March 2006

Our new strawbale building is almost starting to look like a home! Well OK, it still doesn't have any doors or windows yet, now that the strawbales are in place in the walls, you can start to imagine what it'll look like when it's done. You can watch the progress by looking at pictures in our Photo Gallery. We've got one intern, John, working on it along with Michael and Brian, and we've got a couple more interns scheduled to start once the weather gets a little bit warmer. The first natural building workshop, focusing on the strawbale walls, happened in February and went really well. It was a popular event - we had about 25 people and had to turn a few away due to space limitations. The next workshop will focus on earthen plaster on May 13 & 14. If you're on our natural building email list you'll be contacted on a regular basis with construction and workshop updates.

This Spring there's a lot of activity around membership. We're getting ready for Michael and Jette, and their kids Ben and Jonathan to leave at the end of June. Already we've got another family (Dominic and Angela and their 4 kids) going through the membership process in anticipation of moving into the farmhouse. Frank and his family are going through the associate membership process, with the thought of possibly coming to live here some day. Others have expressed interest in becoming members once new spaces open up when the new building is done. So between that and the workshops and all the visitors we've been having on visitor's weekends, there are a lot of new faces around Heathcote. It feels like an infusion of new energy and ideas.

We've got a few events scheduled into the Spring and Summer. Dana's "Open Classroom for Homeschoolers" is doing well, with 4 Heathcote kids and 2 occasional neighbors. Karen is still working on her Gaia University extension and is thinking about having a permaculture design course soon. We've got House Concerts scheduled for May, June, and September (tentatively). And Charles continues to lead World Music Drumming on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month. DanceFree is getting to be popular - now that we're co-sponsoring it with the Inspiration Community we've got some new faces coming to that.

Work has been slow on the mill renovation. Karen and Bob have taken the Winter off from working on the windows, but now that it's starting to get warm again they should be starting up again, maybe with the help of some our new interns. One aspect of Michael leaving is that we'll be loosing our paid maintenance person, so we're looking for another "handy-person" to take over. Please let us know if you know anyone who might be interested (find out more).