Anarres 2 cooperative community

March 25, 2016

Summer 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ed @ 8:51 am

I’ll be camping out on the land in June this year. If you’d like to visit, please leave a comment and we can set up a rough appointment so that we can be there at the same time and I can help you find it. I may make side trips while I’m there, and I wouldn’t want to miss your visit. If you come by Amtrak, I can pick you up in Winnemucca. Visitors are welcome to camp out, but you’ll need your own tent or vehicle to sleep in. I wouldn’t sleep out in the open since there is supposedly a mountain lion in the area, but he or she keeps a very low profile. One neighbor who has lived there for years and years has only seen tracks, and he lives much farther up the mountain.

My goals are to get the canvas roof up on the yurt, finish the fence (to keep free ranging cattle away from the trees), improve the sun shelter, plant some more trees and make a fire break (a mound of dirt around the fence). Also want to put a glass cover over my water reservoir and see if that works as a water heater. I will probably break down and buy a gas stove this year. Some warm coffee or soup would be really nice on those cold mornings.

I got a letter from a consultant for a gold mining company regarding a possible expansion of the power line that runs to the south of the lot. They wanted permission to do an environmental and historical survey in case they use that route, which was an alternate route. I granted them permission, but I was worried about it because if it goes through we’d probably have some really big power lines there and would lose part of the land. According to the news, however, the company declared bankruptcy, so hopefully the project is dead. It doesn’t mean the company is dead, but they probably won’t be able to come up with the money for the project (hopefully). UPDATE: Got a letter today: “…the 345 kV transmission line is no longer proposed…. NV Energy has submitted a letter to the Bureau of Land Management withdrawing their application…” Yea!

I really need to find more people to get involved in this project. Isn’t there anyone else who would like to see an egalitarian, democratic, cooperative/socialist community happen in northern Nevada? I could advertise more, but I think it’s more likely that I’ll find serious, dedicated people if they find Anarres Two themselves than if they see an ad and say, “Hey, that sounds like fun”. My current approach has not been very effective though.


August 22, 2015

Projects accomplished summer of 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ed @ 7:21 am

What I actually accomplished this summer:

I built a sun shelter big enough to park a car under. I need to add slats and a sun fabric roof next year. The plastic tarp I used this year was quickly destroyed by the wind.

I put in fence posts and a gate. I need to add t-posts and barbed wire fencing next year, to keep cows out of the “developed” area.

I replaced the gravel in front of the yurt entrance with concrete paving stones.

I moved the shower tower inside the yurt and experimented with a combination shower tower/stove, but it was too unstable without mortar.

Next year I want to plant more trees, since the fence will hopefully keep the cows out. My neighbor’s theory is that I should plant really small trees and not support them with poles, so that they will naturally thicken. I think just buying large trees would work, too, but I would need a truck to get large trees out there. Watering them will be a problem though. I need to find someone who lives in Reno who will swap free camping for tree watering.

My experimental solar water heater worked pretty well at first, but the clear plastic sheeting over the water cistern quickly became cloudy and white due to the UV rays from the sun, so I went back to just leaving the dark blue shower jug out in the sun, and that worked better. I could try using a glass cover next year (from a discarded sliding glass door or window perhaps). My experiment using the garden hose as an external heating coil was inconclusive. I think I need to use a shorter hose.

Possible business schemes:

I thought it might be possible to develop part of the land as a yurt camping ground. People would pay to camp in our yurts. These types of resorts are popular with tourists in Mongolia. There is hiking nearby and you could also offer horseback rides. The view is great and the stars are really beautiful. People could camp from spring to fall. The nights are fairly cool even in the summer. When it was in the 90s during the day, it was only in the 70s or 60s at night. We might need to have a source of heat (that doesn’t involve fire) during the spring and fall.

We’d need to have a building for restrooms, showers and cooking/dining, and we’d need to have the last part of the road re-graveled. We’d also need a well and a septic system, and several heavy duty yurts that are permanently anchored to the ground.

An alternative idea would be to have a business in Imlay, based on our skills and what people living there want or need. Since Imlay is right on I-80, you would have highway travelers as customers, too. Maybe a coffee shop/bakery/internet cafe?


