LandTour05

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Published on February 25, 2008

Author: Maurizio

Source: authorstream.com

Tour of CSC’s new 9 acres parcel. By Bill Wilson (9-05) Beginning the tour, I leave the back door of Center for Sustainable Community’s (CSC’s) office which is nestled in the heart of Stelle. It is an early September morning about 9:00 a.m. (Click anywhere on the picture to advance to the next slide. To back up at anytime, right click, then click on ‘reverse’.):  Tour of CSC’s new 9 acres parcel. By Bill Wilson (9-05) Beginning the tour, I leave the back door of Center for Sustainable Community’s (CSC’s) office which is nestled in the heart of Stelle. It is an early September morning about 9:00 a.m. (Click anywhere on the picture to advance to the next slide. To back up at anytime, right click, then click on ‘reverse’.) I leave the back door and curve to my left around the garage heading almost due west out of town across back yards.:  I leave the back door and curve to my left around the garage heading almost due west out of town across back yards. My family’s household pet Macy is going to join us. Many of you who have been to Stelle have enjoyed meeting her. I’m heading towards the round LP tank in the middle of the picture.:  My family’s household pet Macy is going to join us. Many of you who have been to Stelle have enjoyed meeting her. I’m heading towards the round LP tank in the middle of the picture. We stop to let Macy water Susan Fisher’s circular garden bed which has a full bouquet of sunflowers in the middle.:  We stop to let Macy water Susan Fisher’s circular garden bed which has a full bouquet of sunflowers in the middle. For fun, here is an early aerial photo of the community soon after it opened, around 1975. I’m going to be walking from the left to the right side of the picture. :  For fun, here is an early aerial photo of the community soon after it opened, around 1975. I’m going to be walking from the left to the right side of the picture. Continuing on, Russ Hardtke’s home is on the right. Notice the hot air solar panels attached to the wall and the solar electric panel on the garage roof.:  Continuing on, Russ Hardtke’s home is on the right. Notice the hot air solar panels attached to the wall and the solar electric panel on the garage roof. Passing Russ’s house we see the basketball court on the left and the volleyball court right next to it.:  Passing Russ’s house we see the basketball court on the left and the volleyball court right next to it. The kids sandbox is right/centered. Installed to keep them busy while the adults play, they still play in the sand in the volleyball court.  We’re heading towards the high spot in the middle of the picture.:  The kids sandbox is right/centered. Installed to keep them busy while the adults play, they still play in the sand in the volleyball court.  We’re heading towards the high spot in the middle of the picture. The community windmill that helps power our water plant has been down for awhile for repairs. Jon Haeme, Tim Wilhelm and Steve Bell have it up and running now once more.:  The community windmill that helps power our water plant has been down for awhile for repairs. Jon Haeme, Tim Wilhelm and Steve Bell have it up and running now once more. I am at the crest on the knoll now and heading to the little orange colored stake in the middle of the picture. That’s the windmill tower’s leverage arm on your right.:  I am at the crest on the knoll now and heading to the little orange colored stake in the middle of the picture. That’s the windmill tower’s leverage arm on your right. This orange flagged stake marks the corner of the new CSC property. The 1.5 acre meadow on your left is now CSC’s. The land to the right is the parcel that holds the windmill. The shed in the distance is the home of the garden co-op and the trees on the left side circle the wildlife pond.:  This orange flagged stake marks the corner of the new CSC property. The 1.5 acre meadow on your left is now CSC’s. The land to the right is the parcel that holds the windmill. The shed in the distance is the home of the garden co-op and the trees on the left side circle the wildlife pond. I’ve scooted to my left to give you a fuller view of the meadow. This land has been out of agricultural production for 6 years and could be certified organic were we to decide to raise vegetables on it. :  I’ve scooted to my left to give you a fuller view of the meadow. This land has been out of agricultural production for 6 years and could be certified organic were we to decide to raise vegetables on it. I’m back to the path and heading down to the garden area. Kelly creek runs just on the other side of the shed and the orchard is locate beyond that (hard to make out in this photo).:  I’m back to the path and heading down to the garden area. Kelly creek runs just on the other side of the shed and the orchard is locate beyond that (hard to make out in this photo). I’m almost to the garden (lower right) and the pine trees hug the hill that separates the garden from the pond. It was made when the pond was excavated in the very early days of Stelle. This site gives us a quiet place to sit, listen to the wind and enjoy the view. Notice the moon?:  I’m almost to the garden (lower right) and the pine trees hug the hill that separates the garden from the pond. It was made when the pond was excavated in the very early days of Stelle. This site gives us a quiet place to sit, listen to the wind and enjoy the view. Notice the moon? We’re at the top of the hill nestled in the pines. The garden is to my right, the pond to my left.:  