East Wind Community
East Wind Community is an intentional community located in the Missouri Ozarks. Founded in 1973, it is a secular and democratic community in which members hold all communities assets in common. Each member is also given food, shelter, clothing, medical care, education, and a monthly stipend. All major decisions are made by direct democratic processes and most positions in the community are elected.
East Wind Community owns 1,045 acres (4.23 km2) of land and several businesses. The community is located off Route 160 on the southern end of county road 547 in Ozark County just outside Tecumseh, Missouri.
Their stated goal is peace, social justice, and economic and social democracy. The name was taken from a quote by Mao Zedong, which was along the lines of "The East Wind shall prevail over the West."
The East Wind Community has several income sources including a nut butter business named East Wind Nutbutters that generates $500,000 annually. The community manufactures roasted peanuts, peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter and tahini as well as a peanut butter and a tahini that are organic. In addition they produce "Utopian Rope Sandals", also known as "Utopes". They used to produce handmade drums through Slackjaw Percussion. Members are required to work a certain number of hours and income from the businesses is used to support the community.
Prospective members are selected by a membership team and are then invited for a three-week visitor period, at the end of which they may become provisional members, barring the existence of too many concerns within the community. Following a one-year provisional membership full members have the opportunity to call for a vote on any new member who may either be too disruptive or who is failing to do their fair share of the labor. There is also an associate status for people who do not wish to make a full commitment to the community. A provisional member has an option to take a leave. If during the first two weeks as a provisional member this leave may be up to a year long.
East Wind is a member of the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, which also includes the communities Twin Oaks, Sandhill Farm, and several others. There are many community conferences and labor exchanges between the communities, and there is a fund which all the communities pay into to help cover any major medical expenses.
Members live in dorm style buildings and there is a central dining hall, laundry and shower house. There are also several personal shelters designated as doubles for couples and visitors. Common spaces for recreational activities including computers also exist.