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The Journey Begins

Posted by on July 1, 2011

The main reason for starting this blog is to track our progress as we convert our newly-owned house into a green and sustainable home.  The house is beautiful, but in my opinion not connected to the land; it looks as if it was just dropped on the land.

This is the reason we bought the house - the beautiful land surrounding it

The land around our new home is owned by Braeburn Farm. Charlie and Cindy are great stewards of the land and ‘get it’ when it comes to sustainable agriculture. I met Charlie back in 2005 when he was interested in using biodiesel on his farm to replace the diesel fuel in his equipment. Charlie and I have since become very good friends and are part of the trio, including Sam Moore, that helped launch Company Shops Market Coop in downtown Burlington that just opened a few weeks ago.

I want to take what I have learned from the triple bottom line path we have taken TS Designs over the past 30 years along with utilizing the knowledge I have gained from my many Permaculture books and the class I took at NC State under my friend and mentor Will Hooker and apply it to our property. We are a part of nature and want our home to be a part of it too.  The connection between the principles of Permaculture and the technical aspects of energy conservation I believe are critical.  We have learned the benefits of utilizing both western and eastern medicine in order to have a healthy life.   I believe the same applies to permaculture and conservation in order to have a complete and minimal impact home.

We wanted to build our home and that was our plan when we purchased some land in northern Alamance County a couple of years ago. In this current economic climate the much better deals are with land and house. We sold the land earlier this year and learned about Charlie’s house coming available. Things lined up as we found a ready buyer for our Parkview home.

The house is much bigger than what we would have wanted and so much more the reason to reduce and manage our energy footprint.

I just finished reading Peter Gilding’s book The Great Disruption and I agree with him we have come to the point of a great shift in our society. From the depletion of natural resources mainly “peak oil”, to the impact climate change will have, to the end of economic growth and creating a society that is fair and equitable for everyone. We have to return back to our communities of local economies and agriculture while greatly reducing our carbon footprint. i.e. a simpler more connected lifestyle.

I hope you will follow our journey and share your thoughts with us.

4 Responses to The Journey Begins

  1. Sam Moore

    Hey Eric:

    Good to hear of what you are doing. I look forward to following your progress.


  2. Peter Mac Manus

    Hi Eric, I hope that you will give us a view of what you want to do in specific terms and how you hope to accomplish your goals. This message is some what self centered as I want to go down the same road. Being the nice guy that I am I will allow you to help me not make mistakes. Congratulations on the new house, Peter Mac Manus

    • Eric Henry

      Peter, thanks for joining the journey and yes there will be lots of specifics. I hope to do one new post a week at least in the beginning since there is so much low hanging fruit that can be picked to save $$$ and reduce our carbon footprint.

  3. Josh Donaldson


    Wow! Excellent report of the projects already completed. I am especially interested in the upcoming blog containing the Plot Watt information. A true look into your homes energy usage will be very resourceful. My hats off to the engineers behind this technology. Looks like there will be no guess work when it comes to calculating your homes individual energy consumptions.

    Keep the info coming


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