We’re at the top of the hill nestled in the pines. The garden is to my right, the pond to my left. Here’s a nice view of the wildlife pond. Saw my first beaver in it just this spring and at times the noise from the frogs courting one another is almost deafening. It is heavy with cattail which we learned in our permaculture course is ideal for alcohol fuel production.:  Here’s a nice view of the wildlife pond. Saw my first beaver in it just this spring and at times the noise from the frogs courting one another is almost deafening. It is heavy with cattail which we learned in our permaculture course is ideal for alcohol fuel production. Here’s a picture of the pond standing near the west end looking back towards the community. You can just make out the roof of the townhouse on the right hand side.:  Here’s a picture of the pond standing near the west end looking back towards the community. You can just make out the roof of the townhouse on the right hand side. This photo was taken from the same spot 30 years earlier. I remember the weekend in the spring of 1979 when we (about 20 of us) planted all the trees and shrubs around the pond - cattails already had a start.:  This photo was taken from the same spot 30 years earlier. I remember the weekend in the spring of 1979 when we (about 20 of us) planted all the trees and shrubs around the pond - cattails already had a start. The west end of the pond is where we park the canoe (needs some repair). Stones left of the canoe make a perfect place for small community fires.:  The west end of the pond is where we park the canoe (needs some repair). Stones left of the canoe make a perfect place for small community fires. Continuing west from the pond Macy and I cross the meadow that leads us into the willows that sprung up along Kelly Creek. I’m heading to the dark opening on the left. I don’t know where Macy is going.:  Continuing west from the pond Macy and I cross the meadow that leads us into the willows that sprung up along Kelly Creek. I’m heading to the dark opening on the left. I don’t know where Macy is going. When my mother and father moved to Stelle to retire 17 years ago (dad is 82 now and still operates our water plant and sewage treatment facility) they used to go for walks in the morning and stroll through the foot high willows.:  When my mother and father moved to Stelle to retire 17 years ago (dad is 82 now and still operates our water plant and sewage treatment facility) they used to go for walks in the morning and stroll through the foot high willows. To keep from getting their legs wet from the early morning dew Dad started mowing a path through the little willows. What a pleasant surprise as the years rolled by and this beautiful arch appeared.:  To keep from getting their legs wet from the early morning dew Dad started mowing a path through the little willows. What a pleasant surprise as the years rolled by and this beautiful arch appeared. Clearing the arch we can see the foot bridge that takes us over Kelly Creek and into the orchard.:  Clearing the arch we can see the foot bridge that takes us over Kelly Creek and into the orchard. We lost two bridges from high water after heavy spring rains so our friend Stu Parthe built a tall arching bridge that has now lasted a good 20 years. The pine tree marks the far western border of our property.:  We lost two bridges from high water after heavy spring rains so our friend Stu Parthe built a tall arching bridge that has now lasted a good 20 years. The pine tree marks the far western border of our property. Heading over the bridge. Hope you’re not sensitive to heights.:  Heading over the bridge. Hope you’re not sensitive to heights. Standing at the peak of the bridge I’m looking back at Stelle. I lived in Montana for 4 years and as much as I miss the mountains I still never tire of the prairie. The willows we just walked through are to your left.:  Standing at the peak of the bridge I’m looking back at Stelle. I lived in Montana for 4 years and as much as I miss the mountains I still never tire of the prairie. The willows we just walked through are to your left. Making a quarter turn to my left the orchard is in full view.:  Making a quarter turn to my left the orchard is in full view. Last year (2004) was one of the best years ever for the orchard. This year with the cool spring and summer drought it turned out to be one of the worst. Still, the few apples we did get were tasty.:  Last year (2004) was one of the best years ever for the orchard. This year with the cool spring and summer drought it turned out to be one of the worst. Still, the few apples we did get were tasty. Excuse me just a minute.:  Excuse me just a minute. Stepping into the orchard I crouch down so you can get a feel for the canopy effect that has become characteristic of the orchard. Once or twice a year we have the Carr family (Mint Creek Farm) take some of their organic sheep through to keep the grass down and fertilize the soil.:  Stepping into the orchard I crouch down so you can get a feel for the canopy effect that has become characteristic of the orchard. Once or twice a year we have the Carr family (Mint Creek Farm) take some of their organic sheep through to keep the grass down and fertilize the soil. Here’s a picture from about the same spot 28 years earlier. Of all the people who helped plant these trees, only Carroll English still lives in Stelle. To all the others who helped, there are many of us in this community eternally grateful for your gift.:  Here’s a picture from about the same spot 28 years earlier. Of all the people who helped plant these trees, only Carroll English still