While chatting with locals at the Ten Mile Market, I overheard a conversation that echoed what I’ve been hearing, all the new people moving in is changing this charming little town. It opened my mind to something I haven’t thought of…our impact on the community we’re moving into.
Each community has it’s own vibe, culture and the local’s reasons for living there. With the Off Grid Movement as well as people staying on grid but moving to little country towns, there are changes by default. This gets me thinking…how can we make the impact on Ten Mile and our surrounding communities a positive, symbiotic one? What are the communities needs and desires and how can we fill them? What should we avoid doing, besides the obvious things, that wouldn’t serve our community? How can we serve?
In my opinion the first thing we need to do is get to know our communities. Statistics may help but they really don’t get down to the essence of the people, what they really need or what they really don’t want. Get out and talk to the locals, really listen to them. The ones who aren’t supportive of so many new people coming in have legitimate concerns. Listen to them and be sensitive to what their saying.
One concern here is people who own large pieces of land selling them off in tracts of land, causing all sorts of new people moving. We’re one of those people. The locals here love the small country town feeling, the lack of big, ugly buildings and corporate signs everywhere. Who can blame them? It’s beautiful here! As a newbie I can preserve what the Goddess has blessed us with, respect her and all her creations. We keep our land clean and organized. In the future, we will have camp sites, educational programs and herb walks on our land. We want the community to have clean, Gaia-friendly experience. We never know who we may influence.
Little things make a big difference. Recycling when we can and properly disposing of trash is just the right way to handle waste. Being off grid, we’re very sensitive to our natural resource use. Water, fossil fuel, solar, etc. are finite. We’re not stressing the community’s resources and that feels good. When we do purchase what we need, we purchase it as local as possible from local businesses when possible. We contribute to the local economy and support small local businesses. There are so many every day ways to support our local communities. No one has to do anything big, little things make a huge difference.
We moved here with the intention of feeding and providing plant medicine to our local community. We followed our guidance and this is where it led us. After doing some research and talking to a few people that work in local agriculture, I learned there is a demand for fresh, affordable produce. There are no real grocery stores here, just a small local country store. We can provide plants, seeds, food and medicine as well as handmade farm and cleaning products and we can do it at friendly prices. A lot of people are struggling here, we can help. I’ve already sold cucumber and tomato starts at affordable prices and have other plants growing to offer. When fruit, veggies and herbs are ready for harvest, I’ll be offering them as well as making food and medicine out of them.
Being a good neighbor is a great way to serve the community. I value my relationship with my neighbors. Our back property line ends in a field owned by the county, we do have neighbors on each side of us. We all have different lifestyles. The first neighbors to move in are a beautiful family of 4 off griddin’ in a camper. We have became great friends. They have been there for us quite a few times and I even had the blessing of babysitting their beautiful children. They have the same mindset as us. The people on the other side are really nice people that are not off grid. I had the blessing of spending time with them just chatting. My dogs love them and they brought me some info on a local business I plan to visit. Very thoughtful! Both neighbors are different which is what we need…diversity is strength.
We can all practice the Golden Rule. I’ve really enjoyed talking to the beautiful people in my community, I’ve learned so much about them and myself that just can not be found on the internet. When I put myself in their shoes I can understand their side too. As their watching their quaint little country town transform, those of us who are moving in have a responsibility to be sure what they see their towns turn into is a peaceful, loving, respecting community. We need to do our best to add to these communities. Community is what is going to save this planet.
Are you someone watching a large number of people move into your quiet little town? What are your experiences and suggestions for the newbies? Are you, like us, one of the many moving into a quiet little town? What are your experiences? How do you support your community? I’d love more ideas!!!