My big project for this year is to bootstrap a facility for hosting seminars for a dozen or so people and perhaps a couple of small rental units for artists, writers, solitude seekers, and the like. I've written up the bulk of the concept at my BarkEaterStudios wiki. Trying to concentrate the bootstrap process into weeks as opposed to years is my greatest planning challenge at the moment.
As the bulk of the construction materials are on-site, the overhead for construction is minimal. Freecycle could be the source for such things as nails, screws, roofing, windows and doors, so the actual construction costs would be quite minimal. Structures will be solar and snow friendly, be of frame construction, and could incorporate stone; all local, sustainable materials. The non-technical aspects of the project weigh greater on my mind.
Left to my own devices, the project would take years to bootstrap. I am not a carpenter, although I have helped with numerous carpentry projects, so I'm not totally clueless, but having extra hands, backs, and brains would turn a long-term task into something that could take a matter of a couple weeks.
Finding a few extra folks to help, while the snow is still on the ground and there is time to plan, is my current task. Finding volunteers and potential partners seems daunting to me, but I realize it could be a most rewarding aspect. I'm not quite sure if such organizations as idealist.org, wwoofusa.org, and organicvolunteers.org are suited toward this currently non-organization, tho I could be wrong. As described in the wiki, the facility would provide conference or seminar space for about a dozen participants and would focus on such fields as art, fitness, music, nature, spirituality, sustainability, and technology, as well as others of a compatible, symbiotic nature. The construction crew should have similar interests and vision.
Trading a couple weeks of labor for food and shelter may or may not be equitable, nor would long-term partnership in the finished project. Usage of the completed facilities and future camping access would be available to the bootstrap team, and arrangements could probably be made for each to attend seminars at a free or reduced rate.
The facility would create the potential for a small, seasonal, paid support staff, but such positions would require extra research and planning. Since the facility will be on my family's property, partners will be preferred over employees. The bootstrap facility would be quite small, but there is a potential for extra facilities and opportunities. Once the base facility is able to financially support itself, a duplicate facility could be built, as well as a few rental cabins. Ideas for additional facilities are plenty, more ideas are welcome.
The legal aspects of the project are still up in the air. Organizing an NPO to use the facility would probably a good idea. The greater art/craft studio facility concept has commercial aspects that may require a different/separate approach, unless the NPO is structured creatively enough. Brainstorming and legal advice will need to come into play before anything is set in stone.
Finding a romantic interest and life partner during the whole process would be a wonderful bonus! :)
This blog is now closed...
1 year ago