Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

OpCo Update: Planning Application is IN!

For about a year now, SCHA has been working on plans to build a new cooperative (affectionately named Operation Co-op, or 'OpCo' for short..) across the street from our existing J St. co-op at 3rd & J Streets in Old East Davis.

The City, by award of the City Council back in August '09, is donating two lots in the form of a 90-year lease, while the developers of a project on B St. are gifting two historic houses - one of them to be designated an 'historic merit resource' at the new location - along with a cash donation to the project. Our task is to move the buildings seven blocks to the site, set them down on new foundations, retrofit them with the highest level of sustainable technology that we can, and turn the two houses into an 8-bedroom co-op.

We've been at it for months now budgeting, creating drawings for the project, working with our local credit union to secure financing, and reaching out to our community, but this week marks a big success: our planning application is complete!

Take a look at the drawings for our little coop-to-be...and keep an eye out for updates in the coming weeks!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Passing of the Sun

We've turned the lights off. The buzz of the sauna party hits a momentary pause, one more group of towel wrapped guests shuffles in and eyes turn to Andy holding a candle and a large plastic sun -- once rescued from a dump and now a rather functional bookend in the cookbook library and erstwhile symbol of the house. Derek explains the tradition: the departing member of Sunwise passes the sun to the incoming resident, welcoming them into the house.

Andy, our dear friend and resident of Sunwise since his birthday, (May 4th 2009), is now moving on to a new job in Seattle. Andy has brought great things to Sunwise and we hope many will live on as traditions -- from his beer-brewing to his passion for board games to the nature videos on Friday evenings. Other things will be irreplaceable: the smile from the breakfast table as he looks up from his book, always an early riser. His hippie loaf and salsa recipes have been added to the Sunwise cookbook, and his brewmaster log has been carefully photocopied, but will miss his company, his relaxed optimism, and unshakable good humor. Last but certainly not least, we'll miss that mobile sauna so!

He passes the sun to the newest Sunwiser who will take his place in April. auspiciously named April. Welcome to Sunwise, April!

How to catch a bee swarm

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sunwise Bees swarm!

Looks like one of our front bee boxes swarmed today.  Good sign of a healthy colony.  Think it's the small box.  Here they are circling, though rapidly settling down onto the hedgerow of the graden.  We'll see if we can get organized quickly enough to box them.  J Street Co-op needs a new swarm...

Bikers and runners have been passing with curious caution on the bike path, and Andy's already been notified and emailed the house.  Bee networks in action! 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What could possibly go wrong?

A ladder, a sledge hammer, and flying scraps of wood... just another work party at Sunwise.  From her dubious perch on the ladder Erica pounds home the clothes line into its new position and blossoming pear trea to her left will now have room to grow. 

With Spring on our doorstep, the gardens are thriving and the chickens are laying.  But the biggest event of March workday was clearly the installation of the new Toto dual flush toliet!  With the amazing work by Barb and Andy and three drills, the Toto went in "bit by bit."

The new Toto, just installed by the Sunwise residents.  We now have low-flow dual flush toilets both upstairs and down.  And a couple fewer masonry bits...

The real highlight of the day came after the work was all finished:  Andy's newly completed mobile sauna!  Relaxing in the embrace of head and steam, full of the scent of eucalyptus and fresh cedar brings a welcome capstone to this spring day.