by Michael Mitton, 26th February 2008
A couple of weeks ago I helped Jason Caddy have a very moving experience. He joined us for our afternoon attunement in Park Maintenance and asked the team for some support. So, together with Irene and Christophe, two guests from our Essence of the Arts programme, I lent a helping hand. We pushed and we pulled, we grunted and heaved, we shifted and shoved and eventually we placed an old caravan chassis onto its new site in Pineridge. Upon this base Jason is building his dream, an ecomobile home that is both a beautiful place for him to live and a demonstration that ecohomes can be easily built and affordable, proving that eco doesn’t have to mean expensive.
Jason is the grandson of community founders Peter and Eileen Caddy. I have known him since he was born, and he still has the same smiling face and the same indomitable energy that reminds me so much of his grandfather, matched with a gentle and caring nature reminiscent of Eileen’s. It is wonderful to see the third generation making a home for themselves in the community, showing that what we do here is relevant for young and old alike.
His is the latest project in our drive to replace all of our aging caravans with economical ecohousing, developing new housing models for a sustainable future. By reusing the bases of our old mobile homes we are cutting the costs, both financial and ecological, of laying down foundations.
These ecomobiles are designed with passive solar technology, warmcell insulation, and wood fire heating and hot water, keeping them snug and cosy even on the coldest days. Our prototype has just withstood its second winter and our baker, Eian, who lives there, couldn’t be more happy with it. “When we first moved here a caravan seemed like the only option. After two years the detrimental effects of living in a metal box were too present to ignore. When we got the chance to live in the first ecomobile home in The Park, we jumped at it. It has been a joy to live here.”
Jason, who has made a name for himself helping to build many of the ecohouses on The Park, is understandably very excited about being part of developing the ecomobile initiative. “I am ecstatic to be putting my skills to good use for the Findhorn Foundation. It has been a lot of hard work to draw up the plans for the ecomobile, draft the contracts and clear the obstacles. Many hours went into researching the materials used in the structure and most are sourced locally and produced from healthy sustainable resources. I have designed the structure from the builder’s perspective, it’s modular and straightforward to build, as well as being easily adapted and customised.”
To hold the focus for more design and build projects Jason has set up a company called Green Leaf Design & Build Ltd, and is looking forward to being a part of constructing the future of our ecovillage. He has so much passion and energy, I believe he could almost build our city of light single handed, but he pointed out to me that he couldn’t have done this without the support of his community. “I have to appreciate all the many friends and people that have helped me with this project, it’s definitely been a collective manifestation. Patience, persistence, perseverance, and of course gratitude!”