We start our search for our future home town in earnest. We visit Katywil, a cohousing community in rural Colrain, just 2 miles through a state park to Vermont, about 30 miles from Amherst. The folks here welcomed us with dinners, potlucks, and tours of the local area and their 117 acres. We had a busy schedule packed into 3 days. It was great to meet local farmers, beer brewers, activists, and community members.
At Katywill, each household privately owns 3/4 of an acre and their home, as well as 1/18 of all the common land. Most of the common land is managed forest preserve with trails, streams, and a river, other parts of the land have flat fertile farm land, orchards, greenhouse and even a solar array for energy. Katywil would be a great place to farm and live in an intentional community.
The homes here are very well designed with energy conservation, sustainability, and comfort in mind, foot thick cellulose insulated walls, solar water heating and radiant floor heating, passive solar heating, and large south facing triple-glazed windows. We were inspired by the tight-knit community of Katywil and the residents of Colrain. Thank you for being such great hosts!
Since we were already in New England, we took up an offer from Jim Murphy to visit Starks, Maine, a small rural farm town in Northern Maine. The citizens of Starks are very progressive, and have pushed through legislation that protects sustainable farmers from damages caused by GMO’s and industrial chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides. As a town, they want to see more small farmers, and are creating community resources that can support local agriculture, and agro-businesses. Jim has a passion for cooperatives and provides educational lectures to anyone who wants to learn about co-ops. We play Co-opoly, a fun board game where everyone plays on the same team. The main goal is to create a successful cooperative business, you can earn money through “work” mini versions of charades, pictionary, and taboo.
From New England, we take the train to Maryland to visit Stu’s family for Thanksgiving. We stayed with Stu’s brother, Rich, his wife, Wendy, and their two kids. We had fun raking leaves and jumping into the huge piles with Anna and Lucas.
We visit Stu’s Mom Emma in Baltimore and eat great local grub at Hon Cafe.
Need more cute kids? Here you go.
We had a lovely Thanksgiving with the Matthews family and friends! Thanks to Uncle Chip and Dana for hosting the feasting.