Maitri House residents
Maitri House residents

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This summer, I was treated to a delicious meal of—-are you ready for this?—-brussels sprouts, glazed salmon, veggie potpie with chard, collared greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, onion, and a pizza dough crust; an egg souffle with mushrooms and onions; and a seasoned risotto boiled in an onion stock.

A ton—yes. But not when you live with roughly 20 people.

I was visiting Maitri House, a Takoma Park intentional community, for an eventual article on the logistics of creating this type of co-op—which, as it turns out, may be happening more and more often these days!

Yesterday, the New York Times wrote about co-ops forming off Craigslist in Brooklyn. It may have stumbled upon a trend here.  Either people are establishing more intentional communities, or they’re definitely documenting them more on the internet! Here’s what the Times says:

Are their numbers surging? Hard to tell, though people who study more traditional “intentional communities” — that is, any group of individuals living together with shared values, as in a commune or collective — say that they are demonstrably on the rise. Laird Schaub, executive secretary of the Fellowship for Intentional Community, said his nonprofit’s database has swelled from 614 communities in 2005 to more than 1,300 this year.

Traffic to the site is up 25 percent in the last year, Mr. Schaub continued, to an average of 2,000 visits a day. As to why that should be so, Mr. Schaub pointed to what he called “an ever-increasing level of dissatisfaction with traditional lifestyle choices, because there’s too much alienation and lack of connectedness. Humans are inherently social animals, yet we don’t particularly know how to get along with one another.”