How We Operate
People often ask about how the economics work at Heathcote. Do we have community businesses that new members can get involved with? Do we pool our income and share expenses? How do we get the money it takes to maintain the buildings and run the programs?
We don't currently have community businesses, although several of our members are very interested in making that happen at some point. There have been various efforts to start community businesses, but so far there hasn't been a consensus as to what that would be. So at this point each community member needs to earn income individually.
Some communities pool their income but Heathcote does not. In order to cover community expenses, such as building maintenance and educational programs, community members make monthly contributions. We used to charge a fixed amount for dues and a variable amount for rent that was based on the space that each person was using, but we recently switched over to a pledge system. With the new system people are free to balance their excitement about contributing to the growth of the community with their individual needs and their specific income situation. Each year we go through a budget process where we use the consensus process to balance the community's needs with the amounts that each of us can pledge. You can find typical pledge expenses on our membership page (we use the old rent/dues amounts as a guideline).
When it comes to food, Heathcote pools its resources to buy (mostly) organic vegetarian food in bulk. We each make a monthly payment for food which covers all of our meals (except snacks, etc). We eat most evening meals together and take turns cooking supper on a rotation schedule.
Community Members & Their Businesses
Many of us at Heathcote have created entrepreneurial ways of making a living close to the community. Others of us commute to jobs outside the community, or do a little of each. Here is a list of the current businesses that exist in the community. Please consider supporting them with your business. People who are interested in becoming Heathcote members might be able to plug into one or more of them, but that would be up to the individual to negotiate.
Bob & John -- Carpentry / Construction
Sometimes these guys work in the community on maintenance and improvements. Other times they have projects outside the community.
Carol & Paul -- Integrative Breathwork
Integrative Breathwork is a focussed breathing technique. By freeing the breath one learns to breathe through difficult or uncomfortable experiences and feelings where the tendency has been to hold one's breath. Energy from a denied experience can be freed up and released. The after-effects of this can be an enormous sense of relief. Old patterns of holding begin to gently break up and a new sense of aliveness enters as the breath anchors one's self in the present. Call Carol or Paul at 443-491-3486 to schedule a session.
Charles -- World Music Drumming
Charles teaches various classes in music and Spanish.
Dana & Greg -- Heathcote Earthings
Heathcote Earthings searches the world over for products that are gentle on the Earth and fairly traded from those who create them. A couple of us at Heathcote have joined together as a cooperative in order to sell crafts and gifts, mostly at festivals. Wherever possible, we're focusing on Earth-friendly products that are fair traded. We're really excited to be able to use exciting vendors like:
- 10,000 Villages
- Aurora Glass
among others. All purchases from Heathcote Earthings contribute to building a new economic paradigm for the planet, because Heathcote Earthings is organized as a cooperative rather than a corporation. One of our main interests in the project is to explore alternatives to the profit-driven corporate paradigm. Rather than having CEO's making millions while workers make minimum wage, we're all equal partners in the Heathcote Earthings coop.
Juji -- Birthways
Juji is a midwife, mother, nurse, and advanced mentor candidate with Birthing From Within She has been studying, teaching and attending births for the past 7 years. You can find out more about her birth preparation and parenting classes at the Birthways website.
Karen -- Permaculture Education
Karen does the lion share of the permaculture education at Heathcote. Contact her for permaculture intros or if you're interested in taking a design course at some point. She's currently working on putting together a college semester course on community and permaculture.
Paul -- Custom Software and Web Design
Paul is a software programmer and has a company called CoOpTek which is organized as a worker-owned cooperative. He uses various software and database languages (C#, C++, Java, Visual Basic, etc.) in Windows or UNIX environments to create custom software and web pages for corporate clients. He is also the Heathcote webmaster. Call Paul at 410-427-9507 for more information.