lives in Stelle. To all the others who helped, there are many of us in this community eternally grateful for your gift. As I walk north, back toward the main road, I can see the old greenhouse. We have some very big ideas for this space. :  As I walk north, back toward the main road, I can see the old greenhouse. We have some very big ideas for this space. While heading over to the greenhouse I look to my left and see one of Mark Hoffman’s bee hives. I’m drinking some spearmint tea with his honey in it while I sit here, typing away.:  While heading over to the greenhouse I look to my left and see one of Mark Hoffman’s bee hives. I’m drinking some spearmint tea with his honey in it while I sit here, typing away. We attracted Chris Marron, a single gentleman from Colorado, who heard about CSC and Stelle and just flat out moved here to help us rebuild and operate this very greenhouse. He has been researching a way to get a greenhouse to produce fresh food all year long – summer and winter.:  We attracted Chris Marron, a single gentleman from Colorado, who heard about CSC and Stelle and just flat out moved here to help us rebuild and operate this very greenhouse. He has been researching a way to get a greenhouse to produce fresh food all year long – summer and winter. You can see that the structure is still solid. Chris feels that he can heat the greenhouse in the winter and cool it in the summer using primarily renewable energy and can do so, cost effectively.:  You can see that the structure is still solid. Chris feels that he can heat the greenhouse in the winter and cool it in the summer using primarily renewable energy and can do so, cost effectively. If this is true, anyone with a small piece of property and access to the sun could put up one of these greenhouses and make a nice living growing fresh organic food for their local area. The demand for organic food is in its infancy. This is a picture of the north wall. It is heavily insulated to hold in the heat.:  If this is true, anyone with a small piece of property and access to the sun could put up one of these greenhouses and make a nice living growing fresh organic food for their local area. The demand for organic food is in its infancy. This is a picture of the north wall. It is heavily insulated to hold in the heat. Continuing past the greenhouse the Quonset building comes into view. In this building sits an experimental ethanol still that Tim Wilhelm worked with in the early 80’s to test the feasibility of small scale ethanol production from corn.:  Continuing past the greenhouse the Quonset building comes into view. In this building sits an experimental ethanol still that Tim Wilhelm worked with in the early 80’s to test the feasibility of small scale ethanol production from corn. Here’s the front view. One of our thoughts is to produce industrial alcohol from the cattails growing around the pond and convert our automobiles to burn it. Some of the preliminary estimates to produce alcohol run about $1.00/gal. That is of course after the expense of getting it running again.:  Here’s the front view. One of our thoughts is to produce industrial alcohol from the cattails growing around the pond and convert our automobiles to burn it. Some of the preliminary estimates to produce alcohol run about $1.00/gal. That is of course after the expense of getting it running again. Here is another old picture showing the building with the community in the background - circa 1975. The orchard is a couple of years old by now but barely noticeable behind the Quonset hut.:  Here is another old picture showing the building with the community in the background - circa 1975. The orchard is a couple of years old by now but barely noticeable behind the Quonset hut. The Quonset building is on my immediate right as I walk back into the orchard heading east.:  The Quonset building is on my immediate right as I walk back into the orchard heading east. A pretty little spot to sit in the morning sun.:  A pretty little spot to sit in the morning sun. Half way through the orchard there is a pear tree to my left.:  Half way through the orchard there is a pear tree to my left. With all this talking I could use another snack. I’ll be a little more brief from here on out.:  With all this talking I could use another snack. I’ll be a little more brief from here on out. Macy and I clear the orchard. Kelly Creek is in the ditch with the purple flowers and the community garden is right behind that. The tree in the middle is in the garden and is named ‘Haven Tree’.:  Macy and I clear the orchard. Kelly Creek is in the ditch with the purple flowers and the community garden is right behind that. The tree in the middle is in the garden and is named ‘Haven Tree’. I turn to my left so I can walk the road over Kelly Creek. The structure on the right is what is left of a hobby greenhouse also constructed in the very early days of Stelle. It is overgrown now and the kids love it.:  I turn to my left so I can walk the road over Kelly Creek. The structure on the right is what is left of a hobby greenhouse also constructed in the very early days of Stelle. It is overgrown now and the kids love it. On the road heading east towards the garden. Looks like Kasandra stopped in the garden this morning on her way to or from somewhere.:  On the road heading east towards the garden. Looks like Kasandra stopped in the garden this morning on her way to or from somewhere. Kelly Creek is to my immediate right. The building you see was constructed in the early days as a fruit and vegetable stand. It has never been used as such but did house several horses at one time and now