Sun shelter



May 26, 2015

Other socialist communities

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ed @ 12:06 pm

I set up a Facebook page with links to info about other “socialist communities” (broadly defined):

Socialist Communities

April 27, 2015

Projects for Summer 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ed @ 1:54 am

I’m planning to make it back to Anarres Two again this summer, from late July to mid August. Here is my “to do” list, in rough order of urgency:

– put the canvas roof on the yurt (which will be a community toilet, shower and cooking space eventually). If I put in two sets of stakes, I could stretch the tarp high enough to leave an air gap during the day and use the closer stakes at night.

– make a better solar water heater (a black plastic trash can inside an elevated wooden frame covered with plastic sheeting).

– make an “indoor” shower connected to the water heater (with a kiddie pool or plastic tub inside to collect water and with drainage to the outside, where the grey water can be collected and used to water trees, etc.).

– plant two more trees and water them really well. Maybe cottonwoods this time.

– make a sun shelter for my car (wooden posts with a tarp draped across them). It gets really hot during the day. I just draped a tarp over my car last year.

– dig a secure storage area

– enlarge the cistern pit for water storage

– collect rocks to put around trees and hoe the area around the trees and yurt as a firebreak.

– fence off the tree and yurt area, or at least fence off the new trees, to keep out roaming herds of livestock.

– if I still have time, collect rocks for area around the yurt and the path to the road.

If anyone wants to help me “build socialism” this summer, I could probably use your help. You would probably need to bring your own tent or sleep in your vehicle until we get a sleeping shelter built (it’s not on the “to do list” now, but we could add it). Living conditions are pretty rough at the moment.

December 29, 2014

Possible sources of income

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ed @ 2:39 am

As a result of the drought in California, some almond groves may need to be taken out of production:

Water Source for Almonds in California May Run Dry

Of course raising almonds would depend on having a well, which shouldn’t be a problem.

I’ve also been thinking about solar power collection, but that would require a lot of money (i.e. bank loans) to set up and to hook into the power grid to sell the power. However, if we worked this out with the power company in advance, the costs and projected income should be fairly predictable and it wouldn’t be a risky investment, unless someone discovers a free source of electricity.

Raising cattle temporarily might be a possibility, too. Cattle graze there during the winter already. We’d need to fence off the land and someone would need to be there year round to take care of them. I’m not really keen on the idea of raising animals for meat though, but since I do eat a limited amount of meat, I can’t be too morally indignant about it. I know I’d treat them really well, before they were sent off to be slaughtered……

Building a greenhouse, fish farming or hosting camp-outs are other possibilities. Or operating a business in Imlay.

August 30, 2014

Another story about The Farm

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ed @ 12:36 am

An interesting article by a woman who grew up on The Farm. We shouldn’t over-generalize though. Maybe the title should be, “What Life is Like When You’re Born on a Hippie Commune Led by a Guru”:

What Life Is Like When You’re Born on a Commune

August 22, 2014

Documentary on socialism

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ed @ 10:08 am

Below is a link to a documentary on socialism called “Heaven on Earth: the Rise and Fall of Socialism”. It’s not a bad documentary, because it does mention the utopian socialist movement (just Robert Owen, however), and does talk about democratic socialism and the kibbutz movement. The last part is clearly biased, however. The presenter and many of the people interviewed are connected with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative, free-market think-tank. One of the commentators says, “I don’t believe that socialism is dead because I don’t believe that the impulse which drives people towards the Left, the desire to control, meddle and interfere in other people’s lives, can ever die.” Whoa, how about, “…because I don’t believe that what drives people towards the Left, the massive gap between the very rich and the very poor, between the powerful and the powerless, will ever go away.” Someone needs to try to make this documentary over again, with a little more detachment. It is good to examine the mistakes of the past, however, and to reveal the truth about the bad things that happened. History teaches us that socialism requires hard, efficient work and good management to succeed, that the creation of a centralized police state is not an effective or safe method of implementing socialism, and that socialism is not for everyone – people cannot be programmed to be socialists. One of the founders of Kibbutz Ginosar is clearly proud of what he and his comrades achieved, and still seems to believe in the appeal of socialism, while his daughter, who grew up there, is not impressed, and says, basically, that what motivates people is money, personal comfort and the happiness of their own families. She still apparently lives there however! The smug tone of the movie reveals that it was made before the most recent (2007) economic collapse.

