Starting to see homes!

By Anthony Weston

At our October 27th Last Saturday event, the Planning, Design, and Development Circle presented the Schematic Designs for two prototype HM residences to an appreciative crowd of about eighteen members plus a few toddlers.

To set the context, Hope led us in a review of the key values that are guiding the development of our architectural plans.  It’s a wonder that there are more than 50 of them!  Using a large Wheel of Sustainability taped to the wall, participants selected pre-marked post-its and placed each value in the most appropriate category.  Here’s a sample:  Social values in play include shared spaces and resources, shared dwellings, supporting diversity, a balance of public and private spaces, accessibility for all ages and abilities, and connected flow between homes.  Ecological values include compact village layout, orientation to sun and wind, low energy demands, natural, local, and recycled/able materials, attractive outdoor spaces, kitchen gardens.  Culture/Worldview values include intimacy with the natural world, a movement from “I” to “We”, inspiration, beauty and creativity.  Economic values include economic viability, small homes, fewer possessions and more sharing, affordable housing and low building costs, self-build options, multi-use spaces, cooperative ownership model, flexible housing to meet different needs, and fairly comparable dwellings — no built-in inequality.

Next, I came forward (electronically, from Chile…) to briefly review the last six months of intensive planning work that have brought us to this point and that informs the plans we were about to unveil.

The “Building Block” plan is one: people who need a refresher (which us probably most people: it’s a complex thing) please refer back to this blog post from the Spring. and be sure to review Katy’s excellent slideshow linked to it.

I went on to explain how we came to be working with Jonathan Lucas of Asheville’s What on Earth Architecture. Under Jonathan’s guidance, PDD this spring worked out a set of “Design Goals and Considerations” to define the schematic design work that is now nearing completion. Among other things, we decided to move forward with two prototype designs: what we are now calling the Shared House (common living/dining/cooking/porch area with four 1-room suites that may or may not be lived in independently) and the Small Family Flex House (one-story 2 bedroom house with a 2-room attached suite, ditto).

Again a previous blog post reviews this in more detail.  Key takeaways for now are: 1) These designs are only schematic in the sense that they are just first sketches. We’ve taken a long step toward specificity – we can now see what some of the residences might actually look like – but these designs are certainly not “set in stone”.  We want feedback!  And 2) There will be other residential options. We chose these two for our first designs because they are quite different from each other and therefore help define a range of possibilities and also set some general features of layout and style, but there will be others: next up is probably a two-story and duplexable 2 bedroom family house.

Katy then unveiled the floorplans and elevations for the two prototypes. She walked us through each of them in turn. You can find them here and here. Please take the time to review them carefully, notice that both have multiple pages and quite a bit of detail. The elevations are several pages in.

The Last Saturday session continued with break-out groups to explain the plans in more detail, and to gather reactions, suggestions, and general feedback, which they then brought  back to the whole group for a debrief.

The general reaction was overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic!  People repeatedly pointed to the thoughtfulness of the layouts, the flow of the spaces, the prospect of well-lit interiors, many outdoor spaces, and the earthiness of the colors and finishes as very attractive features. In fact the biggest complaint we got was a general dislike of the wet bar in the bedroom of the two-room suite, which is easily changeable with a few strokes at the architect´s keyboard.  Those of us who have had our noses to this particular grindstone for months (OK, actually, it´s really fun sometimes too, but still a long haul) are gratified and grateful all around – to the community, to Jonathan Lucas, and to each other – for a job done well. And now, onward!

Any HM member who did not have a chance to attend the Last Saturday meeting is also welcome to come by Hart’s Nest (with notice!) and review all of the attached documents including larger printouts of the plans.  Email inquires are also more than welcome to me at weston@elon.edu or Katy at katy@hartsmill.org.

Please do take the time to respond – this is the moment when things can be readily changed, and we need to hear everyone´s thoughts and suggestions before taking more definitive responses and suggestions back to Jonathan.

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Michael Comes to Hart’s Mill

by Margret Mueller

Hurricane Michael, that is!
 
Compared with the indescribable suffering farther south, of course, we have absolutely nothing to complain about. Still, many of us were affected by this storm—too much water (on the heels of Hurricane Florence’s six inches!), too much wind (yards covered with nature’s debris), and power outages. Several of us went to the land the morning after with some trepidation. I was prepared to see damage to our Grandmother Oak, as predicted by Jake Presley two years ago. Remarkably, not a branch was lost!  
 