stores our gardening supplies and tools. :  Kelly Creek is to my immediate right. The building you see was constructed in the early days as a fruit and vegetable stand. It has never been used as such but did house several horses at one time and now stores our gardening supplies and tools. Macy looking for just the right tomato. She does eat them occasionally . Don’t ask me. I don’t know.:  Macy looking for just the right tomato. She does eat them occasionally . Don’t ask me. I don’t know. Despite this years drought, we had a nice crop. Ken Urban set up a solar panel and pumped water out of the pond and into the garden. Heavy mulch has always been sufficient in the past to hold in the moisture but not this year. Wish I had a picture of the solar pump. Sorry.:  Despite this years drought, we had a nice crop. Ken Urban set up a solar panel and pumped water out of the pond and into the garden. Heavy mulch has always been sufficient in the past to hold in the moisture but not this year. Wish I had a picture of the solar pump. Sorry. With the tomato plants still at my feet I look over the garden. The pine trees mark where the pond is. Can you find Kasandra?:  With the tomato plants still at my feet I look over the garden. The pine trees mark where the pond is. Can you find Kasandra? The carrots look pretty good. You can see the heavy mulch on either side - no soil exposed.:  The carrots look pretty good. You can see the heavy mulch on either side - no soil exposed. The heavy mulch also creates ideal conditions for earthworms – cool and moist. We let them keep the soil open and airy as well as do most of the fertilizing. Haven Tree is on your right.:  The heavy mulch also creates ideal conditions for earthworms – cool and moist. We let them keep the soil open and airy as well as do most of the fertilizing. Haven Tree is on your right. Here is a companion planting experiment. Daikon radish, beets, and turnips planted in late July. We have already harvested most of the early lettuce out of it.:  Here is a companion planting experiment. Daikon radish, beets, and turnips planted in late July. We have already harvested most of the early lettuce out of it. Standing in the garden I’m looking west back at the orchard. You can just make out the blue Quonset building under the trees.:  Standing in the garden I’m looking west back at the orchard. You can just make out the blue Quonset building under the trees. Kasandra has taken to naming the beds so that it is easier to identify them. She was out early one morning watching the spiders do their handy work in this bed – thus the name.:  Kasandra has taken to naming the beds so that it is easier to identify them. She was out early one morning watching the spiders do their handy work in this bed – thus the name. Here is the previously mentioned ‘Haven Tree’ - the only shady spot in the garden for now.:  Here is the previously mentioned ‘Haven Tree’ - the only shady spot in the garden for now. The bed behind me she has named Ripple Green. I’ll turn around and let you see why.:  The bed behind me she has named Ripple Green. I’ll turn around and let you see why. I’m met with a sea of waving green from the asparagus patch. We have all the asparagus we can eat from the middle of May till the end of June. The community is in the background.:  I’m met with a sea of waving green from the asparagus patch. We have all the asparagus we can eat from the middle of May till the end of June. The community is in the background. I’m back in the middle of the garden and it is time to follow the path back to the community.:  I’m back in the middle of the garden and it is time to follow the path back to the community. To keep yourself oriented while you climb the meadow hill keep your eye on the shed roof-top in the distance.:  To keep yourself oriented while you climb the meadow hill keep your eye on the shed roof-top in the distance. And we are back at the top of the hill and the stake that marks the corners of CSC’s new property.:  And we are back at the top of the hill and the stake that marks the corners of CSC’s new property. Heading back into the community I see the volleyball court come into view. That’s Ken and Susan Fisher’s house in the middle.:  Heading back into the community I see the volleyball court come into view. That’s Ken and Susan Fisher’s house in the middle. Sue’s circular garden bed again with the shock of sunflowers.:  Sue’s circular garden bed again with the shock of sunflowers. After I pass her bed and look to my right to see the children’s ‘pocket park’ patiently waiting for company.:  After I pass her bed and look to my right to see the children’s ‘pocket park’ patiently waiting for company. I enter the CSC’s back yard with compost bins on the left, garden plot on the right and solar panels on the roof.:  I enter the CSC’s back yard with compost bins on the left, garden plot on the right and solar panels on the roof. Here is CSC from the front. I hope you have enjoyed our walk and we look forward to your visit during any of our Open Houses or other events. We also want to thank all of you who donated funds for the purchase of this beautiful property so that we all can enjoy it for generations to come. Warm Regards, Bill (Executive Director of CSC):  Here is CSC from the front. I hope you have enjoyed our walk and we look forward to your visit during any of our Open Houses or other events. We also want to thank all of you who donated funds for the purchase of this beautiful property so that we all can enjoy it for generations to come. Warm Regards, Bill (Executive Director of CSC)

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