Update

We in the process of purchasing a house. It is a large concrete building fixer-upper! More news soon!

 

UPDATE: We have moved into a building and are fixing it up! When we get a chance to take a breath we will have a more info!

UPDATE 2: We are still fixing up the building and have a lot to do (Including posting an actual update)

Close to a Deal!

We in the process of purchasing a house. It is a large concrete building fixer-upper! More news soon!

UPDATE: We have moved into a building and are fixing it up! When we get a chance to take a breath we will have a more info!

 

Catholic Worker Gathering

Last weekend I (Kurt) went to the 2012 Sugar Creek Midwest Catholic Worker gathering.

Sugar Creek is a gathering of about 200 people involved in catholic worker houses of hospitality, farms, and more. It was a weekend of making connections with people who are doing the same thing as we are working towards. While I already had some connections to people at the gathering I was able to make many more. Other Catholic Workers are a very important part of the circle of support we hope to build for our work. We also want to be able to support other people in whatever way we can.

The weekend was full of bonfires, shared meals, a talent show, informal conversations and a variety of “round tables”. Round tables are more or less informal discussions around a specific topic.

The weekend started with a group wide round table of class and race in Catholic Worker communities and the need for white people to be actively anti-racist especially in radical communities. There was also a session of CW trivia with teams named after the aims and means of the Catholic Worker.

There were probably around 20 different round tables offered in three sessions. Each one was attended by anywhere from 7 to 30 people. Community Dynamics, methods of hospitality, finances,  cottage industries, farming, critiques of technologies, spoon carving and more were all discussed. There was certainly a large amount of wisdom in a gathering of Catholic workers, especially those who have been working for decades.

The Root of All Evil – Fundraising Update

Despite our most utopian dreams Burdock house needs money to start. We want to work towards a society based more on cooperation and mutual aid but ironically this will take at least some money. We have been given some very generous donations by some of our friends. We’ve also been working at jobs and living as simply as we can trying to save enough to get this project off the ground.

So far we have a little over $5000 saved. That’s a huge amount of money for us. Houses in Anderson are very cheap, but livable houses start at about $10,000. We are not looking for a fancy house, but we would like one with a good bit space for community members and/or guests to live in. We also need a big yard, empty lots or maybe some acerage (in our wildest dreams) in order to realize our food growing goals. So we are halfway towards a halfway decent house.

Last week we looked at two different properties that we are considering. One is an old commercial building with lots of space that is in good condition and a little land for us to grow on. The property, while in good condition, would take a good bit of work to convert it into a living space. It would need at least a couple of interior walls built and a kitchen put in. The other is a house on about six acres. The house has a good number of bedrooms plus a finished attic. It also has a very large barn. A five acre plot of farmland is outback, it seems to have been commercially farmed for a while now, but there’s a whole lot of potential. The price tag is a little higher than we are expecting to be able to afford. There are also literally hundreds or even thousands of empty homes that might work for us, so our search continues.

In the meantime we will continue to try to save money and hopefully get this project started in the coming spring!

Tolstoy’s Reflection on Burdock Plants

“Yesterday I walked through a twice ploughed, black earth fallow field. As far as the eye could see, there Tolstoy Burdock Quotewas nothing but black earth not one green blade of grass, and there on the edge of the dusty grey road there grew a bush of burdock…black from dust, but still alive and red in the centre… It asserts life to the end, and alone in the midst of the whole field, somehow or other has asserted it.”

- Leo Tolstoy (from his journal in July 1896)

This pretty much sums up why we chose “Burdock House” as the name of our little project. Burdock is often a noxious weed in an unhealthy ecosystem. It is a pioneer plant. Its large taproot can store energy so even if its visible parts are cut it can regrow. It is a strong and persistent source of energy for many different animals. It helps to protect the ground by providing ground cover and protection from erosion. Hopefully we can provide many the same effects for Anderson and the surrounding area!

Proposal

We propose that Anderson Indiana become home to a unique experiment in radical Christian living starting in the spring of 2013 and we invite you to join us!

We believe that God has called us to work toward creating a better world. We will do this by making a communal living situation in the “Catholic Worker” style. We hope our home can be a center for learning new ways of being and living as well as be a place where people of Anderson can find both emotional and physical nourishment.

“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”
― Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement

Our community will focus on embracing a healthy alternative lifestyle, serving the Anderson area by practicing the works of mercy and offering opportunities for education and community building and resisting and fighting against the evils of this world through education, direct action and living outside of unjust economic and social systems as much as possible. The three tasks below will be the core of our work together.