The Possibility Alliance

By Christine Nobiss

The Possibility Alliance is an off-grid, sustainable, electricity free homestead run by Sarah and Ethan Hughes. Located in Missouri, they have acquired over 200 acres of land in the past 10 years that has been allocated to other homesteaders and organizations working towards the same goal of harmony with the earth.

They are located only three hours from Iowa City and I had the good fortune of staying a few days with this group of forward thinking/backwards living group of off-grid activists and I was extremely impressed. For instance, Sarah and Ethan do not use computers, cameras and cell phones. They live completely electricity free. Twice a year they manufacture beeswax candles which they use at night to light their surroundings. I have to admit that I was a little unsure about the comfortability of living by candlelight but I took to it almost immediately (funny how I had no second thoughts about living by "electric lantern" at Standing Rock). I enjoyed the intimate ambiance and the relaxing atmosphere that candlelight created. I found myself going to sleep earlier than usual and it felt good.

The property is dotted with an historical home that has running water from the well. No hot water. There is an outdoor kitchen with rocket stoves to cook with and solar ovens where bread is baked daily. There's an old barn, beehives, two haybale houses, a goat house, a chicken house, a pond for fishing and gardens everywhere. And, at the moment there are about seven people staying/living on the property. Over the past 10 years there have been about 10,000 visitors.

Beyond the amazing practice of sustainable living that is occurring there, Ethan and Sarah are dedicated to service within the outside community. For instance, they went to Standing Rock and to Little Creek camp to provide any type of help they could. At Little Creek, they spent the day teaching us how to build compostable toilets. And on top of that, they brought food from their gardens, candles and preserves.They also regularly host direct action training workshops and all sorts of other sustainable living classes to educate people about the importance of sustainable living as a form of activism. Furthermore, they promote and participate in the process of reparations for the oppressed communities in this nation such as African Americans and Native Americans. They regularly raise money to donate to other organizations and groups of people to help them fight their social injustice causes.

In my opinion, they are doing it all and then some. They recognize their privilege and are happy to discuss it regularly with each group that comes in. They reach out to communities of color to offer assistance in any way that the community needs. They have caught onto something important at the Possibility Alliance and I look forward to working with them more.

Christine Nobiss