Hope and Paul walked the trails and did some minor clearing. They reported that a large dead pine came down between the tractor shed and the pump house, thankfully missing both structures as well as the trailer holding our two precious solar panels. I was also pleased to see that this was not the dead pine the Pileated woodpeckers had chosen for a home!
 
The positive side of a hurricane blowing through is that it tends to suck the humidity out of the air, so Saturday’s planned workday dawned clear, bright, and cool. The major workday plan was for trail maintenance.  Hope and Maria tackled our newest wetland trail while Jeffry, Margret, Lisa, George, Vanessa and Lizel worked on the McGowan Creek trail. We met Paul and visitor Jamie coming from the opposite direction, and we all converged on the cob house to admire Joe and Randy lime-coating the nearly-completed structure. Randy was called upon to give an impromptu explanation of this project. 
 
It was not until Jeffry backed the tractor out of the shed so I could mow, that we noticed Michael’s more extensive effect. A large pine tree had fallen onto the roof of the tractor shed from behind, crushing a portion of the metal roof and cracking three rafters! With Vanessa’s “seize the moment” attitude, a team was assembled to tackle the repair on the spot. With George acting as foreman, he, Vanessa, Jeffry, Paul and Lizel utilized our hydraulic jack and existing scrap lumber and nails, and Voila! The shed was repaired. Spontaneous cooperation in action!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Since building things is not my field of expertise, I went off to address a different “field”–one with way-too-tall grass and saplings, and made a good start on mowing. At 5:30 those of us who could stay gathered at the pavilion to enjoy refreshments and a fine campfire. 
 
See what you’re missing? Come join us on our next scheduled workday, Saturday November 10th. Details to be sent out soon.
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What a Concept! Update on Architecture

by Anthony Weston
 
Our Architect, Jonathan Lucas of What On Earth Architecture, has taken PDD – the Planning, Design, and Development Circle – through a systematic process to develop the designs for our residences. it’s time for a progress report on developments so far. 
 
With Jonathan’s guidance, we worked out specific Design Goals for the village generally and for two types of residences in particular. We chose to work first with a 2-bedroom house with an attached 2-room suite and also a Shared house with 4, 1-room suites. (if you need a reminder about the “Building Block” plan with suites, check out this blog post from April.) There will be other types of residence as well – these two may not even be the most common types – but we picked these two as prototypes because they are fairly different in a variety of ways but between them should allow us to sort out basic design issues for all of the residences.
 
The next step was Concept Design for those two types of residences: not all the way to an actual floor plan, but a layout of the relative sizes and interconnections of the rooms, to insure that everything works and flows as hoped. So… below are the Concept Designs we are working with.   Comments and questions are welcome to Anthony at weston@elon.edu. 
 
The really exciting bit comes next: Schematic Design — actual floor plans and elevations (drawings of the buildings as they will look from the outside). Indeed PDD is now working through the first Schematic Designs for the Shared House, and will circulate these shortly too. Speaking of which… all members interested in architecture should also take note of the October Last Saturday event, October 27th 3-6 pm, where we will share our architectural program and progress in detail. Please come!  RSVP to Anthony: weston@elon.edu.
 
Start imagining living in these spaces!  KEY: Blue codes for private areas; yellow for common areas; brown is transitional space; green is attached outdoor space (porches).
 
2-bedroom with 2-room suite.  Click here for larger image.
 
 
 
Shared house with 4, 1-bedroom suites.  Click here for larger image.
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Pumphouse Drama

By Anthony Weston

As all assiduous readers of this blog will know, in early September we had a dedicated workday/workshop to raise the slipstraw walls of the pumphouse. Terry, Joe, Randy, Amy, Sean, and me, all of us led by NC’s cob guru and HM advisor, Greg Allen, got ourselves thoroughly clay-covered and all literally had a hand in the building of walls between the frame structure that I have been patiently assembling with the help of others — most recently George. You can see the first steps — some cob beginnings, and some of the forms for the first layer of slipstraw, basically straw coated with a thin film of clay — in the first photo. 

But then did the wall go up! By the end of the day, Greg had begun plastering and the walls were close to the top. Check out the second photo. It’s going to be beautiful! 

We quit just in time for Anthony and Amy to finish packing up before rains came — in fact we just slipped in this workday before a run of rainy days. And then things really got serious, when the forecasts for Hurricane Florence called for possibly 60 mph winds and days and days of heavy rain. What to do? Slipstraw should not get very wet. Normally it’s protected by the plaster that encases it, but we’d just started and the plaster was partial and itself not yet dry. The answer you can see in there third photo: I wrapped the whole thing up and put on a layer of serious tarps, thoroughly strapped down. Greg’s good advice!

