Monday, October 11, 2010

Live at White Hawk Without Waiting for Construction

The home construction process is fun, but we've encountered plenty of folks who want to live here (or somewhere like it) but are just not that into designing and building a home.  For the first time, White Hawk has a completed home available.

It's ours!  We're a family of four and and have lived here
Home on the left--viewed from the South
quite happily since August 2009.  However, our income source remains a one-hour drive away despite our two-year endeavor to switch it to the Ithaca area.  Okay, so back to our original home we go.  We're not really all that into commuting.

Our shift elsewhere opens up an opportunity for someone new to join and live at White Hawk without all the wait and details of the design and construction process.

Here are some photos from just before we moved in back in August 2009.

Home viewed from the road (north side).  The side part of the porch is a now
enclosed and offers great storage space as well as energy savings.

Living room viewed from the side door.  


Laundry/utility room with tankless water heater.
This water heater heats both home and water.  Very efficient!

Just off the utility room, a toilet room with a handwashing faucet atop the tank.
The clean water comes through the faucet and then into the tank, used a second time to flush the toilet.


8 x 10 room off the living room.  We currently use it as an office and
family closet, but it could be converted to an extra bedroom. 

Up to the second floor...

Wide plank flooring in an open and airy space.
We use this space as a playroom with a sleeping area on the other side of the stairway.
The upstairs space is currently open but could be converted into separate rooms.
For more information about our home, visit White Hawk's website.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Greg planted a sunflower patch, choosing a variety known to make good oil seeds. He has an oil press and plans to try and make a one year supply of sunflower oil this fall. We all think the patch of flowers looks nice, too.

New Construction

We've been working on a new building at White Hawk! It's a bus shelter-farmstand-internet shed. This multi-use building sits at the entrance to our land, right at the corner of White Hawk Lane and 96B. Our site plan calls for a bus shelter in that location, and some members creatively designed some extra features, like a fold-down shelf and operable windows, allowing it to be used as a small farm stand, too. Internet shed? Since laying cable for internet would be costly at this point, we've designed a method for getting high-speed internet delivered to our farm stand (as a business connection). Then, using some clever wireless technology, we can send the signal to the houses, and enjoy! The plan requires a pole and some electricity near the parking lot, so we also added our first streetlight to the overall design. The building is about half done now, and should be finished in a couple more weeks.

As for the camouflage... well, we're waiting and seeing. We were able to get the wood at a great price.

Well, the summer tour season is over for White Hawk, but visitors are still welcome and we encourage to to visit! We held four open house events this summer, and had a lot of fun meeting new people. We had visitors from far and near, as well as curious neighbors that we were happy to show around. We had fun with snacks, live music, and we even premiered our walking trail. If you missed out, please contact us at to arrange a private tour.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Working From Home, With Rooster

Yesterday was an amusing first for me. While I was on the phone for work, discussing with my colleague Bob the various options for some of the electronics in our newest product, Buster the rooster began crowing. When I told Bob what it was, he said "oh, good, I was hoping that wasn't you making those sounds."

Now, ordinarily, one does not associate crowing roosters with high-tech electronics design. Then again, one ordinarily imagines roosters crowing "at the break of dawn" (as the Dylan song goes), but I can assure you that is not Buster's strong point. The other day when I went to let the chickens out at about 8am, they looked more sleepy than I was. In contrast, 3:30 in the afternoon seemed to Buster like a fine time for crowing. Perhaps he had just found a particularly nice roost, as he did the other day with the stack of locust poles that Laura is planning to use for her garden gate. At the end of the call, Bob suggested that I ought to go out and "give that rooster a piece of my mind."

At first, I guess I was a bit embarrassed by having sounds normally associated with farmyards in the background of my work phone call. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like someone else's problem... probably society's at large. The fact is, Buster interrupts me far less often, and rather more pleasantly, than the telemarketers and salespeople who have now been instructed to call at the most awful times in hopes of actually getting you to answer the phone. There are plenty of times when I've lost my train of thought in the midst of some tricky software development work because FedEx is banging on the door, or someone needs help logging into Outlook. (Which, by the way, is not part of my job description.)

All in all, I think I prefer a crowing rooster and some cackling guinea hens. Considering how much more efficiently I can work from home, my boss probably does too.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Rainwater Collection

Greg is adding two barrels to his rainwater collection system.  Water gets pumped from the barrels on the ground up to a barrel on his balcony, giving Marty and Greg plenty of water pressure for watering the garden.

Dame's Rocket Paradise

One thing that makes me cringe is the memory of a line I once wrote:  "How enchanted was I by the sight I beheld."  I was going through a Jane Austen phase, but is that any excuse?  Well, the line applies here.

Directly in back of our house and through the tree line, I can hop onto the Loop Trail that Joe (and the deer) made.  It was  here I stumbled into clusters of dame's rocket in every direction.  The photos don't do it justice.  Suddenly it's everywhere!

There were so many that Sue and I could gather bouquets for everyone without spoiling the effect.