Concept of the Operation

1Land/Location - We are currently looking for available land at a reasonable price in an area where there is already a vigorous Catholic community and agricultural tradition. We are strongly considering the Front Royal, VA area and the Springfield, KY area, but this will continue to be a matter of prayer and discernment for some time. We plan to purchase the land corporately, as a 501(d) tax exempt Apostolic Association. We are looking for a small but adequate size piece of land, suitable for small scale subsistence agriculture to support a community of a few families, probably 30-40 acres, depending on how many people become involved in the project.
2Housing - We plan to build our own simple, low cost houses using natural building techniques. Designing from the ground up, we will build everything to be off grid and self-sufficient. This means energy efficient design, and virtually closed loop when it comes to utilities. We aim to achieve this by:
  • AEnergy production: solar, hydroelectric, or wind power generation built into the houses or infrastructure. We will minimize the use of electrical appliances, and those we do use will be high efficiency. This will eliminate the need for any exorbitant, excessive energy systems. Our houses will be built out of natural materials with high insulation properties. They will be built to maximize natural climate benefits and utilize natural heating and cooling effects. In this way, any artificial climate control will be minimal, if any.
  • BWater efficiency: Our houses will also be built to use local water sources, either a local spring, well, or rainwater harvesting. They will use water conservation methods, like graywater irrigation, high efficiency shower heads, and no flush composting toilets.
Cob Houses
Earthbag Houses
Hybrid House
Closed Loop Living
Composting Toilets

3Agriculture - Using sustainable, biointensive agricultural techniques, we intend to grow the majority of our own food, as efficiently as possible, while also improving the soil and land quality where we live. We intend to keep small livestock chosen for their calorie efficiency, such as hens for eggs and manure, rabbits for meat, fur and manure, and fish for protein and aquaponics cycling. Milk cows will also be kept for home dairy.
Good stewardship of the earth and its resources is a fundamental calling of Christians, and is especially imperative nowadays in our heavily industrialized era. We want a better, more fruitful world for our children and grandchildren. For us that must start with the plot of land under our feet. We want to cultivate a lifestyle of "devout and dignified self-sufficiency", emulating the saintly work ethic and spirituality of St Benedict: "Ora et Labora" (Prayer and Work!). For these reasons, among others, the methods we intend to use to pursue this goal include:
  • 1. Biointensive planting
  • 2. Composting/soil improvement
  • 3. Companion planting
  • 4. High efficiency irrigation/self-watering containers
Grow Biointensive
Urban Homestead
Backyard Chickens
Backyard Aquaponics