Notes from Windward: #62

Two of the key goals which guide Windward's growth are sustainability and self-reliance; unfortunately, such aspirations aren't readily visible in the early stages of a project such as this.

Early on, the driving need was to get the basic life support systems in place so that the community has lights, water and septic systems working. Starting with raw land in an isolated location, this process took several years to accomplish, but eventually we had those necessary systems up and running, as well as other secondary needs such as phone and Internet access.

For the past few years, we've been expanding those basic systems. Now we have about a mile of water lines in the ground, some 2,000 amps of electrical service capacity (almost all underground) and more than half a dozen septic systems installed - the new dining hall even has two septic systems :-)

We now have a barn which can store a winter's worth of hay for our sheep, and half a dozen shipping containers to provide a reasonable amount of storage for the stuff that new folk bring with them. This summer saw the construction of a stairway to the upper half of the garage, which will enable us to spend part of the winter sorting and organizing tools and materials.

What I find especially exciting about this stage in our growth is that after years spent installing systems which are fairly traditional and routine, we're getting to the point where the sustainable and renewable technologies are starting to come on line, and it's clear that next year is going to see more such systems integrated into our operations.

And so, I thought that it was time to write about:

What we've done

What we're doing


What we're looking forward to doing.

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