Not a Commune...Just 10 days with 8 People We Don't Know!

We saw an opportunity during Permaculture Voices 2 to demonstrate care for the people, care of the earth, and return of the surplus:

Some of the organic food for the pop-up community

  • Help people who were on a budget 
  • Help people who were interested in lessening the impact of traveling in terms of trash, sewage, laundry, and so forth as well as enjoy local, organic food plus beers, coffee, and tequila
  • Connect people who shared at least one interest: attending Permaculture Voices 2
  • There was also the question of diversity of people and ideas; who would join us?
  • And surplus would be returned 

The rules: We didn't review or select participants. All reservations were priced the same and included food and drink. 

Initially, we thought that we could accommodate five people but in the spirit of trees and Bill Mollison...there's always room for one more person so we hosted eight. An additional five people stayed with our friends.

And while one emailer thought we were "siphoners" and we joked about being "siphoneers", we felt the small fee per day was fair and equitable.


  • 8 people participated: 2 from Canada, 1 from Texas, 4 from Southern California, and 1 traveling permie volunteer from Hawaii
  • 50% women and 50% men, old and young, and from the city and the country
  • Diverted 141 gallons of water from the bathroom basin via 5-gallon bucket to the garden
  • Composted 18 gallons of kitchen debris
  • Composted 15 gallons of humanure
  • Traveled 144 miles via bicycle
  • Paid for parking at conference only one time as parking was $25/day
  • Shared one WiFi connection rather than paying $18.95/day in the hotel room
  • 3 people carpooled or rode the bus
  • 2 loads of community laundry: bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths, sheets, kitchen towels, and napkins that watered 4 trees
  • Food surplus: 20 pounds of apples, 25 pounds of potatoes, 10 pounds of valencia oranges, backyard eggs, and all other extra food was given away
  • Financial surplus was shared with WWOOFers for their journeys
  • And shockingly, somehow we managed to not have a line for the one shower!
I loved that it brought so many different walks of life into one place to exchange ideas, open up minds and collaborate. Making new friends that share a common thread.
— Pop-up community participant
Fantastic diversity
— Pop-up community participant
The great company, the food and even drink much more fun than staying in some boring hotel.
— Pop-up community participant

We look forward to hosting additional events like the pop-up community in the spirit of supporting people meeting and connecting more deeply.