The new building update is that we've applied for the building permit and are still waiting to hear back from them. The architectural plans are complete and the work crew is waiting to start. The county has given us the go-ahead to set up the erosion control, which they need to approve before we move to the next step, so that will happen in the next few days. We had to move the schedule back because of some delays, so now it looks like the foundation will happen in June, the framing in July, and then the strawbale and plastering starting in August. We still plan to organize volunteer labor through internships, workdays, and workshops. Several interns have been accepted (and more applications keep coming), the workshops are scheduled, and we're excited about getting started! Stay tuned if you're interested in getting involved -- we'll be sending announcements out on our email list or you can use the form to get on our new building workshop list.
The new building update is that we're still waiting on the final architectural plans before we can get the building permit. At this point, since we're into the middle of winter, there won't be any construction before the spring. We still plan to organize some volunteer labor through internships, workdays, and workshops. For those of you who haven't heard, we're going to be building a new residence which will feature many aspects of green building, including strawbale, cob, natural plasters, natural paint, a masonry stove, passive solar heating, solar water heating, solar electricity, and rooftop water catchment. Our architect, Sigi Koko, will be leading some workshops during the building process for those who want to get hands-on education in these techniques. Stay tuned if you're interested in getting involved -- we'll be sending announcements out on our email list or you can use the form to get on our new building workshop list. A few people have expressed interest in living in one of the downstairs apartments, but so far only one is solidly spoken for (let us know if you're interested in the other one).
The big news in the community is still the new building. We've been working with architect Sigi Koko and the plans are almost complete. We originally thought we could have the roof up and plaster on the walls by first frost, but delays in the process have caused a change in plans. The current thinking is that we'll put the new road in and pour the foundation by the end of this Fall, and then do the rest in the Spring. So far we've started by taking down the mobile home (we call it the trailer) up on the hill. Several community members dismantled it over the last couple of weeks. It's a big deal to see it go, as many people have lived in that space over the years.
We still plan to organize some volunteer labor through internships, workdays, and workshops. Stay tuned if you're interested in getting involved, we'll be sending announcements out on our email list or you can use the form to get on our new building workshop list. A few people have expressed interest in living in one of the downstairs apartments, so we've started a waiting list (let us know if you want to be on it).
Our current mill renovation project is the windows -- we're trying a couple of sample windows to see what style we like best.
Spring is starting to arrive in the valley. We've been really enjoying our new kitchen in the mill now that all the renovation is finished. The biggest challenge now is where to find that particular whisk or baking pan you need now that everything is in a different place. Thanks so much to all who have donated toward the mill renovation project, it helps to know that people out there are supporting us in what we're doing. There will be more phases to the renovation in the future, but at this point we're turning our attention to the new building.
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.
Heathcote is an intentional community located 30 miles north of Baltimore, MD and 20 miles south of York, PA. It is nestled in a narrow wooded stream valley on a 44 acre community land trust plus a 68 acre plot of woods that's owned by some of our members. We are a community of friends and family who choose to live cooperatively and consciously create a better way of life. We strive to care for one another and for the natural systems that nurture us. Our diet is organic and vegetarian.