Property SOLD: 12 acres with 4 bedroom, 2 bath house

4 Bedroom House on Acreage close to Viroqua

12 acres in the country, quiet road and lots of wildlife, but just a stone’s throw to Viroqua! Nice stand of mature oak trees, small spring-fed stream, south facing slope with pines, black walnuts, black cherries, apples, and burr oaks. Newly planted hazelnuts, white pines, white cedars, white spruce, sugar maples. Both garden and grazing land here, or walking trails if you prefer. Just across the road from the public trails at Hubbard Hills. 1.5 miles from the center of town (library, post office, Main Street Station).

Rock in stream

  • Updated mid-century modern house with hardwood floors
  • Full basement with Beaver water removal system, one finished room, laundry
  • 1,800 square feet
  • Four bedrooms, two full baths
  • Updated kitchen with Bosch dishwasher
  • Appliances included: refrigerator, electric stove, microwave, washer, dryer
  • Propane forced-air furnace($3,000 credit for new furnace of your choice)
  • Electric hot water heater

Drive from corncrib

NEW in 2011:

  • 460 sq ft Master suite with large soaking tub in bath, large sitting room, sliding glass door in bedroom
  • Septic system (passed inspection in 2014)
  • Roof
West end of house

West end of house

NEW in 2014:

  • Hardwood floors refinished
  • Insulation added and air sealing done
  • All interior rooms painted
  • New kitchen and living room wiring (grounded)
  • Network wiring (broadband DSL service)
  • Bath exhaust fan
  • Lighting in pole shed
Southeast corner of house

Southeast corner of house

Taxes: $2,600/year

For sale by owner       Price: $227,500

608-637-6620             608-606-1156             stonesthrowviroqua@gmail.com

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Free permaculture film series

Our compatriots at Permaculture magazine and Permaculture People have combined to produce a series of nine films on permaculture and are making them available free (to stream) through their website. The first film, on Forest Gardens, interviews Martin Crawford on-site in his mature food forest. Click here

Aerial-MCrawford ForestGarden

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Cohousing in the Madison State Journal

Another article on cohousing, this time in the Wisconsin state capitol’s newspaper. The sensational headlines that confuse cohousing with communes just keep coming, but the writer did a fairly decent job of noting that cohousing consists of private homes and resident management. Here’s the link: cohousing in Madison.

And here is my comment, which they published:

This article repeats a couple common mistakes that journalists make when reporting on cohousing communities which are more like condominium associations than most people realize. If you look at the six defining characteristics of cohousing at cohousing.org you will see that private homes, jobs, and finances are basic to cohousing. The essential difference is that the residents design and manage their community themselves, which is why they typically have more common amenities than a condo development. Having dinner together twice a week in the large multi-purpose room that is available to all residents to use for their children’s birthday parties and similar events doesn’t bring to my mind the terms “dorm” or “commune.” The 130 cohousing communities in the U.S. have been built in all sorts of cities, towns, and rural areas.

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Solving communication breakdowns – a workshop

Jan Hunt, author of The Natural Child, and Marianne Williamson, author of Everyday Grace, heartily endorse Marshall Rosenberg’s methods for learning Compassionate Communication (also called Nonviolent Communication). The members of Stone’s Throw Ecovillage are sponsoring this July workshop to improve communication and invite you to join us. Wade Britzius, our trainer, will teach skills, give time for practice, and answer questions. You can come to the Friday night introduction to learn more, or check out NonviolentCommunication.com

Marshall Rosenberg

Marshall Rosenberg

Compassionate Nonviolent Communication
Creating the World We Want to Live In

A One-day Workshop sponsored by Stone’s Throw Ecovillage

Do you have “good intentions” to be understanding and to be understood in your interactions with others, and yet find that exchanges very often end in frustration, pain, disconnection, or outright conflict? Are you wondering how we’re ever going to “just get along”, even in our families and local communities, not to mention national or international politics. Would you like your relationships to live up to your spiritual understandings and ideals?

Nonviolent Communication is a learnable set of skills, a practical guide and a spiritual support to shift your consciousness toward compassion and open-ness.

