The big news is still the mill kitchen renovation. Michael and Betsy have gutted the first floor of the mill, all except for the dining room (which is serving as our temporary kitchen) and the gear-works room. All the walls and ceilings are in, as well as the cabinets. The countertops and flooring is in the process of being installed. They're getting really close to having it finished. It's an exciting process, and we're still managing with our little temporary kitchen and eating outside. Now that Fall is settling into the valley, it seems like a race to see if we can get it all finished and all the kitchen stuff moved back in before it gets too cold to eat outside any more. By the way, we've launched a bit of a fundraising effort to help fund all this, so please consider helping out with a donation. One cool part is that the entryway wall is evolving as an experiment in alternative building materials (wattle and daub, light clay straw, and cob) that Greg and Juji and some others are practicing with (here's a link where you can find out more about these techniques). We may end up using some of these materials and techniques in the new building next year.
We made it through the recent hurricane (Isabel) with little damage. There were several trees down across the hill house road, and one tree fell over at the edge of the cabin road, over toward the fire circle, resulting in a large hole in the cabin road where the roots used to be. We got that fixed in time for the power company trucks to come get all the trees off of the power lines. We had power back after about six days. Luckily the large dead trees next to the hill house didn't come down on the building (or on Dana and the animals for that matter!).
The house concerts have been a fun addition to life at Heathcote. We've been scheduling them every other month, which seems like a good interval for us. The music has been really good, and we feel lucky to have such high-caliber performers in an intimate setting without the smoke and chatter you'd get in a nightclub.
Michael has been keeping us musical as well by organizing monthly Jazz Jam Sessions. They're the third Saturday of each month from 1:30 to 4:00. Call Michael at 410-357-8890 if you'd like to come jam!
In membership news, Bob has been approved as a provisional member and is about a third of the way through the process. A couple of others have expressed interest in membership as well.
Greg, Dana, and Paul have gotten their Heathcote Earthings coop going with a couple of festivals each month plus a website where people can buy earth-friendly and fair-trade gifts on line.