2015-10-05 14.47.28After our big push to get the sauna walls up in September and a Whirlwind Mid-west Vacation, we are slowly adjusting to shorter, cooler, wetter days at CopperMoon, and thinking of what we want to get done over the winter. But first, let’s take a look back at what has happened since, oh, May.

May of 2015 started out with a bang, or more accurately a WWOOF! We made the decision to open up our place to volunteers from World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Volunteers spent time with us over the summer helping us pursue our CopperMoon vision in exchange for room, board, and what learning came along with our workings. At one time or another between May and August, we hosted Hope, Lynzi, River, Ashley, Brian, and Avalon. Our overall WWOOF experience was positive: we got a ton of work done, we learned a lot about managing work flow with so much help, and lessons were learned on all sides about communicating in a temporary community situation.

What got done? Garden and greenhouse planting, starting a new squash patch with trellises, constructing the first camping guilds (campsites with companion planting surrounds), starting Willow Way (the path that will circumnavigate the upper pasture), splitting a huge hemlock log to make benches, dismantling the old swing/play set, expanding the apple/almond guild behind the house, planting many new trees and edible bushes throughout the pasture, getting more cob up on the sauna walls, constructing the composting toilet outhouse, and tons of necessary weeding and watering. I am just now realizing that the sum total of this work led directly to us having the energy and time to get the sauna walls built this year. Yay! And the sauna walls are drying before it freezes. Double yay!

Now winter is nearly upon us. What’s next? Here’s the quick list:


  • Build the hoop greenhouse and new greenhouse beds
  • Put the garden to bed ~ chop and drop what is done, save what’s still going, and sheet mulch it all
  • Get the current greenhouse switched over to winter growing.
  • Build cold frame garden beds on the south end of the house

Common Areas:

  • Complete the composting toilet system; construct the composting station and the “toilets.”
  • Finalize the Studio plan (400 square feet of enclosed utility space)CopperMoon CARC "CopperMoon Advanced Retreat Center"
  • Pour the slab for the Studio
  • Improve the walkway to the back deck
  • Decide on root cellar design
  • Plan water catchment systems
  • Plan grey-water irrigation system
  • Plan the natural swimming pool project


  • Install electricity and lights
  • Design plumbing, water heating system, and shower
  • Build and install doors
  • Finish ceiling with slip-straw
  • Design/install floors
  • Plan out scratch plaster/sculpture and final plaster

Heh, that’s the “quick” list.

And so it goes. In December, we’ll take a look at the past year and where we want to go in the next year. I’m excited for that work because it will be building upon the vision we created one year ago. Now we have increased wisdom fueled by data, records, and our experiences of this year. Awesome!

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2 thoughts on “Autumnal Update

  1. wonderful developments at Copper Moon! Still interested in perhaps teaching some classes there once the studio is up….collage art with nature, nature journaling, herbal salve making, etc….