Berry Mountain Center for Sustainable Living will be based on a 30-acre parcel in Pendleton County, West Virginia – just over the border from Harrisonburg, Virginia (home of James Madison University).
Our Mountain Center lays in the valley between Shenandoah Mountain to the East and Long Mountain to the West. Here in the beautiful heart of Appalachia, we will build a summer camp for sustainability within a working self-sufficient homestead.
The Main house will be constructed to be an earth-sheltered Net-Zero home: creating more energy than it consumes through the use of photo-voltaic solar panels, solar water heating, heavy insulation and passive solar design.
There will be outbuildings constructed from timber taken from the land.
There will be a village of tiny houses, constructed in a variety of methods (kit homes, cord wood, traditional log) that will house our visiting students and guests – as well as a large community hall/kitchen and bath house.
We will install vineyards, orchards and food forests in addition to the main edible/useful garden.
We will capture all rainfall on the Mountain to use in crop irrigation.
Because the umbrella of Sustainability includes being able to make your own fun – Berry Mountain Center for Sustainability will not lack for ways to entertain ourselves. We will pan for gold and gemstones in the stream. We will fish for trout, hunt for turkey, grouse and deer, hike in the neighboring George Washington National Forest or zip through the canopy of our property on the course of five ziplines. We will conduct massive Capture the Flag tournaments, and hunt for Sasquatch whenever the moon is full.
We will host campfire sing-alongs, yoga sessions and weddings within the Celtic-inspired stone circle we will construct along the east ridge of the Village.
We will host festivals throughout the year: Music, Maple Syruping, Stargazing, Canning Parties and Rendezvous campouts.
Berry Mountain will also be the host to several ongoing research projects.
1. There is a Civil War breastworks (rifle trench redoubt) on the property that will be excavated by a University archaeology team.
2. We will be planting three test food forests, each planned on different climate zones to measure what (if any) effect climate change has on growing conditions and varieties that thrive.
3. We will be testing the latest in alternative energy technologies to measure efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
4. We will track our carbon output and inputs as we clear land for construction and measure it against the extensive planting we intend to do in establishing crop orchards.
Berry Mountain will be a place to live, learn and play for anyone drawn to the idea of saving our planet. It’s worth saving, and we want to help.