In the event, Florence was not so bad. I have been able to take off the tarps and the wrapping, let it start drying out again, and am resuming work again before I head off to join Amy in Chile. In fact if anyone wants to join — helping put on the roof especially — I expect to be at it all weekend (29 and 30 September) and would welcome the help — just let me know. Regardless, though, stop by and have a look next time you are on the land. The stone bench built into the front is meant for sitting — give it a try!

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 SWE-E-E-E-E-E-T! !

 By Margret Mueller
 

Wednesday, September 19, was sweet-potato-digging day at Hart’s Mill. What began in June as    3 1/2  orderly rows of sweet-potato slips  had become a solid  blanket of tangled purple-blossomed green vines.   Here and there “volunteer” watermelon and tomato vines popped out of the mass, and bees buzzed happily around the flowers.

 

You may have noticed that we did not send out an announcement or a plea for help. It is an unfortunate aspect of small farms that many tasks occur on a “seize-the-moment” basis. We knew they needed harvesting soon, but the 6-plus inches of hurricane rain we got Sunday and Monday moved the task to the front of the line. Prospects of wet, rotting roots were all the motivation we needed!

There was no question of taking the tractor  into the muddy bed. Jeffry and I spent a good part of the very hot day using clippers (to cut vines), spading forks, and our own two hands to pull the potatoes out of the wet soil.  We spread them onto a tarp as they came out, to get a start on drying. Most of the potatoes were beautifully-shaped thanks to having an unusually sandy clay soil. 

Next we crated up the potatoes and toted all three hundred pounds of them to the container shed for curing (consisting of a week or so in dark, very warm conditions), which will be followed by cooler storage at home.

 

We grew 5 varieties.  Top-to-bottom in the photo they are Hernandez, Purple, Carolina Ruby, Mahon and a mystery variety moved from Anthony’s plot in the former community garden.  If all goes well they will eventually find themselves gently washed and for sale at the Chapel Hill Farmer’s Market!

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Splendid September Calendar and August Highlights

We realize that a blog post is not the ideal place to list a long calendar of events!  So to view/download a September calendar pdf, click here.   

AUGUST HIGHLIGHTS

  • Amid the rain and multiplying mushrooms, work on the land and the farm continued apace in August. We’re looking forward to a Labor Day Work Camp and Fence Raising this weekend – see below for details.  Better yet, SHOW UP!  Every person who comes is a gift. 
  • You’ve been following the pumphouse progress since the well was drilled last spring. It’s now got good stone boots, a wood-frame body & hat, and we’re aiming to fill in the walls with slipstraw on September 8th, making this the second earthen-building project on the land.  This is a great opportunity for a lucky few to learn from a master – Greg Allen of the Mud Dauber school.  See below for details and registration.
  • We had a sweet Last Saturday afternoon with new members at Hart’s Nest. Leaders from all of our Circles were on hand to answer questions and share our vision, accomplishments, and challenges to come.  We welcome our new friend Jessica and new visiting member Barbara!

See you in September!

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Workday Wonders

by Margret Mueller

After a very rainy week, Sunday August 5th dawned clear and bright. Our main task for this day was to spruce up our entry from Frazier Road all the way to the tractor shed. Jeffry (weed whacker and riding mower) and Margret (push mower, hand weeding tool, and clippers) tackled the sadly-overgrown roadside entrance. A couple dozen small invasive Ailanthus trees had sprouted up along the ditches, our small decorative planting was subsumed by weeds, the shrubs and Redbud tree needed pruning, and the grassy areas were knee-high.
 
Wonder #1:  See before and after pictures!
  
 
Next, a team comprised of Amy, Mir, Randy, Jeffry, Margret, and Lisa progressed down the drive with loppers, clippers, and weed whacker, widening and making more welcoming the whole length. 
 
Wonder #2:  The constant rains had popped out a world of mushrooms, beautiful and various. Margret identified several as edible, bearing such marvelous names as Shaggy-stalked bolete, Indigo Milky, Gem-studded puffball, and Meadow mushroom. 
 
