Inside off-the-grid Virginia commune where EVERYTHING - from housing to childcare - is shared


posted
Categories: Life Stories

Twin Oaks - a commune in rural Virginia - is home to 92 adults and 13 children who live lifestyle of 'clever poverty'. On a daily basis, members grow vegetables together and drive shared cars from the rural commune's main office. They also live in buildings with as many as 22 other people, care for each other's children and practice polygamy. Residents all get monthly allowance of a mere $103, for which they must complete 42 hours of labor a week. They cannot have a baby without permission because they are 'not responsible for financing the child's upbringing'. Despite the unusual customs, there is a waiting list to move in to Twin Oaks - but no background checks are done.

They share everything - from housing, clothes and cars to the care of their children.

And perhaps more remarkably, they have to ask for permission before having a baby.

But that is just the accepted way of life for the residents of Twin Oaks - a commune in rural Virginia with a population of only 105.

The commune, which was formed 48 years ago, comprises 92 adults and 13 children who live a lifestyle of 'clever poverty' on 450 acres of woodland. 

Residents live in harmony below the poverty line, sharing resources with each other. They grow food together, drive communal cars from Twin Oaks' main office, live and sleep in houses with as many as 22 other people, look after each other's children and eschew monogamy.

Unusual lifestyle: Eight members of Twin Oaks - a commune in rural Virginia with a population of only 105 - are pictured watching a DVD

 

Joyful: The commune comprises 92 adults and 13 children, who live a lifestyle of 'clever poverty'. Above, toddler Luuk Spenser is held by his mother, Elsa Spenser, left, and Kele Tassari, as they celebrate the 40th anniversary of the commune's founding in 2007

'Collaborative and loving': On a daily basis, residents live in harmony below the poverty line, sharing resources with each other. They grow vegetables together, drive communal cars from Twin Oaks' main office, look after each other's children and eschew monogamy

Dancing: Children attend a homeschool in the commune and are required to start working one hour a week at the tender age of four. Above, members and former members of Twin Oaks dance during the 40th anniversary celebrations on June 15, 2007, near Yanceyville

  Page Turn