Community was a concept we were very interested in when we first moved to the farm. I thought when we first moved here we would get a visit from the area "welcome wagon" and maybe someone would stop by with some banana bread or some other treat, shake our hands and introduce themselves.
Um yeah, that didn't happen. Not to say we didn't have support, my family is the most supportive group you can imagine, and there are so many of them nearby, that maybe folks just figured out who we were through the rural grapevine and didn't feel the need to know more. Regardless, before too long our theory that we were pretty much out here on our own, (socially, politically, culturally) felt pretty well confirmed. (in all fairness, we didn't go out of our way to introduce ourselves to many of the neighbors either, figuring that local grapevine had already taken care of it.) There were a couple of exceptions here (thank you Ruth family!), but not too many.
It took a couple of years really, to start meeting some slightly more distant neighbors who were a little more like us. Doing more alternative agriculture ventures and conversant on subjects that we were excited by. This was promising! We have learned to stretch our physical concept of community to include not only the people with whom we share a mail carrier, but to all edges of the state and beyond to anywhere the internet can connect us with other like-minded folks.
Enter the Blogosphere! Through writing this blog and following the blogs of so many exceptional people we have become connected in a very real way to people whom we might never meet in the corporeal sense, but who undoubtedly know us better than many of our neighbors. We have learned new methods of gardening, cooking, animal husbandry, fiber processing, beekeeping and I could go on and on and on. It is so very exciting, and yet it has become so ingrained in our daily lives that we have started to take it for granted. (until the power goes off or it snows hard, since we are on satellite internet).
I was just reminded of this wonderful phenomenon by my amazing friend Cathy who did an interview for a local magazine on just this subject. You can read the story here. And thank you again, Cathy for including us in your list : )
The networking that occurs through these online communities is simply amazing. How all of these connections are made between this crazy electronic maze of people from all demographic genres is really rather mind-boggling. I think it was best summed up by our dear friend Malinda who said (in absolutely the most positive way possible), "Freaks Flock." And so we do!