We’ve Landed

by ziggy on December 6, 2013 -- 4 comments -- Follow

forest-retreats

A look at our new (transitional) home in Berea, KY! (Photo taken in early spring)

We have landed in Berea, Kentucky. We… live here now. That’s a strange thing to say, after investing so much of our lives into Dancing Rabbit for so long. April and I are both intensely excited for our future here, and it’s merely just begun.

I guess we haven’t officially moved just yet, as we are still DR members. Until the day we sell our two homes, we need to retain membership. And we haven’t moved everything out here just yet — basically just the essentials for living here through the spring. Our bee hives, valuable furniture, boring machines, scaffolding… you know, things that wouldn’t really fit in a small vehicle have been left behind for now.

Anyway, here’s what we’re looking at for our new lives in Berea for the next few months.

We have been blessed with a transitional place to live from our new (and very generous!) friends. April and I are sharing living space on a lovely homestead with our good friend Jacob, who is our partner in this new adventure we’re beginning. In the coming weeks, we’ll begin our hunt for land with Jacob. We’d like to acquire enough (and appropriate) land to start a collective homestead and sustainable living and natural building school. That’s how we are characterizing it now, anyway. Part of our work this winter will be carefully defining what it is we want to create.

As best can be stated now, we want land to build a functional homestead, where we can grow most of our own food, raise animals, practice regenerative land management / permaculture / sustainable food production. We also want to create a homestead brimming with creative opportunities, where we (and others) can practice the work of creating a more self-sufficient life. That includes things like constructing our own natural buildings, doing woodworking, spinning wool and making clothing, making candles, etc. You know, the good life. The “simple” life. (More on the “simple” theme later…) Education will be a major theme, for ourselves and providing opportunities for folks interested in a living a little more lightly.

Next week, we’re going on our first trip to look at some potential land. In the meantime, we’re looking forward to seeing some of the folks we’ve met earlier in the year. And… there’s talks of doing some natural building workshops this year, too. More on that later, though.

This is a lovely area that we’ve found ourselves in.

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  • JT Croteau

    Welcome to your new transitionary home. Can’t wait to see what you two come up with for the new homestead. Back to Missouri for a bit though.

    My land is in Missouri, 3 .5 hours south of Dancing Rabbit, 1400′ elevation in the Ozark mountains. I have never spent much time in northern Missouri so I don’t know how much different the climate is. However, do you think something like Gobcobatron would work deep in the mountain of southern Missouri? I want to build with as many natural materials from my land as possible and that means oak, hickory, and stone.. lots of stone on my 5 acres. Would you do anything different in my situ?

    I have too many armchair homesteaders telling me that cob would never work in Missouri. I point them to structures on Dancing Rabbits property and they say “well, ask me again in 20 years if they are still standing”. *facepalm*

    Many thanks for your time.

  • Adam

    Welcome to Kentucky! I live about an hour north of Berea, and stumbled on this website by accident as I was dreaming and clicking through an image search of cob construction. My wife and I have a dream rather parallel to the one you described above, and we’re looking for land in our area to begin our own transition. We’ve never built with cob, but we’re really interested. Folks at permies.com had recommended DR in Missouri and Disputanta Cob in Berea. Will you be doing workshops as you build at your new homestead site? We are a family of 5 looking to implement as much simplicity in our permaculture as we can. Best of luck with your move. I’ve subscribed to get your updates, and I look forward to reading more.

  • JT Croteau, I have been to some of the cob houses in cedar county. I am not sure where you are exactly though. Look up Jerry Diamond. He may be able to take you to some of the houses in that area. My opinion is that you would be better off with something like straw bale. Incorporating earth tubes may make cob a reasonable option though.

  • JT: Hard to say what I would do, as I would need to see and scope out your site in detail to better understand nuances… but in general, I would probably rule out cob, as it just isn’t insulative at all, and you will likely be much more comfortable and burning less wood with something like straw bale. Read this here: http://www.small-scale.net/yearofmud/2011/03/03/cob-building-is-not-appropriate-for-this-cold-climate/

    Adam: We will definitely be hosting more workshops in this area! If we do any cob, it will likely be in the form of cob ovens, maybe garden walls, because cob is a marginal material for this climate as well, I do believe. Please sign up for our newsletter to keep informed of new events: http://www.small-scale.net/yearofmud/about/subscribe/

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