So far we have received...

fundraising thermometer

Thank you for your overwhelming support

We reached our goal of $ 8k thanks to everyone who donated!

We are about to install new solar panels that will cost $ 1.3k, and we ordered 2,000 lb of food for the semester.
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person holding a book about cabin construction

About our plans

We are a group of 12 Olin College of Engineering students and Olin and Wellesley College alumni who are spending this fall at Woodland Harvest Mountain Farm, in North Carolina. Lisa and Elizabeth own this small farm and are gracious enough to host us on their property. We are hoping to apply our college experience to designing and creating structures on the farm. This is an experiment that has emerged from the challenging COVID-19 situation.

We are planning to build an off-grid octagonal cabin to house all of us. We will also design and build a hydro-turbine in the local stream to power our cabin with lights and charge for our computers.

More potential projects are:

  • Modeling, designing, and building a hot tub that uses fresh spring water
  • Installation of a research-scale wind turbine and aerodynamic study and fabrication of blades with Olin professor Jeff Dusek
  • Design, fabrication, and installation of the aforementioned water turbine with Olin alumn and hydro-power engineer Johannes Santen
  • Studying the surrounding ecosystems and creating suitable permaculture systems
  • Designing and building a Green Power House prototype, a closed-loop biochar algea greenhouse, which offers heat and fertilizers as by-products
  • Building a bike-powered washing machine
  • An anthropological study of a co-creative process between engineering students and a permaculture farm with the help of Olin profeossor Caitrin Lynch
  • A crossdisciplinary study of technical work in dynamically complex eco-systems with Olin professor Linda Vanasupa
  • Sustainable design projects with Olin professor Ben Linder
  • Art classes with Wellesley professor Daniela Rivera
a person hammers and builds a construction out of wood

What do we need the money for?

We have received great support from professors, staff, and administration. Now, we need your help to fund our living expenses and projects so we can focus on making the most out of our time while not being a financial burden on Lisa and Elizabeth. The raised funds will be spent collectively and transparently, and your donations will go towards funding:

  • Materials for our projects: jets and water wheel for hyrdoturbine, water proof cables, pipes for diverting water, deep-cycle batteries, etc.
  • Personal protective equipment and corona testing kits
  • Food: livestock, seeds and time from harvests, trapping supplies, etc.
  • Basic supplies: propane, toilet paper, etc.
  • Materials for housing: wood, lights, windows, roofing, etc. in order to build our off-grid octagonal cabin

Thank you so much for your contributions to our campaign! We already reached our goal of $8,000, and we are in the midst of upgrading the solar system, canning food, building a pantry, and many other things.

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A few more pictures...

Woodland Harvest Mountain Farm has hosted over 2,500 worktraders, students, and interns throughout the past 15 years. They have partnered with institutions like Wellesley College, University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University, and many others, to host and facilitate alternative spring breaks and workshops.

books on permaculture, hydro-power, cordwood building, and heated furniture

A group of five students is already in the midst of designing a water turbine with the help of Olin alumn and hydro power engineer Johannes Santen. The electricity will help us power an octagonal dwelling that we will build during the first few weeks.

a solar panel and a purple bench in front of green, juicy trees

The farm is completely off-grid. We will rely on solar and hydro power to charge our laptops and run the satellite wifi. We will get through the winter with a lot of fire wood, but we will always have hot showers thanks to propane.

pink-blue clouds above the farm's beds and greenhouse

Located in the lush, biodiverse mountains of Southern Appalachia, Woodland Harvest is nestled in a beautiful forest filled with natural freshwater springs, native wildlife, and vibrant flora.

If you want to get an even more detailed idea of what our semester will look like, you should check out the introductory website below. The website informed students about this opportunity, but it might also be of interest for you.

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