Currently we are not taking new members. Please check back with us in April of 2017.
We are sometimes looking for people to join our community who are interested in a sustainable lifestyle, healthy diet, the beauty of being close to nature, and who seek to learn and grow to attain their full human potential and participate in sustainable businesses.
If interested in participating, we welcome you ask questions, come for a visit on our approval, and explore the possibilities.
These qualities are essential for those seeking permanent membership:
- Desire for a sustainable lifestyle and a pioneering spirit
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Willingness to help others and be helped
- Desire to have friendships and connections with other community members
- Willingness to work hard and overcome obstacles
- At least a basic level of self-discipline and personal care
- Practice of humility and willingness to listen to others' suggestions
- A vision for the future of the community which is close to our own
Craft skills, trade skills (carpentry, plumbing, electrical, mechanical), relationship/leadership skills, and organic gardening and permaculture skills are especially desired. Art and music are encouraged and welcome.
Visiting the Sanctuary
Visitors are expected to contribute three hours and/or donate $10 or more per day. Additional work and/or financial donations are also welcomed. We have some limited intermittent availability of small campers for temporary housing, which have or can have running water and limited 110V electricity for lights, charging cell phones, etc. For these units, a composting toilet is shared and in a separate but convenient location. Expect to provide whatever food you need in addition to what the garden can provide you. We don't raise meat or dairy products, so if you need to eat meat or dairy, you will need to provide it yourself. There may be some availability of goat dairy products in the future. Eventually we will be growing staples such as grains, beans, and other long-term storage items, but these may not be currently available. In cases of hardship the community might assist in what way it is able.
We encourage members of the community to be financially self-sufficient and donate resources and time to the community according to their ability. Our guidelines are:
|Option||Monetary Contribution (Monthly)||Time Contribution (Hours Weekly)|
|#4||$0.00||20 or more|
Of course additional contributions are always welcome, to assist the community in achieving its goals more quickly. We often put windfall profits back into the community. There are also business opportunities to invest in. We do not have an option for no time contribution because we feel some time contribution is needed to keep members connected with what is going on in the community.
In principle, permanent members are responsible for their own housing. If vacant suitable housing is available, it will be offered at no additional charge to permanent members. If no vacant housing is available, the particpants will together construct the needed structures, and all material cost will be paid by the participant who will be living in the new structure, unless the community has spare funds to subsidize the materials cost. Up to 1/2 of the hours spent on construction do count as contributed labor per the above chart. Approximate capital costs for materials are shown below. All capital costs for permanent structures are considered donations to the community, so there are no refunds if you leave. However, you are free to resell or take with you any solar equipment and other movable appliances and furnishings you have purchased. The community does not promise to buy back anything you purchase.
When we have sufficient funds and the time, we may pre-build some eco-domes or other structures for permanent members.
If you already have an RV you can bring it to live in as temporary housing. Keep in mind that RVs are not very heat-retentive in the winter and use excessive fuel to keep warm; they are also very hot in the summer.
Approximate Eco-Dome costs:
|Item||Estimated Materials Cost (USD)|
|200W solar system, enough to operate a laptop computer, lights, and other light-load appliances||
* Estimated dome costs DO NOT include solar, composting toilet, and other amenities. Price on solar panels may continue to go down, so cost may be less. The primary materials costs are for cement and the tubing material to form the adobe, plus windows, doors, electrical, plumbing.
† We have found that a single 200W solar panel and one 12V deep cycle battery is adequate for lighting, a laptop computer, and light use of other appliances such as blenders and vacuums. However, if you want your own small refrigerator, at least one extra 200W panel is needed (3 or 4 recommended to handle cloudy days during monsoon season), as well as extra batteries(ideally 4 or more). Larger refrigerators will substantially increase the cost of the solar system due to increased power requirements. Alternatively, a solar refrigerator or freezer is available for about $1000, which would operate fine on the smaller solar system.
- Living in our community is an investment. After a 3-month probationary period, if approved as a permanent member you will be eligible for profit sharing from the market garden and other businesses organized by community members. Some of the income from community member businesses will be reserved for market expenses, garden expenses, infrastructure, maintenance, property taxes, etc. The remainder will be divided among participants in the businesses, according to the level of participation. If the community resources build up sufficiently, the community may subsidize all or part of the above-outlined housing costs.
- After committing to permanent membership, a 30-day notice is required if you are going to leave. This is a common courtesy to other community members which may have to adjust work activities and future plans accordingly. We also ask that long-term visitors give as early notice as possible when planning to leave.
- Currently, we are focusing on the community market garden. However, other businesses are encouraged for those wanting to expand into other areas, including edible gourmet mushrooms, solar oven baked goods, pomegranate juice (we plan to have at least 50 pomegranate bushes), eco-tourism, workshop hosting, etc.
- We encourage on-site members to interact and integrate with the larger community of Douglas and Cochise County. This may involve part-time jobs or volunteer work for charitable organizations.
- Reasonably good physical condition is helpful for gardening and building projects, but we would like to work with anyone who is interested to improve their strength and endurance if those are issues for you..
- For the next few years, the land may not be providing the full variety of food that we need to be fully self-sufficient, and you will need to obtain your own food to supplement what crops the garden is producing. There are a number of free and low-cost sources of food in Douglas, and Arizona Food Assistance is easy to obtain for those with no financial resources of their own. The Sanctuary will help out as much as it can in cases of hardship but currently the Sanctuary's resources are limited, and we are not able to bear the full responsibility of feeding participants at this time.
- We try to balance individual freedom with the needs and rights of others. We prefer participants are non-smokers, and little or no alcohol and we do not allow addictive drugs. Smokers are encouraged to make a commitment to quitting smoking. This means community indoor areas will be smoke-free. Those who consume excessive alcohol or who use addictive drugs are subject to ejection. A healthy diet is encouraged -- we encourage balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables locally grown, but we allow individual choice in this matter.
- We are a clothing optional community. If community members are naturist and wish to not wear clothing outside their private space, this may be limited to specific areas and/or times if other members have objections to nudity. Again we will do our best to balance freedom with the cultural comfort of other members. Please note that nudity (even partial nudity) in the high desert out in the sun, especially in summer, poses some health risks for skin cancer. At 4500 feet elevation, the air is thinner and UV stronger than at sea level.
- Participants are free to pursue their own spiritual or secular paths according to their own desires and beliefs. You may bring or create group ceremonies and practices if you desire. No ceremonies or spiritual practices are compulsory, and none are established by Sacred Garden Sanctuary. Proseletyzing, attempts at conversion or de-conversion to/from belief systems are not allowed, although willing members can respectfully have conversations about each others' beliefs or non-belief when mutually agreeable.
Contact us for further details concerning the Sanctuary and participation.