Twin Oaks

Twin Oaks, Virginia, USA
Income Sharing
1967 - Present

1 Oneida 2 Harmony 3 Red Barn 4 Llano 5 Dairy Barn 6 Aurora 7 Tofu Hut 8 The Bijou 9 Appletree 10 Nashoba 11 Tupelo
Founded in 1967, Twin Oaks is one of the longest running communes of the back-to-the-land era. Like many communes of that time, Twin Oaks was founded on questionable principles–in this case, the science fiction novel Walden 2–but has evolved into a sustainable community. Now in its sixth decade, Twin Oaks has begun to resemble some of the more enduring religious communities. Like the Hutterites, Twin Oaks has adopted strict membership caps of 100 people. There is currently a waiting list, and a second community called Acorn has been established for the overflow.

Twin Oaks is an income sharing community where everything is pooled. They give labor credits for soft skills and emotional labor, like mediating an argument or planning a party. Laid out like a small village, there are seven large group houses, a children’s building, a community center with communal kitchen, and industrial buildings for the production of hammocks and tofu. Communal programs, like a library or a woodshop, are placed in each house, to foster an anti-propertarian mindset. Named for failed  communes, from Oneida to Harmony, each Twin Oaks building incorporates solar panels and wood heating. Twin Oaks, like other rural intentional communities, are not historic relics of the back-to-the-land movement but are increasingly urgent as we face ecological, economic, and political catastrophe.

Nam semper semper ex
In porttitor pellentesque sapien

Annie Schneider

Communes in the New World

The question of how to live together—of how best to live together—is the foundation of any society. The last few years have exposed the fault lines in our current system: climatic catastrophe, economic crisis, supply chain collapse, civil unrest, rampant inequality, and a global pandemic. We live in congested cities and in potentially dangerous proximity, yet remain isolated. In light of these mounting pressures, it’s time to revisit the fundamentals. How to Live Together offers alternative ways of being, thinking, dwelling, and living. It calls into question every basic assumption and prevailing social norm: belief, sex, the nuclear family, property ownership, our relationship to land, production, and consumption. It is both a critique and a roadmap.