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9/24/08

Videos and Photos and Press, Oh my! And then... there's the Amish. : )

Today I ordered our super-cool siding (a $5,000 deposit I had saved myself, budgeting tightly, not increasing debt / not taken out on our potential loan, thank you very much, therefore one more thing that will be "paid for"/ saved for/ don't need no debt fer ; ) ), and on Monday the foundation work began.

We will camp this weekend, so expect more pictures and video soon. : )

My challenge: That what makes this project even more special in my heart prevents me from well-documenting/doing the usual b.s. video/interviews/pushing for publicity it as it occurs because:

Our house kit construction is being built by a team of local Amish!

The Amish refrain from photographs, because it violates their belief that photography is vain/a 'graven image.'

My friends that know and work with them well have been given permission to take images of, say a field where they are working in the distance, for the purpose of showing what a farm looks like (to your right is my friend G's farm who took this picture with their permission); but having just met them, I wouldn't dare impose.

I'm just going to have to work around it, so expect lots of pictures of my VERY handsome contractor Ron instead of "Ron and his crew!" and pictures of us out there when everyone's left. Not quite my original picture of "documentation."

Despite that this is my business... I won't have it any other way: I concede.

I support my community, and am grateful to have the wonderful people who strode beside us as new neighbors, making sure we were exposed to the best craftsmen... Besides, we already have others in the pipeline of building so let them get all the attention! : )
(Ya hear that Ohanahaus and Canada1? ; ) )

Amish are wonderful neighbors. We've enjoyed getting to know the children that man the stand where we buy our bread and relishes weekly, and my children have grown up playing "Amish stand"-- seeing children involved in commerce, involved in helping their family.

I found an interesting post regarding the Amish, and how local communities have accommodated themselves to benefit the new Amish communities, therefore economically benefiting their own business- check out http://amishamerica.typepad.com/amish_america/nebraska_amish_ultraconservative/ - and see that picture of Walmart that even created hitching posts for their buggies! (Yes, of course I have mixed feelings about Walmart! That's what intrigues me further! It certainly says something about the Amish buying power that a large national business would build hitch posts for their buggies!)

If you are curious about the Amish and their views regarding technology, I encourage you to read this: http://www.amishnews.com/amisharticles/amish_tech.htm It really explains the thought behind their decisions, and I have to admit it makes a lot of sense.

An excerpt:
"Rheingold notes that the Amish 'mold technology in the service of community. If we decided that community comes first, how would we use our tools differently?' Or, as an Amishman has said concerning whether a new technology will be acceptable, does it 'bring people together or draw them apart?' Answers to such questions often determine the 'ordnung,' the rules of the Amish church community, often unwritten, about what is and is not acceptable.

But the Amish concern is not just over how technology might change the community, but also the individual. One man noted that it's not just what or how you use a technology, but 'what kind of person you become when you use it.' When I asked an Amishman why an electric refrigerator was not acceptable, but a propane gas one was, he simply said, 'You've never seen a bottled gas television set, have you?' The implication here was not that electricity was bad. The concern was what would come with it --- TV, radio, computers, the internet, and all the influences of the modern world and media. 'Electricity is a hotline to the modern world.' "

And here's a great article on the Amish incorporating solar power within their community!
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/home_top_left_story/20080920_Amish_turn_to_solar_power_for_electricity.html

Any-hoo, keep yer eyes peeled, we're documenting (as we can! ; ) ), building, and hoping to spend Thanksgiving in our own net zero house kit casa ti...

Just as you have traveled a journey to get to your green, efficient home goal... our own dream spans generations of hope and dreams (and MOD STYLE!)...

The land becomes named after being abandoned in the 1800s (yes, it *is* Higher Ground.); and we, stewards again.

For the quail we will make sure they have their brush; the woods, crop tree release to free the trees to better grow, healthy. And over the years we will not only improve the soil that was previously farmed, but the wetlands and streams, letting them... be. Not developed, nor sold into parcels when development encroaches.

That is my pledge.

Sincerely yours,

Copeland Casati

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