Meanwhile, back at the pump-house, Anthony and his friend Nate, plus our summer intern Jess, were adding supports to the roof and painting the door of what is proving to be a very cool multipurpose structure: Wonder #3:  
 
Around 1 p.m. we convened at the pavilion for lunch and camaraderie. Margret encouraged folks to please (please!) take home some of Wonder #4–Hart’s Mill’s very own “generously-proportioned” zucchini and yellow squash. [attach photo]
 
 
Land Stewardship’s OL and ER thank our willing helping hands  and encourages YOU to be a part of our next workday! (See August calendar).
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Pumphouse News

by Anthony Weston

For the emerging farm operation we need water! Accordingly, we drilled a well this spring — 350 feet down — and since then have been assembling the pumping and water storage system and the pumphouse that will house it all and grace our land as well. 

Early on we decided to run the water system entirely on solar panels – we’re an ecovillage, after all – and Jeffry has been hard at work wiring them in and plumbing the water system. As of 4:44 pm on July 20th, the system went live!!! One pump pulls fresh cold pure water out of our 350-ft well and into the storage tank; the other pumps the water from the storage tank into a smaller pressure tank that then feeds the irrigation hoses at the proper pressure. Solar panels run the first pump when the sun’s out and charge the batteries that run the second pump on demand. Sound like complicated wiring? It was! Jeffry claims to be neither electrician or plumber, but you’d never guess from the results. Of course, since then it’s mostly been raining, but still, water is ready to go.

Meanwhile a new pumphouse is taking shape alongside the 1500-gallon water storage tank.  The foundation with its low masonry wall as well as the floor are built entirely out of salvaged chunks of concrete from driveway or sidewalk tear-outs around Durham (lots of heavy lifting!) with some facing stone found in Hart’s Mill’s own fields and woods. I’ve topped off the masonry wall  in front with a nice wide bench for people to sit under the wide-overhanging roof and look out at the land. Come check it out!

Framing has progressed far enough that the outline of the structure has clearly emerged. We’re about to move into slip-straw construction on the rest of the walls — please watch for notices of special workdays and workshops in September as we experiment with this earth-building technique with the help of Greg Allen, our cob guru. Eventually there will also be a produce-washing sink area near the tank, and an outdoor shower around the back – yes, a full-service pumphouse! 

By the way, if anyone has any (or access to any) interesting yard sculpture (big colorful heron statue, say, or a water goddess – donations warmly contemplated), please be in touch with me – I might try one suitable statue for the top of the roof… we’ll see. 

Many hands have pitched in at times: Paul, Virginia, Victoria, Amy, Ruthie, and Kenny. Our intern Jess and an old student and friend of mine, Nate, are shown hard at work in this photo. Randy is donating slip and some roofing left over from Cob Haven. Thanks to you all! Anyone who’d like to join in the building effort, please be in touch -– there’s lots more to do!

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Amazing August Calendar, and July Highlights

Indian pipe, McGowan Creek trail

JULY HIGHLIGHTS
Subscribe to the Hart’s Mill blog to read more and keep up with the latest news!

  • We have a fully functioning solar-powered well pump!  Thanks to Jeffry’s hard work, acquired engineering skills, and much ingenuity and problem-solving, we now can pump water from the well into a 1500-gallon Cistern and along drip lines into the farm field.  This is a major accomplishment!  Anthony is hard at work master-minding and building a one-of-a-kind pump house.  Come to the land and take a look!
  • Thanks to Membership & Marketing, Hart’s Mill had a presence at the Festival for the Eno on July 4&7.  Marilyn and Victoria prepared a “seed bomb” activity to enable kids to take home and plant a clay ball infused with milkweed seeds.  Margret provided “eye candy”—beautiful greeting cards that she has produced with her own exquisite artwork—and they made an enticing display.    It was a great opportunity to get the word out about our Ecovillage, network with other communities in the area, and talk with many interesting—and interested!—people.  Special thanks to Amy for coordinating this even
  • The Governance & Training Circle Last Saturday:  Three communities gathered in circle at Hart’s Nest to look closely at Hart’s Mill adopted Conflict Policy and the top-secret attitudes, approaches, and facilitation hints that make it work. Thank you to Blue Heron and Elderberry for joining us as we all shared our successes and failures in community living. Special thanks to Joe Cole and Maria Silvia for collaborating with Governance & Training in this offer to the larger community.

