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Hakhel Spotlight: Living Tree Alliance, Vermont

It’s August in Vermont’s Mad River Valley. Youth scatter themselves across the covered bridge of Waitsfield and fly into the river below. A family floats by in their tube and a band plays by the river’s edge. Our fields are growing high with corn, squash, and beans. The edges of the meadow and the perennial beds sprout color as they ripen with blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and thimbleberries. We gather on the porch of the Oshkello’s net-zero house to plan for our regional Sukkot festival while the owls come out at dusk. On the table, there is basil to be made into pesto and broccoli to be frozen for the winter. The sheep and chickens raise their voice in blessing for this beautiful summer day. We recite the Shehecheyanu prayer as we eat the first cucumbers of the season.

Welcome to life at Living Tree Alliance!
Our land consists of 93 acres of farmland, meadows, forest, trails, a working maple sugarbush, and private swimming beaches along the Mad River. The property adjoins the running and skiing trails of the local high school which includes an amazing forest frisbee golf course. We steward this land with a vision of community and hope for creating a culture rooted in Jewish values and a belief in collaboration.

Our land is permitted and organized for a seven-unit co-housing development. We are accepting applications for the four remaining house sites connected to our farm and community. The village design draws from successful cohousing and eco-village models in North America and beyond, in order to create a pedestrian-centered rural village.

We host regular events on the land which include: Sukkot on the Farm, Shavuot on the Mountain, and Sugar and Schmooze festivals, as well as farm to school workshops, community farm to plate dinners, and other educational experiences. Residents of our village are encouraged to share in these events and to bring a land-based business idea to our developing farm cooperative! House sites are presently available for purchase. Fall internships begin in September which focus on building, farming, and helping to prep for our community festival: Sukkot on the Farm. Our 5th annual Sukkot on the Farm festival celebrating the harvest will be September 29-30. This year we are looking for a minyan of helpers to create our Sukkot Village by camping, working and living together during the week of Sukkot.

If you are interested in visiting our community for our fall festival, volunteering for a week, interning, or putting roots down in our cohousing eco-village check out our website at livingtreealliance.com and contact Sephirah Stacey Oshkello at info@livingtreealliance.com.


 

Living Tree Alliance is a Hakhel community. Learn more about Hakhel – the first-of-its-kind Jewish Intentional Communities Incubator