When Ande and I first got married we moved to Kentucky. I worked at Mud Creek Clinic , and she at Our Lady of the Way Hospital. We lived away from these places, up a holler called Blue River. You had to cross the "river," your car wading through the stream, past the old landfill, back to our land at the head of the holler.
That was the first of two unsuccessful community land trust attempts we've been part of—too much idealism and not enough attention to the practical details that make things work. But the story of broken land trusts is another story. This is the story of building the physical structures.
With the help of a community of ex-patriots from the north and locals, mostly Catholics, in the land of Old Regular Baptists, we built a house with a pole-barn-like foundation, vertical board and batten siding, formed of 8-16 inch wide sawmill planks—rough cut red oak & hickory. Its floor plan was 20 by 32ft., on two levels following the 30 degree grade of the hill.
Maura, our first of four, was born when the shell was just being completed, and lived her first two years with sounds & sights of finish construction surrounding her. Now Maura has gone from Blue River, KY, to co-founder of Bluhomes, Inc., a multi-million dollar start-up company producing factory built efficient green homes. They use an innovative technology combining hinged steel framing, and state-of- the-art ecological materials, that can bring affordable earth friendly homes, right to your site-prepped door. The more basic designs [one at 432 square feet] are "small is beautiful," and can be built out for greater living space. [see the Bluhomes website, http://www.bluhomes.com/ ] -- the Origin model below
My hope and prayer is that someday soon, our society will also find ways to form more creative, just, respectful, and merciful nonviolent communities in which to build our good world-conserving homes.