To sum this up, we are designing a pilot village with beautiful, non-outgassing, fire-proof, affordable, sustainably-built houses in a neighborhood setting that can be inhabited by sensitive people who have experienced environmental illness, as well as by other demographics who know they would benefit from living our lifestyle. No, it has never been done.
This “pilot project” will become the teaching facility to train cohorts of visionary builders in the skills needed for building next-era infrastructure.
Phase one of our project is to create a compressed earth block (CEB) manufacturing operation. We will create a resource for local earth-builders that can be stockpiled during the non-building season so that CEB building projects can unfold efficiently once building starts.
In Phase two, in 2024, we acquire land and begin the build out of our education campus. This campus will be a prototype “biome village” with ten small CEB homes and three larger buildings– a kitchen/dining building, a bathroom/laundry building, and a shop.
In Phase three, our education campus will be fully operational with a vocational training program. Crooked Forest will be working with partners in Grant County, NM to create a dual-purpose Community Land Trust, (conservation and affordable housing,) where our vocational training graduates can do their practicum by building out the infrastructure for the affordable housing development.
We focus on the Hard Skills of building— Making compressed earth blocks (CEBs), adobe and cob, mortar, plaster, windows/doors, arches, roofing, plumbing, electrical, solar, water catchment, biome management, growing food, processing food and entrepreneurial business development.
But we also focus on the Soft Skills that make a neighborhood function well– Economic opportunity for all, financial counseling, co-creating a counter-oppressive culture, conscious communication (NVC), conflict resolution, mediation, self-awareness, personal growth and developing and honoring each person’s unique service.
- Living Communities Challenge
- New Mexico Foundation– Sustaining New Mexico Grant
- USDA– Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Grant