Sustainable growth and building a life without debt are two things that are important to me. This is Mae, and my family and I are embarking on our sixth year here at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. Along the way we’ve embraced the permaculture principle of small and slow solutions, spending more time focusing on design than getting everything done at once. It’s more affordable that way, too. So we’ve gradually grown our flock of chickens, the goat herd, and our physical infrastructure.
For example, to build our first shelter for the animals, we started with a $200 load of materials that had previously been a barn, and we got what we paid for! The goats have done well, and in the time since then I’ve realized that it would be better to have the goats closer to my home and the road, even if that means spending more on lease fees for a garden rate space, rather than the less expensive agricultural rate space.
This will also provide easier access to educational opportunities for Dancing Rabbit’s many visitors, student groups, and tours. Over the past five years the goat co-op has learned what to expect in terms of costs of keeping the goats, demand for the delicious goat cheeses, and gotten a pretty good idea of how to scale this project in our unique setting.
I have a lot of excitement that this year, my biggest priority and that of the goat co-op is building a new, “real deal” barn for our increasingly real deal goat herd and co-op. (And then we’ll get a cow!) In true pioneer fashion, the goats will have a finished home before I do. It might even be nicer than mine, too, because we are teaming up with CSCC to build a 16’x24′ barn with a timber framing workshop this summer.
We’re going to use some nice materials that were purchased by the land trust a few years ago but weren’t used, so we’re buying those and putting them to good use. It will also be more beautiful and durable than we may have been able to create on our own, because the workshop will be taught by local superstar woodworkers, Thomas and Cynthia. It’s going to be so awesome! I’m happy that it will be visible from the road, and may even obscure my crooked little dirt house with something more artisanal.
If you want to be a part of this exciting project, you can! Click here to find out more or register now. We’re pretty sure to have a good time and learn a lot, and we’d love to have you join us!