My name is Opalyn and joined the internship program at the Windward Intentional Community in 2008, becoming a Steward Member in 2010. I've raised goats, rabbits, chickens, Guinea fowl, ducks, sheep, and American Guniea Hogs. I studied Accounting and Textiles and enjoy time in the woodshop and the forest. More recently, I started exploring permies.com and discovered the PEP program which I find exciting as I am an experimenter and experiential learner. For example, I have learned many different ways to spin wool into yarn and love the different textures I can create using a drop spindle, a castle-style spinning wheel, or an electric spinning wheel not to mention all the steps between shearing and spinning that can affect the yarn. And I've acquired and experimented with many different types and sizes of weaving looms from a 2-in square pin loom to a 48-in counter-balance floor loom.
A bit of Windward's History: The land was purchased in 1987 by a group that wanted to live a different life than was being offered in/by the mainstream. So they took a different tack (sailing metaphor intentional!) and moved to Washington State, onto raw land, and built lots of different structures, including a log cabin and a geodesic dome. We even have a converted bus. In 2006, taking another tack, Windward created an immersive experience program in community living. That was just before I joined. Since then, we have been experimenting in alternative fuels with the Biomass2Methanol Project and what it means to be a connected and integral part of natural systems. That includes the death of our animals and ultimately us. This led us to create Herland Forest Natural Burial Cemetery and become the first licensed Natural Organic Reduction facility in Washington State.
USDA Zone 6a with cold winters and dry summers
Location: East of the Cascade Range and about 20 miles north of the Columbia River.
Opalyn, I'm so glad you explored your way to Introductions and took the time to share about yourself. I'm familiar with Windward because I do a lot of research for my writing and found a number of interesting and helpful articles on their website. It sounds like you are part of an interesting community! So glad you're part of the Permies community as well!