Today, Mel takes us on a photo journey through the house build that she and her family have undertaken in the woods…
We moved to Steward Community Woodland 10 years ago with our young son, and built a low impact structure intended to last 5 years or so. Nine years and two more children later, the time came to rebuild. As we were applying for planning permission that year, we decided to move location a little further down the hill (below the water line!) and rebuild a home from the timber around us. Using a mobile saw mill to plank up some of our Douglas Fir and Larch trees, we were able to make a start.
Today, we’re returning to blog posts from the community. We want to show you how it is to live off-grid – the highs and lows and the unexpected joys and frustrations. Today’s post is from Mel, who featured as the main voice in the Save Steward Wood film.
Today’s post is from Asha. She has lived almost all her life in the woods!
My name is Asha. I’m 13 years old and have lived at Steward Wood since I was 1.
The people here are not just people I live next to and pass by occasionally, they are my family and friends.
When I was younger I spent most of my time playing pretend games in the woods with my friends here, Rowan and Ash, and that in itself has taught me so much and I can’t imagine living any other way.
I have such a close bond with the little ones here. I always used to nag Mum about having another baby so I could look after it but when I think about it, I already have that in Sky (6) and Wren (3).
The other day, lots of us were down in the growing area and Sky, Wren and Myself were all chasing each other around and I just thought how lucky I was to have such a close connection with them and Sky once asked me if I’d be her big sister in my next life.
When I get annoyed or need my own space all I have to do is go outside and climb a tree and I’m transported into another world of my own.
I have learned so much from living here in the woods with all these amazing people. It’s allowed me to have the choice to be home schooled, and learn in the way I want to learn.
I tried school for six months for 3 days a week when I was 10, but then I realized I was missing out on so much at home and I was always too tired to hang out with my friends here and I stopped doing all of the creative stuff I used to do before I began school.
My mum teaches me about plants and herbal medicine and my dad has taught me how to make fire the primitive way.
I love this way of life, it’s amazing!
In today’s post, Sonny writes about teaching the children in Steward Wood. Not everyone here is home-educated, but for those that are, and for those who visit, the community is a powerful resource for education in many arenas.
Here is Merlin, our resident wizard, holding a Mad science day for the
wider community of home ed families here in 2012. 7 of our community children have enjoyed school-free living here at the woods over the last 14 years. Over this time we have held many home education sessions and gatherings for groups and our own children and covered a large number of fun and exciting topics…
For me, Home Education is about raising empowered, free thinking
individuals to become who they truly are. Who know and trust themselves and respect and care for the natural world around them, taking responsibility for their impact on the environment with an understanding that they are capable of anything they put their hearts to. Living as we do at Steward community woodland has made it possible for our children to grow up together and also given them a deep sense of connection and belonging to this land and mother earth in a way that would not be possible living a conventional lifestyle. Please be a part of making this possible for the next generations of children here and nearby by supporting the fundraising effort to save us from eviction – click here or on the pictures to find out more…