All of this I think will move to the "Host" page. Or maybe it will become a sub-page under Trainings & Exchanges....
Trainings, Exchanges & Demonstrations
Solar energy installation
In December 2016, we expanded and upgraded the off-grid solar electric system at Clear Creek and used the opportunity to train electricians and others interested in getting hands-on solar installation experience. We partnered with MACED to finance the upgrade with a business micro-loan and also to provide the technical training during the installation workshop.
Over the course of two days, we installed 6 roof-mounted PV modules, new charge controllers and industrial batteries as well as a remote monitoring system. Participants learned about system sizing, design parameters and installation guidelines and did the hands-on work to set up the new system components.
The workshop was led by Josh Bills, CEM, of MACED and Jerry Bogie, M.E., of Bogie Electric, the same duo who led our first solar installation workshop in August 2010. Participants in that workshop received similar training and several qualified for NABCEP certification training hours toward becoming accredited solar energy installers.
Both of these solar installation projects were made possible by the support of MACED's business micro-loan program and also by government programs that support the transition to renewable energy. Clear Creek was awarded a federal subsidy through the Section 1603 program which financed a significnat portion of the initial installation through 2012 and received a USDA Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP) grant in 2016 to support the expansion and upgrade.
TImber-framed community kitchen
Our neighbors and friends down the road at South Slope Farm offered to host a timber frame workshop here at Clear Creek to build an outdoor community kitchen in the summer of 2014. We of course agreed and then stood witness to April, Jacob & Ziggy's manifestation of a beautiful structure that has now been the hub of feeding hundreds of people who visit the land each year.
Using timeless techniques and traditional hand tools, participants in the Year of Mud workshop learned how to lay out, join, and raise the timber frame without a single nail or screw. The oak was sourced and milled less than a mile away from another neighbor on Clear Creek, Tim Alexander.
Now, only a handful of these good folks pictured at left participated in the week-long workshop process to build this awesome structure -- we were just the lucky ones who were there at the end to raise the timber frame into the air! Within a few weeks of its raising, Jacob completed the counters and plumbed the sinks, Tyler finished the retaining wall and Kayla sourced the food so we could feed 147 people a 4-course meal during our initial Land, Water, Food Story series and cultural exchange with the Cry You one artists.
The outdoor cob oven pictured here also played a role in roasting vegetables and baking bread for the feast. The oven was also built by our Year of Mud friends through natural "cob" building with clay and stones harvested from the land, straw from nearby and sand. These fine folks continue to offer natural building workshops on site at their place as well as do other sustainbly-oriented carpentry and construction -- check out their current offerings at Year of Mud.
TOURS & DEMONSTRATIONS
We love to show folks around the land here as well as introduce people to the wider Clear Creek and extended community of people in the area who are living in harmonious relationship with the land, water and other resources offered by this incredible place.
Service learning tours for students are often arranged here on Clear Creek through Appalachian Science for the Public Interest (ASPI), a small nonprofit resource center based in Rockcastle County that advocates for sustainable development, responsible resource management, informed personal choices and appropriate technologies. We've hosted student groups from Berea College, Eastern Kentucky University, Notre Dame University, the University of Kentucky and numerous others, often under the leadership of our dear friend, self-taught eco-feminist mycologist and ASPI board member, Timi Reedy.
We've also led dozens of demonstrations here on Clear Creek to provide models for living in greater harmony with nature. In addition to the solar installation and natural building immersions described above, we've also hosted opportunities for talented folks to share knowledge and skills such as:
- building rock walls & naturally terraced garden beds
- composting food & human waste (yes, your poo!)
- cooking with a solar oven or a rocket stove
- cultivating mushrooms through log & stump inoculation
- designing and managing an edible forest
- foraging for edible fungi & other foods in the woods
- growing food via permaculuture and biodynamic methods
- homesteading with an eco-feminist mindset
- living off-grid, decreasing energy use & consumption
- making herbal remedies and mead