Hart’s Mill has a strong core of committed members who are giving of their time, talent, and resources to building a community together. We are a growing group of individuals and families from the Triangle area, ranging in age from 20’s to 70’s. Except for a few retirees, we have middle-class jobs in the area as teachers, farmers, business managers, computer technicians, artists, musicians, and more. Here are some of our members:
Membership Circle Operational Leader I am a professor at a university in North Carolina (hint: think red), and conduct research related to socio-emotional development. I am very interested in processes, particularly the socialization processes embedded in cultures and families that help inform individuals about their experience and understanding of emotion. I am also very interested in the socialization of gender, and have heated but happy arguments with the more biologically-based researchers in my family about gender differences. I also have thought deeply about issues related to race for a long time, and am grateful for the opportunity recently to turn toward social change work in my research. I work a lot (all right, my family might say all the time), and when not working (which I consider proof that I don’t work all the time), I am equally busy: gardening; fooling around with the cats, chickens, children; exercising in the form of yoga or hiking; or making things with fabric, wool, wood, or clay. I love traveling, especially traveling cheaply, and have hiked in the Yukon, Australia, and New Zealand, and lived briefly in the Philippines, Israel, and Costa Rica.
Planning, Design, and Development Circle Operational Leader According to Wikipedia, I am “an American philosopher, teacher, and writer, author of widely used primers in critical thinking and ethical practice and [have] written a variety of unconventional books and essays on philosophical topics”, though apparently my thinking is also too wide-ranging and practical! I am companion of Amy and father of our two lovely and adventurous children; a carpenter and mason thanks to building from an early age with my architect father and jack-of-all-trades grandfather, both of whom also had longtime associations with Frank Lloyd Wright; a musician (vocal a capella groups mostly), avid backpacker and wilderness lover, chess player, watercolorist (thanks to my mother) and nature journalist, and urban gardener. I am the current record-holder for the number of nights camped out on the land.
Financial/Legal Circle and Governance & Training Circle member; Circle Administrator of the General Circle. Being the best mother I can be to this little guy entrusted in my care lead me to Hart’s Mill. I believe it takes a village not only to rear children, but also to create substantial change that our society and planet will need to thrive toward our fullest potential. Each moment we spend with the people involved in this community and each task we complete help us to grow just a bit stronger in some way. Every step in my past from earning a BA in Motion Picture Production at Brooks Institute of Photography to studying Global Sustainability at UCLA and managing real estate investment properties has lead me here, with a burning desire to work passionately toward a better future for our children. I most specifically see that happening by reconnecting with the environment and our food. I am wholeheartedly inspired by this communities work in collaborative skills and conflict resolution tools. We look forward to living in a manner that most reflects our life’s mission here at Hart’s Mill Ecovillage and Farm!
Carol’s life has been devoted to following her passions in education, advocating for foster children, providing counseling for Women in Transition, managing a marital family Honda dealership and lastly pursing her family of origin’s interest in farming. It is this most recently revived interest in farming that led her to study Biodynamic Agriculture. She brings this enthusiasm for farming with preparations and Biodynamic compost into her classroom with young children. Teaching them how to bring seeds to harvest using organic and Biodynamic Ag methods. She is currently teaching and mentoring Waldorf teachers in a developing school. Carol serves on the Land Stewardship Circle for Hart’s Mill.
General Circle Administrator Donna believes in living simple in an uncluttered, sustainable lifestyle. She has an intense love of the land in this state and sees Hart’s Mill as a remarkable opportunity to make others question their current way of living. She feels most strongly about environmental issues, land development practices and the high cost of housing in the current market. Donna received B.S. degree from NCSU in Zoology, and has worked as Science Teacher, Environmental Chemist and a Realtor. Dogs hold a special interest for her as she sees them as incredible creatures capable of helping humans in many ways.
General Circle Facilitator As a former professional French horn player, I have officially stopped blowing my horn. However, expressing my voice as a singer, writer, facilitator, leader, and teacher remains a priority. The many paths I’ve explored include roles in the publishing business from sales, marketing, general and executive management. Then there were the decades spent becoming/being a counselor, energy-and-sound healer, and workshop series creator. I’ve become involved with Organizing Against Racism and am pursuing ways to engage in bringing about social and racial justice. At Hart’s Mill, I’ve been immersing myself in the sociocracy governance approach and have served as General Circle facilitator for the better part of 4 years. It’s a joy to be able to work with these fine people and contribute my gifts towards creating something so completely grounded, necessary and sane in these crazy times.
