2012 Rockhaven is embarking on a "Greenhouse Project!" With the partnership and assistance of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary, we've completed the feasibility study and design phase. At the 4th Annual Spaghetti Dinner in February, we unveiled the project design (left). Butterfly Energy Works designed a passive solar greenhouse, complete with a meeting/gathering space. It's a super efficient thing of beauty!
Up next: raising funds for the new passive solar greenhouse, loving deconstruction of the existing "Purple Greenhouse" which has served Rockhaven for 60 years, and the actual "barn-raising." We'll keep you all posted as we'll be needing the community for this project to come to fruition.
Proposed greenhouse design
2013 APRIL Conversations and ocular visit with contractors tasked to examine the Purple Greenhouse foundation work resulted to the discovery of two 1,000-gallon fuel oil tanks buried next to the 'Purple Greenhouse' and under the east-side stairs of Wisdom House. We struck oil! Needless to say, further work with the Greenhouse Project temporarily stopped; we had to deal with the fuel oil.
MAY-JUNE Work begun by emptying the tank closest to the Purple Greenhouse - 490 gallons of oil mixed with water! A local farmer was able to recycle and reuse the oil mixture. An environmental engineering consultant (Antea Group) was hired to evaluate, manage and resolve the fuel oil issue. They also made sure that Rockhaven's water source (the well sits right next to one of the tanks) was not compromised by possible oil leakage.
Demolition of concrete stairs by Wisdom House
JULY As soon as the weather cooperated, the demolition of the work of the east-side stairs of Wisdom House began. The next day, the tanks were excavated, opened, and cleaned for recycling. The remaining hazardous sludge was was taken away for proper disposal.
The new stairs are rebuilt and all the concrete pieces from the previous stairs were reused. The re-designed stairs and its immediate surroundings now affords Rockhaven another perfect spot for sitting/lounging, basking in the early morning sunshine, or to just simply be. On the fourth day, after the completion of the "tank project," a big black bird swooped down and circled around the work area as if it was admiring the job well done. We thought it was Sister Tobias' presence... she is probably smiling down upon us.
Lastly, we are grateful to the Franciscan Sisters of Mary who assisted us in this tank removal project. We walk with them and their love and care for the Earth.
Meanwhile, we plan to re-start the Greenhouse Project by August, weather permitting. We shall be calling on all who can help in the "loving deconstruction" of the Purple Greenhouse. Constructed in 1953, she has served us well all these years.
Deep chasm behind the greenhouse after excavating another oil tank
Excavating the oil tank under the concrete stair case
Rockhaven is a 501(c)3 corporation. Your contributions are tax-deductible.