There are several new things happening at Heathcote to talk about. First, news of members coming and going. Thia, who was going through the membership process, decided to move on, so she left us around Thanksgiving. Then Andrea decided to become a member so she's currently a provisional member. And we've got Nick joining us for his 21-day visit (an early stage of the process). Also, we're glad to have Devin here as an intern for the 2009 gardening season. He's here now getting an early start on the gardens plus helping out with the open classroom homeschooler program and a little bit of maintenance here and there. It's exciting to have all the new faces around contributing their energy and enthusiasm!
Spring is here in the valley, and the flowers are out and very beautiful. The wysteria along the fence in the playground were very colorful this year.
We have some new members on the gardening committee, and the gardens are swinging into life again this year. Actually, since it was a mild winter we had a little bit coming into the kitchen from the greenhouse almost all winter.
It has been a long, long time since the last update on our strawbale building. This spring and summer we completed the 3 coats of lime plaster on the exterior of the building. We then put on three coats of white lime wash. So the exterior of the building is now pretty well complete.
We had a great summer and are starting to wind down for the cold season. We had several interns this summer and we appreciate all their help. Peggy was our intern supervisor (with some help from Karen). Some of the interns were Magda (who was here for just about the whole summer), Simone, Lili, Harriet, John, Katie, and then Niall later in the summer. Niall just left the weekend after Thanksgiving, and now we're down to just Regina, who is working with the homeschoolers in the open classroom.
The big news around Heathcote these days is that the Farmhouse is empty and we're looking for new members to fill it. It's a large comfortable house with 5 bedrooms: 3 upstairs (perfect for a family) and 2 downstairs. If you know of anyone who might be interested in living in community, please refer them to us.
The strawbale building is coming along. Current estimates are that it will be finished in the Fall of '07. There was a race to get the rest of the straw bales covered before the cold weather hit, but it turned out to be a milder winter than expected and Dominic was able to get it finished up with some help from Angela. Now the work continues on the inside, with mud plastering and drywall going in. We are still looking for natural building interns for the Spring, and we will have at least one more natural building workshop (although the date is still up in the air). You can watch the progress by looking at pictures in our Photo Gallery. If you're on our natural building email list you'll be contacted on a regular basis with construction and workshop updates.
The strawbale building is progressing nicely. Many of the doors and windows are in, there are two coats of earthen plaster on the inside, and the lime plaster is going up on the outside. We've had three of our natural building workshops so far, with a fourth scheduled for the first weekend of August. We've currently got four interns working on plastering (Philip, Brian, Peggy, and Kim) and three more (Luke, Danny, and John) that were here earlier this Spring but have moved on. Dominic, one of our new provisional members, is working with the interns as the intern coordinator, and our neighbor Brian has taken over from Michael as the general contractor. You can watch the progress by looking at pictures in our Photo Gallery. If you're on our natural building email list you'll be contacted on a regular basis with construction and workshop updates.
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.
The new building project is making good progress. The framing is almost complete and the roof is expected to be finished by Thanksgiving. You can watch the progress by looking at pictures in our Photo Gallery. Our four summer interns (Mike, Avi, Jason, and Roxanna) have left now, along with Christopher (who goes to Florida for the winter), leaving Michael and Bob working on the project with our Fall intern Branden and a neighbor named Brian. At this point it looks like the natural building workshops that we're planning will happen in the spring. That's when they'll be starting to work with strawbales, cob, natural and earthen plasters, etc. If you're on our natural building email list you'll be contacted on a regular basis with construction and workshop updates.
The new building project is coming along slowly but steadily. The foundation is just about done and the building team has begun to work on the framing. The masonry stove has arrived and the initial assembly is done. You can watch the progress by looking at pictures in our Photo Gallery. We've got four interns (Mike, Avi, Jason, and Roxanna) working with Michael and Christopher on the project. They tell us that it's much more complex than a normal building and that's why it's taking longer than expected. So far we've had to postpone our scheduled workshops a couple of times, and it looks like the project will continue into next spring. If you're on our new building email list you'll be contacted on a regular basis with updates.