Land Stewardship Circle Operational Leader I grew up in relative seclusion in the woods of the Georgia piedmont. My primary passion other than being outdoors was school. I could not get enough and after going as far as possible I enjoyed a career in neuroscience research. Since retiring from that endeavor I have taken up a second career in farming and returned to the woods. Here, I hope to stay.
Joe & Maria
Governance & Training Elected Representative (María) Joe and María are professional facilitators of cooperative group processes, who lived at Pacifica Co-housing and Blue Heron Farm, respectively. They now live in Chapel Hill with their teen daughter Mia. They are passionate about bringing skills of cooperation both to Hart’s Mill and to other intentional communities and groups. Hart’s Mill’s values of social justice and racial equity are a big part of Joe and María’s focus in our community, as well as Hart’s Mill’s vision of a more sustainable way to live on this planet. Joe is a writer and philosopher who has lived in the Durham-Chapel Hill area for almost three decades. He has a Ph.D. in Philosophy and currently teaches at UNC-Greensboro and Elon University. In his teaching and writing, he explores the morality of war and conflict, environmental ethics, and political and economic justice. María was born and raised in Argentina and currently works as a court interpreter for several counties in the area. She bakes amazing pizzas and is never too tired to hold a baby -or two.
John enjoys spending time with his grandchildren. He is a photo enthusiast, and likes outdoor activities including biking. He works as a clinical social worker at Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham. He lives with his wife, Maria Teresa.
Planning, Design, and Development Elected Representative With a varied background in landscape architecture, construction, business and nonprofit management, Katy is dedicated to fostering innovative approaches to creating communities which integrate low-impact development with restorative agriculture and land conservation. She grew up as a “free-range” child on a small 100-acre farm near Atlanta, GA learning skills such as gardening, canning, animal husbandry, butchering (chickens), sewing, basic mechanics, and carpentry from her grandparents. Katy holds a degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia, and has previously held professional licenses in real estate and commercial construction. She has worked as a civil engineering technician, onsite construction superintendent for multifamily communities, and senior VP for a national real estate development firm. In the latter role, she was responsible for pre-development activities including land acquisition, feasibility, permitting, rezoning, and coordination of design professionals. She co-founded and managed a Raleigh-based software company with her husband for almost 10 years, which was named as one of the Triangle’s “Fast 50” fastest growing private companies. After that, Katy served as statewide outreach coordinator for the NC Solar Center (now the NC Clean Energy Technology Center) at NCSU, and later as executive director for Sustainable North Carolina.
Hola! I have been blessed in many ways; as a woman, mother, and as part of the Hispanic culture. I moved from Puerto Rico many years ago as a member of a military family. I have been a school teacher for more than twenty six years and I currently teach Spanish as a second language in a public school in Virginia. I love to share my knowledge and experiences as a leader of different groups in our society. I love nature! I enjoy spending time surrounded by trees, land, sun, and birds. I am passionate about reading and learning.
Land Stewardship Circle Elected Representative I am a professional artist and an amateur naturalist. I guess that makes me either an art-loving naturalist or a nature-loving artist–or both! I paint and particularly admire the small stuff: flowers, leaves, insects, seed pods, birds, fungi … OK, the fungus in the photo is not so small. Give me a hand lens and/or a sketch pad and I’m happy! I would rather be outside than indoors in most cases. Foraging in the wild for things to eat has become a recent passion. I have been a picture framer for the last 28 years and for the last few years have also become a full partner in my husband’s market-farming enterprise. As time and energy allow, I very much enjoy cycling and dancing.
Maria Teresa, together with husband John W., moved to Durham from Omaha in 2015. She enjoys creative ventures of many kinds and outdoor adventures in the beauty of North Carolina. She is grateful for three great sons and being close to one, Felipe, and his wife Casey and their two children, Micaela and Theo. Originally from Cuba, Maria Teresa has enjoyed getting to know some others in the Latino community and volunteering with the Faith ID program. She is an industrial/organizational psychologist and serves as the director of Foundations of Christian Leadership at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School.
