Heathcote's 50th Anniversary Campaign

 "Every Inch An Eden"

 

Heathcote is an intentional community and permaculture demonstration site that provides a unique opportunity for people to engage in experiential learning about sustainability, social and economic justice, and cooperative living in a beautiful natural setting that promotes healing and transformation.  For our 50th anniversary we are raising funds to upgrade our facilities for our ongoing educational work.

 

Your donation will help us to:

•   Develop our Permaculture demonstration farm

•   Improve our educational facilities (a historic Mill and Barn)

•   Support our ongoing educational work

 

 

   

 

In honor of our founder, Mildred Loomis, we are adopting one her favorite sayings as theme for this initiative:  “Every Inch an Eden”.  Mildred understood that beauty and order needed to be part and parcel of our lives together, and of both the face and content of what we offer to the wider audience of the world.

 

Project Goals

 

1.  Develop our Permaculture Demonstration Farm

We are developing Heathcote as a permaculture demonstration site that showcases intensive organic food production on a sustainable farm.  Within the last 5 years we've expanded the area under cultivation added added new infrastructure, and we plan to continue working on these projects.  

We intend to focus on the following farm projects:

  • Develop areas for growing annual organic food crops and perennial crops such as fruit trees, berries, and insectory plants. 
  • Complete and sustain existing farm infrastructure including 2 hoop houses, fencing, drip irrigation systems, lined catch basin and solar pump.
  • Build an accessible garden where people with disabilities can grow food and engage in hands-on learning about permaculture.

 

Heathcote's 96' x 24' greenhouse built mostly of materials from our site and salvaged materials.  Special thanks to Matt Belmont, our former lead farmer (pictured above), who designed the greenhouse and led the project implementation.

 

2.     Improve our educational facilities (a historic Mill and Barn)

Heathcote Community members and volunteers have been restoring our historic Mill and barn for many years.  The Mill is our community center and contains spaces that we use for our educational programs including a kitchen, dining room, conference room, bathrooms, and bunk room.  The Barn has a wood shop and provides space for learning carpentry skills.  

We will use the funds we raise to:

  • Update our zoning status
  • Restore the mill windows and repoint the exterior
  • Finish upgrading the bunk room and furnishing the conference room
  • Repair and paint the Barn

 

The Heathcote Mill with Bob Geissel, our master carpenter, who has implemented most of the historic restoration work over the past 10 years.  This includes restoring the windows on the first floor, repairing the third floor siding, and making a new main entrance door.  Special thanks to Charlie Dorsey who painted the siding on the third floor.

 

3.     Sustain and expand Heathcote's education programs

In order to restore the health and well being of natural systems and human communities globally, Americans need to understand and shift to a more sustainable way of living rooted in the values of justice, equity and cooperation.  Heathcote models an alternative paradigm of what a more socially and ecologically just world might look like and offers trainings focused on permaculture design; small-scale, intensive sustainable agriculture; social justice; cooperative skills; and community processes.

Heathcote’s education programs currently include:

  • Permaculture Design Certificate Courses
  • Workshops on various topics
  • Internships
  • Visitor Days
  • Homeschooling events
  • Outreach presentations

 

Permaculture Design Course students learning about sustainability at Heathcote

 

Heathcote's History

From 1965, when Heathcote was founded as a School of Living education center, to the present, Heathcoters have practiced and explored cooperative living, and taught others what we have learned.  Heathcote has embraced and leveraged the potential for transformation and good works inherent within social change movements: from homesteading to permaculture and sustainability; from civil rights to feminism and LGBT rights, et. al. Through each cultural moment, Heathcote has continued to thrive as an intentional community, model an alternative paradigm of what a more socially and ecologically just world might look like, and inspire those who pass through our “happy valley.”

Over the past 50 years, thousands of people have connected to Heathcote as members, interns, workshop participants, visitors, and guests.   They may have come to garden, for permaculture, to make music or dance, for natural building, to relax and rejuvenate, to teach or learn, and/or to experience community living.  Sharing their time, energy, and presence here has made Heathcote what it is today.  

 

Heathcote's Educational Achievements (1995-2015)

Event

Number of Events

Number of Participants

Permaculture Design Certificate Course

14

156

Other workshops

45

557

Interns

 

67

Visitor Weekends, Visitor Days, Volunteer Days & Group Visits

140

1,017

Homeschooling Events

23

238

Outreach Presentations & Events

70

1,593

House Concerts

25

615

Other Events

103

1,494

Total

420

5,719

Note:  The Permaculture Design Course and Internship data is from 1995 to present. The rest of the data is from 2002-2015.  Visitor Day data from 2002-2011 is based on estimates. 

Thanks to all the volunteers and supporters who made these programs possible!

 

The Current Community

Currently we are an intergenerational community of about a dozen people and we are looking for a few more.  We live in what we refer to as the mill, the farmhouse, the cabin, and a newer strawbale house we call Polaris.  Most of us have lived here for 10 years or more, and our newest member is a former Heathcoter who lived here in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. 

 

Heathcote Community members at our holiday dinner on December 18, 2014.   Front row:  Bob, Karen, Juji, Ursa, Avin.  Back row:  Ana, Carol, Paul, Greg, Betsy, Richard.

 

Project Partners

School of Living, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the fiscal sponsor for Heathcote’s educational programs. Heathcote is part of the School of Living community land trust.  www.SchoolOfLiving.org.

Fusion Partnerships is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is serving as the fiscal sponsor for this project.  Through collaborative action, Fusion Partnerships works to be a catalyst for justice and peace. www.FusionGroup.org.  

 

How to Help

We invite you to make a contribution to this cause. Your gift helps to pass on the legacy of Heathcote Community to coming generations.  

 

  • Tax-deductible donations to support this project can be made to School of Living.

 

   

  • You can send a check payable to School of Living with “Heathcote” written in the memo line. Mail checks to Heathcote Community, 21300 Heathcote Rd., Freeland, MD  21053.
  • Or if you think you might be interested in supporting us, drop us a line at info@heathcote.org or call 410-357-9523.  Opportunities include volunteering and other donations.