Pictures from our first Anacker Day festival
We enjoy having people visit our community. Heathcote is a beautiful, peaceful place to visit. There are lots of woods for hiking, a hammock for resting, a stream for wading, and many secluded areas where you can be alone to connect with nature. Some people visit with the intention of participating in our community life and talking with community members, often because they are interested in applying for membership. Others simply want a place to spend some time alone resting and relaxing in the country.
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.
For the past 35 years, generations of Heathcoters have gone up to Anacker Acres to swing in the swings, play cards, pick apples and blackberries, and enjoy the generous hospitality of Bill and Margaret Anacker.
We are very sad to see Mike, Larissa, and their kids Galen and Noah leave the community. But we wish them well on their new adventure in Atlanta. The community is still very full, however, thanks to several new applicants. We've got Anne, Lisa, and Betsy still in the provisional membership phase, and we've got CT, Rachel, Matt, Howard and Heart now in the 21-day visit phase. We've also had Michelle and Ted staying with us as work-exchangers for the last couple of months. Ted has turned out to be a bread-baker extraordinaire (Ted the Bread-Head), and Michelle is making a beautiful mosaic in the laundry room floor out of Nick's broken pottery. I'm sad to report that they'll be leaving us this week. Our intern Jonathan left recently as well.
Another bit of big news in the community lately is that the new large greenhouse is being finished. Matt has been putting a lot of work into it, late into the evenings in the freezing cold, but it looks like it'll be ready for the upcoming growing season. Matt recently wrote an article about the greenhouse that you can read here, and there are some pictures here.
The community continues to be pretty full. We've got several new members finishing up their provisional membership, plus there are currently 6 interns here! Three of them, Kwame, Patty, and Matt, have been here for quite some time, and the other three, Kat, Eric, and Tori just got here at the beginning of June and will be here for 1 to 2 months. But it's great to have such energy and enthusiasm in the community! We've been having weekly intern nights where we get together in the evening and hang out and socialize with the interns. We've had a bonfire, game night, drumming, and almost had a hot-tub party so far.
There is a lot happening at Heathcote these days. We've had several new people join us, which has brought our numbers up to 15 adults and 6 kids. Mike & Larissa, with their two boys Galen and Noah, have moved in and are now doing their provisional membership. Also Gloria has completed her 21-day visit and is waiting for the room in Polaris (the staw-bale building) to be ready for her to move into so she can start her provisional membership. We also have Betsy back, who used to be a member and is now back and taking over as lead gardener. And then we have Anne who will be joining us to start the membership process later this month, and Steve the intern who is thinking about applying for membership.
It's been really fun to start using the wood-fired cob hot tub. We've had a couple of hot-tub parties so far. We're still trying to figure out how to control the fire to get just the right temperature, but we're starting to get the hang of it.
Welcome to the new Heathcote website! We're excited to give our old site a facelift. The content it pretty much the same for now, but we started using a web framework called Drupal, which will allow us to add lots of new features. So keep checking back over the next few weeks to see what we come up with. The plan is to have it be very interactive. Let us know what you think.
It's an exciting time at Heathcote. One big news item is that we've got a family living in the new strawbale building now! Greg, Juji, Ursa and Avin, who had been living in the mill apartment while waiting for the new building to be finished, moved in during the July visitor weekend. It's been a long time coming! We still need to finish up the two units on the first floor, but the end is in sight!