Last updated: October 21, 2015 (1 month ago)
Listing created on: January 12, 2013
Bitternut Urban Homestead Collective
(Syracuse, New York, United States)
- Status: Established
- Started Planning: 2010
- Start Living Together: 2013
- Visitors accepted: Yes
- Open to new Members: Yes
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BitternutHomestead
- Contact Name: Frank Cetera
- Phone: 315-308-1372
717 Otisco St
Syracuse, New York, 13204
Visitors accepted: Yes
Contact us through IC.org or listed contact individuals to arrange for a visit. Walk-ins are welcome, but cannot always be expected to be accommodated if residents are busy with life. Visitors are also encouraged to come to regularly scheduled events for visiting such as potlucks or Permaculture/Natural Building educational workshops and hands-on work days.
Open to new Members: Yes
Q&A via email, in-person or online verbal and visual conversation, visit to the house.
Ecological Social Justice
The house at 717 Otisco St is a 100-year old renovated Victorian purchased in 2010 for $1 from Home Headquarters (HHQ), a local quasi-governmental/non-profit housing agency. The house had been vacant for 3-4 years at the time of purchase, and required new plumbing, electric, heating, hot water, structural repairs from water and animal damage, and major interior and exterior finish work. For instance, all window glass was broken and would be replaced while preserving the original wooden frames and sills.
Residents of the Homestead live and “act” together, a primary strategy for creating community. Desired shared chores include cooking, shopping, cleaning, trash/recycling, gardening, and other tasks including a spring and fall cleaning day, and a spring and fall gardening day. The grounds are landscaped according to Permaculture principles & design, the original owner Frank Cetera being a local Permaculture educator and designer. The Collective also houses the operations desk/office of The Alchemical Nursery, a non-profit organization working to create “Regenerative Landscapes and Lifestyles” utilizing strategies from the realms of Permaculture, mutual aid, eco-socialism, social justice, & ecovillage philosophies & methodologies; and this year hosted a campaign HQ office for a resident’s Green Party run for city council.
Natural building & simple living are also strategies being utilized. Heating is currently through electric baseboard heating for instance. Although electric heating is initially more expensive from the supply side, it was chosen because it is less expensive to install, allows zoned control in each room, can be supplied by solar panels in the future, can be secondary/supplementary only when wood burning appliance is installed, and to keep natural gas out of this “Anti-Fracking House”. Other techniques include interior natural clay plastering and homemade paints, hugelkultur garden beds made from downed woody debris, hand finished floors (scraping, sanding, treating with linseed oil).