2 November, 1989 | A page from the handmade "Book of Sunflowers" made by Sherri "Baby" Canon.

Sunflower Co-op is one of Austin’s longest standing independent1 co-ops residing on the city’s south side.

Sunflower was established in 1980 by a group of men and women "who envisioned establishing a small, vegetarian, independent co-operative."2 Since then, it’s been called home by hundreds of members young and old, and from various walks of life.

Almost 40 years after its founding, house members (many younger than Sunflower itself!) dug into the archives (read: dusty plastic file bins in our shed). The result is this website, documenting this co-op's special legacy.

1Independent = not strictly a student co-op.

Learn about Sunflower's history

Fall 2001 | A brainstorm of house identity and values. This piece of cardboard hangs framed in the living room.

"Sunflower Co-operative exists to provide affordable sustainable housing in perpetuity and to practice consensus decision-making in an equitable environment.

"Our vision is to create a vehicle for sustainable community and provide affordable co-operative housing. To this end we will embody the values of self-sufficiency, responsibility, community and harmonious living. We will draw on the wealth of knowledge of past and present members with future generations in mind.

We seek to integrate social, financial and environmental sustainability by:

  • Simpler, richer, more satisfying living
  • Treating each other with compassion and understanding
  • Peaceful conflict resolution
  • Respecting all living beings and the Earth
  • Evolving dynamically and organically."

- Sunflower Mission Statement, 2010