AUGUST, 2018, CALENDAR
Note: All events are open to everyone unless noted otherwise, and Zoom teleconferencing is also available for Circle meetings—but RSVP is necessary! 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 2, 6:30-9:00pm
Membership & Marketing Circle
Chapel Hill
RSVP Joe: drjoecole@gmail.com

SUNDAY, AUGUST 5, 9:00am-2pm
Work Day on the land
We’ll gather at 9am at the Pavillion.  A major project will be cleaning up our Frazier Rd. entrance.  This involves come mowing and weeding, clearing the roadsides with weed whackers and loppers, and some gate mending.  Other possible work projects include further pump house construction, trail maintenance, pasture mowing, and trash removal.  work will end about 1pm, when we will gather at the Pavillion for lunch.  Bring some food to share!  We’ll conclude about 2pm.  In addition: Tours for new members and other people who want to see the land in more depth start at 11am at the Pavillion (RSVP required to Paul: voss@hawkweed.net)  Anthony will coordinate a camping option the night before (Saturday night to Sunday morning) for folks who are intersted (contact Anthony for details: weston@elon.edu)

RSVP Jeffry: seeingstarsfarm@gmail.com

SUNDAY, AUGUST 5, 2:00-4:00pm
Land Stewardship Circle
Mebane
RSVP Jeffry: seeingstarsfarm@gmail.com

SUNDAY, AUGUST 5, 7:00-8:30pm
Planning, Design, and Development Circle
Via Zoom Teleconference—RSVP for link
RSVP Anthony: Weston@elon.edu

THURSDAY, AUGUST 9, 6:30-9:00pm
Financial & Legal Circle
Mebane
RSVP Geri: glaplaca@earthlink.net

SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 6:00-8:30pm
Planning, Design, and Development Circle
This is a dinner meeting.  Open to PDD members only.  Location TBA
RSVP Anthony: Weston@elon.edu

THIRD THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 7:00-9:30-ish pm
Potluck and Sharing Circle
Mebane
***Child Care available upon request***
We’ll eat together (potluck) while we sit in a Sharing Circle -a bit more informal than the ones we’ve done in the past. While still honoring Talking Stick and No-crosstalk protocol, this sharing will have no topic attached, latecomers are welcome, and we’ll eat while we talk (OK -not exactly at the same time). RSVP María: mariastawsky@gmail.com

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22, 7:00-8:30 pm
Compassionate Connection, presented by HM Member, Marilyn Grubbs, and Farrunnissa Rosa
Unity Center of Peace, 8800 Seawell School Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Education and practice session in the body of work developed by Marshall Rosenberg, originally called Non-violent Communication (NVC).  $10 suggested donation.
RSVP Marilyn: marilyngrubbs@gmail.com

THURSDAY, AUGUST 23
General Circle Meeting
Mebane
Potluck: 6:00-ish
Meeting: 7:00-9:30 pm
RSVP Hope: hopematrix@fastmail.com
***Child Care available upon request***

LAST SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 3:00-6:00PM
Q&A session on All Things Hart’s Mill —Presented by the Membership & Marketing Circle
Mebane
RSVP for details: María Silvia at mariastawsky@gmail.com
***Childcare & overnight accommodations available upon request***
Especially targeted for our newest members and for those of you who are curious about Hart’s Mill, come and ask your questions! Representatives from our Functional Circles will share what they know well and what they are learning, as Hart’s Mill becomes the reality we are trying to manifest. For fun, later that night we’ll go DANCING, 10:00pm, Tandem Restaurant (Carrboro). 70’s to today’s music. A hoot!  Free admission.  Please join us for this part even if you cannot attend the Q&A. We’d love to chill and goof around with you!  

LAST SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 7:00-8:30pm
Planning, Design, and Development Circle
Via Zoom Teleconference—RSVP for link
RSVP Anthony: Weston@elon.edu

TUESDAY, AUGUST 28, 4:00-6:00pm
Governance & Training Circle
Mebane
RSVP Maria: mariastawsky@gmail.com
***Child Care available upon request***

FRIDAY, AUGUST 31 (eve.)—MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2
Labor Day Work Camp
Hart’s Mill land
Meet on Friday evening to camp out, ready to get going on Saturday and Sunday from 9-1.  Camp out Saturday night, too!  You are welcome to attend all or a part of this event.
RSVP Jeffry: seeingstarsfarm@gmail.com

*Save the Date* SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 3-6pm
Hart’s Nest Birthday and Autumnal Equinox Celebration
Mebane
Stay tuned for details!

LOCAL EVENTS OF INTEREST TO EXPAND YOUR SOCIAL/CULTURAL HORIZONS
You are encouraged to submit events for next month’s update that align with Hart’s Mill’s vision, mission, and aims.  Send them by the 25th of the month to Hope at hopematrix@fastmail.com.