Would you like to have more:
• Ease in relating to others, no matter what the circumstances
• Emotional flexibility to stay connected, even when in disagreement
• Confidence that things will turn out OK when you open your mouth
• Freedom to express yourself about what is authentic for you
• Willingness to listen to others who seem “misguided” or “wrong”
• Appreciation for all the people you meet and work with
• Ability to resolve conflicts peacefully, with some mutual satisfaction
• Understanding of what it takes to build a sense of community

In this workshop we will begin to learn the basics of:
Understanding why we so easily lose our connection to self and other
Developing the language of our inner world and the role of feelings in staying connected
Shifting consciousness toward the experience of the essential and universal that connects us all
Finding empathic ways to connect with ourselves and others authentically
Learning to know what we want and to ask for it without fear

Wade Britzius has practiced NVC since 2003 when he attended a three day workshop with Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of NVC. Having studied with a wide variety of trainers nation-wide, he now focuses on mediation. He works doing Child Custody and Placement cases for the Trempealeau County Court system, as well as teaching occasional workshops. Wade has practiced meditation in the Vipassana Buddhist tradition since 1978 and is a long time student of the Diamond Approach to Essential Realization.

Saturday, July 11, 9 to 4:30
Sliding Scale $30 – $75
Number of participants is limited. To register – 608-637-6620 or stonesthrowviroqua@gmail.com

In addition to the Saturday workshop there will be an
Introduction to Nonviolent Communication
Friday July 10, 7- 9pm
Suggested donation $5 – $10
Landmark Center room 202, 500 E. Jefferson St., Viroqua

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

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Stone’s Throw Ecovillage- the Movie

One of our member households includes a newly-graduated high school student who, for his final project in a video production class, created a video introduction to our community– both the wider context of our surrounding area, and Stone’s Throw Ecovillage itself.

We are closely following the cohousing model, with an emphasis on a permaculture master plan for our entire site to manage water– we are susceptible to flooding– and implement an extensive food forest with perennial plantings and animals that will grow together synergistically to provide an ongoing harvest, year after year. We are also committed to including several affordable homes as we develop toward our goal of 15 households on our 12 acres, just 1.5 miles from the center of town– an easy walk or bike ride, just a Stone’s Throw.

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Cohousing- not a commune, definitely a step forward

I’m writing this post for your friends, the ones whose concept of cohousing is vague or even doubtful. Please forward this to them, or at least mention it in casual conversation.

It saddens me to see the truth about cohousing remain hidden or misunderstood, when it’s succeeded so well in communities across the country– and in Canada, Ireland, England, Denmark (where it began), and many other places! In the U.S. there are about 130 already inhabited and close to an equal number involved in the planning and construction stages.

Cohousing has succeeded by making it easier to know your neighbors, easier to share a meal, easier to create and maintain a safe place for kids to run out and play without making a date, getting in a car, or having to watch out for cars. Cohousing has made it easier to share an orchard, chickens, offices, extra space for guests, a workshop, a yoga space. That’s one of the things I love most about cohousing– it’s made sharing a norm.

All that sharing has of course reduced a number of global footprints. This is a step forward that especially appeals to me, having been involved in home construction and maintenance for 40+ years. Cohousing neighbors are both encouraging each other to be more efficient and achieving impressive synergies through sharing, working together. Vehicle use typically drops, community car sharing may pop up, fewer tools and lawnmowers and large kitchen appliances and hot tubs, and … are bought. As sharing goes up, cost per use goes down. Some communities have more efficient, shared heating and cooling systems. Some communities share a swimming pool, a trail through the woods, a CSA, an Internet connection. It varies. These are not cookie cutter communities. It’s individual, but what they have in common is increased efficiency and more resilient neighborhoods. A step up from a more efficient single-family home, a step toward a more resilient city, region, planet.

Better for people. Better for kids! Better for our environment. Even better for our political health. How? Cohousers design and manage their communities together. They talk with each other, they make decisions together, and they achieve success by listening to one another, learning to facilitate and participate in a human-scale polis despite their individual preferences and differences. I know a few countries that could use more citizens with these skills.

Cohousers have individual, private homes and finances (unlike communes) as well as common land and facilities. They are adept at balancing private and community interests. They are conducting a great experiment in building the more participatory and resilient communities that out modern world sorely needs. I bet you’d like to know more about how they’re succeeding at this. So…

Forming community in Massachusetts

Meeting in Massachusetts

Where are these successful cohousing communities? How are they unique? I want to save this post from getting too long, so look for a virtual visit to several communities, showcasing their variety and adaptability, in future posts to this blog from Stone’s Throw Ecovillage, in the heart of Wisconsin’s beautiful Driftless region.

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Trees and site design

Is it possible to plant too many trees? They can always be thinned, transplanted, used for construction or firewood, but they’ll only grow if they’re planted now. We’re planting another hundred trees on the next two Saturdays, beginning May 2, 11:00 AM. Join us!

We’re starting a sugar bush (planting sugar maples) and filling in the windbreak on our west boundary. The winter was hard on some of the trees we planted last year.

Next week we’ll have exciting news, the results of a senior design project by students in Civil Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. They’ve drawn a couple options for the site design at Stone’s Throw, and estimated a number of costs for the development (infrastructure) work needed before construction begins. We look forward to seeing their ideas, and sharing them with you!

