Remaking life in the Midwest suburbs. We want a different life. This simple fact can get buried under the confusion of current events, a plethora of takes, or just the latest drama. So how do we create new ways of life in these times—communal, dignified, and enduring?
In this interview, we speak with Ann Kreilkamp about an experiment two decades in the making, an ever-evolving answer to the question of what truly sustains us. Reclaiming ranch houses and cultivating front yards, blurring property lines and breaking with an architecture of separation, the Green Acres Permaculture Village is an imaginative, collective re-inhabiting of the formerly private. With an accompanying photo essay by Mia Beach, we begin to see how life can already be otherwise, even in unlikely places.
Recognizing the value of viewing this experiment as a new “retrofit” template for how to live in the suburbs, via re-imagining both people and place, we began to host weekly dinners for neighbors and friends far and wide, as a way of sharing the bounty of our own social and spiritual practice of growing community from the ground up. Thanks to the collective soul-searching brought on by lockdown, we hear more and more from neighbors and others who walk by the recognition that our way of living and being in community with each other and the land is the way of the future.
Read more: Worlds – Inhabit: Territories