Heidi Raebeck-Heider

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since Dec 14, 2013
Artist, writer, old house renovator, lover of children, animals, plants, travel, old things, country living ...
Worcester County on the Eastern Shore, Maryland
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Recent posts by Heidi Raebeck-Heider

Coco: I just came across this post--I never saw it two years ago. Are you still here? Great to hear from you. I was just thinking about you the other day!   ~~Heidi
4 years ago

I'm at 66 and 495, about 45min- hour I think...what kind of farming do you have in mind? Any green houses involved or aquaculture? How much land arebyou working with? Does your county allow raising pigs or chickens?

Hi Louie:

The Plains is only about 30 min from the Beltway and 66, then I am another 10 minutes from the village. This is Fauquier County and I am not sure but I THINK it is pretty loose here about having animals . . . I am surrounded by protected land and horse farms on all sides. My neighbor has chickens. I love animals and would love to have some free-roaming chickens or guinea hens, but there would be a challenge with the foxes. I adore goats and pigs but there may not be enough space for them here.


7 years ago
Hi Bob & Louie!

Welcome Bob. I just joined myself. I am sure there are plenty of people exploring natural building options and/or already actually building naturally in Virginia, WV, southern Maryland, northern NC, etc., but finding them does not seem to be as easy as it would be if we were in California, Oregon, or New Mexico, right?

Bob and Louie, where are you located? I am in The Plains, Virginia--going east/west, it is about halfway between Manassas and Front Royal, off Rt. 66, about an hour west of DC. (Going north/south, it's between Middleburg and Warrenton, west of Rt. 15 and east of Rt. 17)---maybe an hour or more northwest of Fredericksburg.

Louie, to answer your question to me from the other thread, I am in no rush, since I cannot build alone and since I have not yet found or hired any builders. In fact, I was about to forget the whole thing, but now I am getting inspired again, especially after finding this great blog--the most helpful and informative resource I have found, by far, written by Sigi Koko, who lives and works in the PA/Washington DC/Baltimore MD region:

Build Naturally Blog:


Right now, any help at any time would be completely welcome and appreciated. Next summer would be perfect to try to build something here. Maybe we could experiment with an oven, or some walls, or a shed, or gazebo, or a room off another structure, such as the wooden garage/run-in shed I hope to have put up soon. (I already have all the old wood for it that was dismantled from a run-in shed on another property).

Since I have so many rocks and stones, I am interested in maybe finding a way to combine bale, cob, and stonework, with maybe wood frame also, as Bob was saying.

Bob: If and when you build something, I would love to know about it--and maybe come see it. (I don't mind traveling--I'd combine it with a trip to that area.)

I'll likely be looking to hire people, at some point, who can do the building and who know about this stuff. Let me know if you come across anyone in our area who would be interested.



7 years ago

Mariamne Ingalls wrote:

Heidi Raebeck-Heider wrote:

I sure have a lot of decaying logs on my property . . . would love to learn what I can do with them . . . where do I get that kind of information? Thanks!

Hi Heidi-

Welcome to permies!!

Wow -- there is so much here at permies on hugelkultur! There is a whole forum!
Here's a great thread with pics, and also the famous Hugelkulture video is linked in this thread:

Good luck in all your projects!

Thanks Mariamne! I never heard of this before, but it turns out that I have been doing my own kind of hugelkultur---or something quite similar. I have been collecting all my pruning debris (often 10 feet long branches from old bushes that weren't pruned in 20 years, and so forth), and all the twigs, branches, and a few small trees that were dug up, and some various logs and putting it all together in areas of my yard that are lower than the rest and that I want to build up. These areas are mostly by the property line and won't be walked on much. My plan is to build up the land to make it more even--more level--easier to plant bushes and trees on, eventually. I think it will make some really nice soil over time (my dirt here is extremely rocky and hard therefore to work with), while at the same time, I am getting rid of all this unsightly "debris" lying around. I put leaves on top of it (piles of them from raking the yard) and armfuls of old cut grass, from a few months ago (that now looks like straw). So, you don't even see all the wood, trees, branches under there now. It just makes sense to recycle this stuff rather than throw it into a landfill or burn it. I plan to cut down a lot of small trees from my wooded area before long. I may end up renting a shredder and shredding some of that wood to use for mulch later, after I have filled all these low lying areas . . . we'll see. Finding dirt to put on top of it is a challenge, since, as I said, my dirt is so rocky, it's really hard to dig and move unless I hire a bobcat. On the other hand, if I am willing to take the time, I end up with so many rocks, of all sizes, that I can build things with these too, and I've already started a nice walkway.

7 years ago

Jameson Pfeil wrote:I helped make a hugelkultur mound as well as laying the foundation for a hoop house at Heathcote community in Northern Baltimore Co. MD last year. I haven't been back since. I'll have to get back there sometime.


Jameson: What did you make the foundation out of?
7 years ago

Collins Conover wrote:I have a good start on decaying logs. Finally I have something useful to do with them. So I am definitely interested in building a hugelkultur on my property. I'd like to plant wild flowers for the honey bees. I'm about an hour from DC in Southern Maryland. I haven't read a whole lot yet on hugelkultur.

Other interests: cordwood construction, rmh, chickens

I sure have a lot of decaying logs on my property . . . would love to learn what I can do with them . . . where do I get that kind of information? Thanks!
7 years ago
I am interested in building something with cob or another natural process on my property. I would need a lot of help doing it. I have a beautiful spot for a structure. I am about an hour southwest of DC, in Virginia.
7 years ago