August 18, 2014

Founding Fathers were progressive utopians

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ed @ 2:41 am

I was commenting on a FB discussion about the “founding fathers” of the American revolution, and I thought this might be worth sharing here (I’ve improved my original post a little):

“The freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, the idea that people were equal, and could govern themselves, through elections, without a King, and the idea that people had a RIGHT to rebel against unjust governments, were all extremely radical, even utopian, in the 1700’s.”

The conservatives (aka the Tories), who supported King George’s right to rule over his subjects at bayonet point, impose whatever decrees he liked, and eventually pass on almost absolute power to his children, bugged out for Canada, the Bahamas or back to Britain for the most part.

But I’m sure that most people fell somewhere in between, and hoped that things could be worked out in a rational way, without resorting to violence. That is always the best option, of course, but for some reason it rarely happens, and serious negotiations don’t take place until lots of blood has been shed. Wise up, humanity. We don’t all have to do things the same way.

At least one historian agrees that the Founders were progressive radicals:

“Americans had come to believe that the Revolution promised nothing less than a massive reordering of their lives—a reordering summed up in the conception of republicanism. This republicanism was in every way a radical ideology—as radical in the eighteenth century as Marxism was to be for the nineteenth century. It meant more than simply eliminating a king and establishing an elective system of government. It added a moral and idealistic dimension to the political separation from England—a dimension that promised a fundamental shift in values and a change in the very character of American society.” Gordon S. Wood, “The American Revolution”

June 19, 2014

June 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ed @ 10:14 pm

I just finished up my annual visit and got several projects done. I finished the brick work, roof frame and got the door on the yurt. I hoed fire breaks around the yurt and the trees. I put in a water tank so that visitors or my helpful neighbors can water the trees when I’m not there, without hauling water.  And I built a water catchment along a dry stream bed, but one neighbor told me the only time water runs along that gully is when, once every 10 or 15 years, there’s a huge storm, in which case the whole thing will probably get washed away. Oh well. Putting in a well will probably cost in the range of $14,000, which I really don’t have at the moment. Plus, I don’t want to plant any more trees until someone will be around to water them.


I’ve been thinking of possible cooperative businesses that could be done out there. Many people in the area grow alfalfa or raise cattle. It seems like you could grow other crops during the summer (with irrigation). It has a dry, sunny climate that seems like it would be good for grapes, almonds, apricots, etc. but it may get too cold during the winter. There doesn’t seem to be anywhere locally to buy gravel, so you could operate a gravel pit. There don’t seem to be any businesses in Imlay except for RV parks, so a coffee shop, laundromat, food coop or hardware store/tool rental place, or something like that might be a possibility, but it would have to be located IN Imlay, and there doesn’t seem to be any business rental property. You could operate a shuttle service between Imlay and Winnemucca. You’d have to ask the local people what they need, but it’s a very small town, so it might be hard to make a profit just focusing on the local market. It would be a great place for solar power collectors, but it would be expensive to set up connected to the grid.

May 23, 2014

Nevada City, Nevada

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ed @ 11:33 pm

Just finished reading a book about a group that tried to set up a socialist community just east of Fallon, Nevada. Called the Nevada Colony Corporation, it only lasted a few years, apparently due mostly to infighting and poor (possibly shady) management. It was expensive to join, and seems to have operated mostly as a ponzi scheme, with most of the community’s income coming from new member joining fees and installments from prospective members. It was in existence from May 1, 1916 to May 1, 1919.

“During the trying years of World War I, a series of coincidences combined with the persistent efforts of a few socialists led to the formation of the Nevada Cooperative Colony. The uneasy alliance between utopians, populists and Marxists quickly dissolved, but not before they had collided with Nevada’s patriotic instincts and the encompassing interests of the federal government. Nevertheless, for some two years the small Nevada community [was] a magnet which drew hundreds of persons anxious to express dissatisfaction with prevailing institutions.”

“Today, nearly all of the more than 550 residents who settled in the community have vanished, and the nearly 2,000 people who became members in absentia have destroyed their worthless stock certificates. The group of anti-war Germans who saw the colony as an escape from capitalistic militarism were among the first to become disillusioned; the scores of Oklahomans who threatened to turn [the] Lahonton Valley into a setting for “The Grapes of Wrath” have long since scattered. Indeed, it seems incredible that a sandy waste four miles east of Fallon could have, within a few action-packed months, attracted persons from thirty-three states… Cuba, Canada, England, Germany, Sweden, France, Hungary and Switzerland.”

“Retreat to Nevada,” by Wilbur S. Shepperson

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