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Visit! Open house May 9

Grass will be greening, garden sprouting, trails cleared and lot costs clarified. We are working this spring to estimate the total costs for two scenarios at Stone’s Throw, and you can see the details as well as tour the land at our Saturday open house. Stop in any time between 1:30 and 4:30. Kids are welcome. Check on the watercress planted in the stream, and our western windbreak with its mix of hazelnut, pine, and cedar trees. Just don’t arrive early– the laundry may still be on the clothesline!

See you then! Call or email for directions if you can’t locate us on the map.

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Progress!!!

Design work has started. The five households currently invested in Stone’s Throw met in March with soon-to-be Civil Engineering graduates from the University of Wisconsin’s Platteville campus to share our dreams for building new homes and consider several options together. With their measurements, data and photos this team of four students (environmental, transportation, surveying and construction engineers) will draw up plans for access, lots, utilities, water features, and common facilities for our twelve acres at Stone’s Throw Ecovillage.

Taking stream and culvert measurements

Taking stream and culvert measurements

This work is being informed by initial consultations with permaculture designers who are helping us co-develop a master plan for the site.

This is getting exciting! Join us at an open house to see the possibilities, meet members, and tour the land.

OPEN HOUSES Saturdays, May 9 / June 27 / Sept 19, 1:30 – 4:30 PM
Unveiling fresh, complete site designs with lot layouts! Join us for a tour and information session. Drop in any time those afternoons.

MEMBER MEETINGS
Our next meeting will be Saturday, April 11 at 2:00 pm. Prospective members are welcome, in person or via skype! No potluck this time, but we’re happy to answer questions following our business meeting.

Directions, etc: 608-637-6620 stonesthrowviroqua@gmail.com

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10 great reasons to live in cohousing!

Our thanks to Rob Sandelin of Sharingwood Cohousing in Bainbridge, Washington for allowing us to share his list of great reasons to live in a cohousing community. Rob has been walking this talk for over 20 years. Sharingwood is a good example for all us who are acting on our desire to live in community.

1. Living in community offers security
You can rely on your neighbors to help you, even when you don’t ask. This is huge for me, that my family is in a safe and supportive place. My grandmother died recently, my neighbors knew all about it, sent cards and sympathy and support to my family. HER neighbors didn’t even know she was sick, most of them didn’t even know her name. How many of them could she ask to help?

2. Community offers social opportunities
I can have wonderful and meaningful interactions with people I like, who are my neighbors, just by sitting out on my porch. I really enjoy hanging out and talking with folks about everything, politics, the news, kids. Sharing our histories and ourselves grows a wonderful bond among us, I suppose much like encounter groups do. I know more about my neighbors history and lives and why they do things like they do than I know about some of my family members.

3. Supportive place for kids to grow up
Safe, lots of friends-both other kids and adults. Kids can play and I know any adult in the neighborhood will be there for them in case of need. Fun place to be an adult, lots of play opportunity with kids, and other adults.

4. Great place to collaborate with people who share similar interests
Small groups form revolving around shared common interests, beer making, sewing, gardening, music, etc. I don’t have to “go” anywhere to enjoy a beer making club, my neighbors and I can do that. The common house is great for that.

5. A sense of togetherness and belonging
I am part of something that is really wonderful, it is a model for a better way to live, and we all together are doing it. I can’t explain this in words very well but there is a strong feeling of happiness in me that comes from working towards a common good that I used to get as a teacher and environmentalist, and now get as I work with my neighbors on a variety of projects.

6. A great restaurant
It’s in the middle of my neighborhood, and it’s called the common house. I can have a great dinner and great conversation with friends, with far less time and money involved than a restaurant.

7. Great place to learn new things
I always wanted to try making beer. Having a couple of neighbors share that interest got me home brewing. We learn and try new stuff all the time.

8. A great place to share ownership
of things that I couldn’t really afford myself, such as a workshop, play structure, tools, library, etc.

9. Huge personal resources available
Want to know about bee keeping? I go ask Mel, and get all kinds of info. Having problems with my car? Mary knows lots about such things. Want to build a shed? Bob can give me advice, help me scrounge materials, hell, did half the work one Saturday. A neighborhood like mine is a collection of 26 lifetimes worth of experience in all manner of things. What a treasure trove!

10. Privacy
I get ALL the great benefits of cooperative living, and also get huge amounts of privacy, whenever I want just by going home and closing the door or going into the 25 acres woods that surround my house that everybody shares ownership of.

I would say the $ value of all those things, to me, would be in the million dollar range. My house cost me less than market value to build and is worth way more than I paid for it should I ever move to another community.

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