RACIAL EQUITY INSTITUTE TRAINING, sponsored by Organizing Against Racism (OAR)
We strongly recommend these 2-day trainings as a way to begin a shared conversation about racism and social/environmental justice at Hart’s Mill.  Click here to read Geri’s post about attending Phase 1 on January 23rd. They fill up fast!  Check the OAR website(OARalliance.org) for details and registration for these upcoming workshops and more:

  • August 4-5, YOUTH REI Phase 1, Chapel Hill
  • August 6-7, Phase 1, Durham
  • August 4-5, YOUTH REI Phase 1, Durham
  • August 18-19, Phase II, Raleigh
  • September 10-11, Phase 1, Chapel Hill
  • September 14-15, Phase 1, Durham
  • Sepbember 27-28, Phase 1, Raleigh

FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 7PM 
Life Design Weekend
Eco-Institute at Pickards Mountain, 8519 Pickards Meadow Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
CLARIFY YOUR PURPOSE: Do you long for a future that inspires you? Are you stuck, confused or curious about your next steps? Would you like to learn best practices for self-organization, motivation, and direction? Discover the tools to turn your dreams into action. This is a weekend experience that will inspire and catalyze your next steps in life. Create a clear vision of what kind of life you want to create going forward. Learn practical, hands-on strategies that help you to envision life in a fresh new way. Discover your unique expression and purpose in life. Gain insight into the patterns and meanings behind your life experiences. Define personal needs and values that will help to create new potential pathways for your future.
Learn More >>

DOING OUR OWN WORK: An Anti-Racism Seminar for White People
Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South
Part 1: September 6, 7, 8, 9 – Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Durham, NC
Part 2: October 11, 12, 13, 14 – Trinity Ave Presbyterian Church, Durham, NC
Thurs. evening, 9-5 on Friday, 9-5 on Saturday, and 1-5:00 Sunday afternoon
Doing Our Own Work is an intensive seminar for white people who seek to deepen their commitment to confronting white privilege and challenging racism in all its forms. Offering more than 40 hours of “class time,” Doing Our Own Work equips participants with the analysis, skills, and tools needed to be more effective anti-racist allies. By limiting enrollment to 16 people, this seminar provides a context for in-depth reflection, learning and dialogue as participants work to deepen their knowledge of systemic racism, offer each other support and accountability, grow beyond shame and guilt, and practice the skills of interrupting racism.
Leader: Melanie Morrison
Cost: $475. Scholarships available. Click HERE to register.
Contact: RCWMS, 919-683-1236, rcwmsnc@aol.com

 

 

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Seed Bombs at the Eno!

by Marilyn Grubbs 
 
Hart’s Mill joined the crowds at this year’s Festival for the Eno, on July 4th and 7th at Durham’s West Point on the Eno. A number of our members helped out at a Hart’s Mill booth, greeting a steady stream of passersby and leading our “Seed Bomb” activity for children.  Kids took balls  of clay from our land and packed them with milkweed seeds, many of which also came from our land.  Then, we invited the children to take them home and plant them in their yards.  We explained the important connection between milkweed plants and monarch butterflies. (Actually, most of the children already knew about this connection. Do you? If not, check out www.MonarchWatch.org!)  Hopefully, we helped to provide a few more habitats for those monarchs at the homes of the children who visited our booth.
 
We greeted adult festival-goers with information about Hart’s Mill’s current activities and future plans. This proved to be a perfect place to find like-minded folks who were enthusiastic to learn about us, and perhaps to join us in the future. We also had some of Margret Mueller’s gorgeous note cards for sale. In addition, we were able to network with people from other nonprofit organizations such as animal rescue groups, other intentional communities, and (my personal favorite) a nonprofit dedicated to promoting electric vehicles. To top it off, there was plenty of live music and wonderful food.
 
Hart’s Millers who braved the heat on July 4th included Amy Halberstadt, Anthony Weston, Bailey, Gaius, and Virginia.  On the blessedly cool and overcast July 7th, Amy and Anthony returned along with Marilyn, Richard, Victoria, and Virginia.  Amy procured the booth for us, and she and Anthony did the heavy lifting (literally!) of  setting up the canopy, tables, seed bomb supplies, and so forth beforehand and taking them down afterwards.
 
 Thanks to everyone who helped! The consensus was that this sort of festival is a fun and productive way to get the word out about Hart’s Mill. Since the season of festivals is in full swing, if you know of one that you think we should attend, let us know!
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