A lot has happened at Heathcote since the last update. Back in the spring we started planning to purchase the neighboring Anacker property to make it part of a united Heathcote valley and expand our permaculture programs. Our land committee worked hard and the fund raising committee put together over $150,000 in donations to make it happen. Unfortunately, the Anackers turned down our offer and signed a contract with another buyer. There is still a chance that the deal won't go to settlement, so cross your fingers for us. Even if we are not able to buy the Anacker land, we are still planning to expand our permaculture demonstration and education programs by acquiring other land in the local area or continuing to improve our current land.
Another thing that happened is that we are working with the county to update our zoning status. In order to come into compliance with county regulations, we decided to move out of some of the buildings that we had been living in. There has been a little bit of shuffling -- John and Bob moved into the mill apartment, Matt and Betsy moved into the farmhouse, and Nick and Rachel moved into Polaris.
We also decided to temporarily move our educational workshops off site while we resolve our zoning status. We're working with the county to get ourselves designated as a farm, and we're asking if we can have educational programs as an "accessory use" to the farming. A lot of people have been working really hard getting the farming operations ready for the agriculture board to inspect. Appreciations all around, especially to the many volunteers who have come to our work days! We have more work days coming up, so you can still join in on the fun.
Another big bit of news is that Wren and CT are leaving the community. They have been touring the country bringing consensus and facilitation training to the Occupy movement in various cities. So with all the travel and the changes from the county, they've made the decision to take a sabbatical from Heathcote. They bought a large RV camper and will be living out of that as they travel. We had a fundraising party for them at the end of December, and we wish them well in their travels. To find out what they're up to, or to have a fundraising party for them, visit Hippie Chick Diaries at http://hippiechickdiaries.com.