Financial and Legal Circle Operational Leader After a stint in the U.S. Navy as a hapless participant in Cold War absurdities, Paul trained as an applied demographer and statistician. Most of his professional career was spent as a faculty member in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin. In 2008 he took a part-time position with UNC’s famed Odum Institute for Research in Social Science, to consult and teach in the occult arts of spatial econometrics and multilevel modeling. Having failed at retirement twice, Paul plans a third run at it in 2015, hoping it might provide an incentive-by-example for Sen. John McCain. There’s hope as well that it might offer a bit of extra time for visiting his daughter, Cameron, and her family in Philadelphia. He’s particularly proud of his grandchildren, Declan (16) and Eliza (13). Both seem highly qualified for advanced placement in digital game wizardry and appear to be strong contenders for the prestigious Voss undergraduate scholarship. They wisely have not asked him to serve as their academic advisor, as he does not understand their research. Much to his everlasting regret, Paul missed almost completely the exuberance of the 1960s. Despite living in Monterey in June 1967, he was so absorbed in his studies that he missed one of the defining events of the time: the Monterey Pop Festival (yes… Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin; please don’t rub it in). Two years later he also missed Woodstock while driving from Virginia to Ann Arbor for graduate studies. When not working (well, okay… even when working) Paul can be found channeling Joe Cocker, one of his musical idols.
Randy has been involved with Harts Mill since the spring of 2014. He’s lived locally since the late 1960s which includes residing in a cohousing community for 19 years. He currently works as an environmental planner, where he loves being involved in projects about local creeks, climate protection, greenways, and the likes. He’s interested in: permaculture; natural building; beekeeping; local food; renewable energy; alternative transportation (meaning alternatives to fossil fuels, and driving); appropriate gadgets and gizmos (solar ovens, portable chicken coops, wood fired hot tubs, solar dehydrators, bike blenders); sharing stuff, responsibilities, decisions, and life in general; singing; and alternatives to power over, winner/loser, plutocratic, and hypertechnocratic paradigms. He recently has found himself (very begrudgingly) with a new smartphone, and is hoping it isn’t the gateway to misery.
Membership & Marketing Circle Elected Representative, Rita currently resides in Raleigh with two great housemates. She’s been involved in Hart’s Mill since 2013 and finds it a fulfilling way to spend her time. Having felt for a while more a consumer than a producer, she’s interested in creating a way of life that improves the world. Other things she enjoys doing are playing board games with her boyfriend, and spending time with her parents and their chocolate lab.
My first 17 years of life were spent in the Hudson River valley of New York. The next 20 years of my life were spent in the Phoenix metropolitan area where as the care-giver and aide to a quadriplegic artist I was introduced to the healing arts; this launched my practice as a licensed massage therapist where after many successful years I realized I needed to generate my livelihood using my head instead of my back. I graduated from Arizona State University in 2002 with my BS in Mechanical Engineering. In 2003 I relocated to Northern VA where I live and work today. My interest in intentional community led me to Hart’s Mill in 2015. I look forward to my continued involvement in supporting Harts Mill in all ways possible as opportunities and resources permit.
Land Stewardship Circle. I grew up in a large urban area where most of my adventures into the wild consisted of either sitting near the top of the large sweetgum tree in my backyard or walking the woods on my grandparent’s farm in rural Mississippi. I delayed my stint in college to work with a zoo veterinarian at the Memphis Zoological Park. During my years working at the zoo, I became involved in numerous research projects involving endangered and threatened species. The most significant of which was working on a breeding project involving the Przewalski’s horse, extinct in the wild at the time. Though still endangered, there are now breeding herds roaming their native habitat and I like to think that I played a part in that achievement. I received a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Science with minor studies in Forestry in 1985. I have a 20-year-old daughter who attends the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where she is majoring in Environmental Studies and Sustainable Living. She plans to volunteer in the Peace Corp prior to attending law school with a focus in environmental law. I enjoy being proud of my daughter, walking in the woods, backpacking, cycling, kayaking, digging in the dirt, and listening to music (though I have attended many live musical performances, my greatest lament is that I will never get to see Janis Joplin in concert).