Elderberry is an elder cohousing community for individuals who wish to
live out their senior years (50+) in an affordable, energy-efficient
home in a beautiful, rural setting, supported by friends and neighbors.
Elderberry was conceived by members of Potluck Community Farm, a
successful and thriving intentional community which was developed in
1990. After 18 years together, members of Potluck Community Farm began
to think about how we might continue to live in our community when we
become unable to care for our homes, gardens, animals, and, ultimately,
We decided to create an adjacent senior co-housing community
to care for one another as we age, rather than moving away from our
homes to institutions such as retirement or nursing homes. We will have
a common house for interaction, activities and group meals; gardens and
pastures for raising food; and other amenities as determined by the
residents. We envision small (500-1200 sq ft), affordable, clustered homes
around a central common house (2500 sq ft) - on property adjacent to
Potluck Community Farm in rural North Carolina.
Elderberry is unique in many ways:
Elderberry is “out in the country.” The view from homes and the common
house is distinctly rural – rolling hills and fields, pastures and
pastured animals, gardens, barns, a restored farmhouse, one
hundred-year-old oak trees and abundant wildlife. It is a quiet,
tranquil place where the starry sky is unaffected by city lights.
Homes at Elderberry are affordable.
Most retirement and co-housing communities are built by a developer or
investors who profit from creation of the community (generally taking
10-20% of project costs). Retirement communities are managed by
companies that profit from the services offered. Elderberry is being
designed and built by individuals whose goal is to live there and to
provide homes that other elders can afford. The developers (future
members of the community) are taking no profits and are working to
design facilities that are functional, comfortable, energy efficient,
environmentally friendly and beautiful in their simplicity.
Care at Elderberry is personal and affordable.
At a time when the cost of eldercare (retirement homes, nursing
homes, visiting caregivers, nurses, elder daycare, etc.) can be
staggering, Elderberry offers an alternative. Members of both Elderberry
and Potluck Community Farm are committed to caring for one another. Care
committees are established when someone is in need. If hired help is
required, the cost can be shared among members needing this level of
care. Unlike independent living facilities, residents will not be asked
to move out
when they are unable to care for themselves as long as a way
can be found to care for them and they pose no threat to others. The
house will have a room designed to accommodate bed-restricted
Elderberry values the contributions of elders.
Unlike other retirement communities, Elderberry is managed by the
residents, and residents are encouraged to continue to be productive by
pursuing their passions and contributing to the community. Elderberry
members are encouraged to contribute their skills in areas such as
cooking, cleaning, gardening, maintenance, laundry, canning, crafts,
etc. The hope is that much of the food eaten at Elderberry will be grown
and harvested at Elderberry and Potluck Farm.