially when they differ from your own
While Stowe Farm’s legal structure is a Homeowners Association (HOA) it is important to keep in mind that it is Cohousing with all of its corresponding attributes and responsibilities. We have found that potential buyers benefit from familiarizing themselves with our bylaws and governance process, and our values including a focus on farming and sustainable, energy efficient living. And, most importantly meeting with other community members to see if you would feel comfortable living here.
We look forward to meeting you and hope you will accept an invitation to a potluck and other informal social gatherings to get to know us. Just a few examples of how other prospective buyers (and current members) sought to familiarize themselves with Stowe Farm include working in small groups to weed the garden while chatting and learning about life here, accepting an invitation to dinner with one of our member families, attending a holiday gathering or community celebration, bringing their families to explore the woods and trails, or camping out on the property.
We have a wonderful, warm and welcoming community that has experienced both good times and hard times together. We believe it is the best possible environment to raise children and to grow old. We love living here and hope that you will too.