The Commons at Windekind
Creating a Place that People Love
“Loving this mountainside place means that we are unwilling to go elsewhere. To do this, we want to bring new points of view, new skills and technologies, and new capital to this place that we love.“
— Mark & Marijke Smith
The Commons is being created on a stunningly beautiful 125-acre Vermont landscape of forest and meadow called Windekind Farm. It adjoins 24,000-acre Camel’s Hump State Park, yet is only 25 miles from Vermont’s biggest and most cosmopolitan city, Burlington, recognized by the United Nations as a “model of sustainability.” The property includes a 14-acre south-facing meadow, woodlands, streams, ponds, gardens and access to about 30 miles of hiking and Nordic ski trails that go high into the Green Mountains.
Marijke and I have lived on, loved and cared for this land and its buildings for over 45 years. Now we look toward the next generation of stewards who also desire to create permanence, the staying power of a place across generations. This has led us to transition the property into a model of ownership that includes nine home sites of one acre or less that will be individually owned, while each of the 9 households also will hold a 1/9 share of the remaining 130 acres. The original farmhouse, our home, and two rental cottages (Breidablick and Campanula) that are now for sale, already exist on the site. six new homes will be added.
One outstanding geographic feature of the farm is that the residential area is located on a large south facing bowl, ideal for sunlight and solar gain, that combines open space and terraced lawn areas with forested and garden areas—a highly integrated landscape. These features have allowed us to weave commonly owned land thought-out the residential portion of the community giving members very direct access to the resources of Common areas.
Below is a view of the meadow and the Green Mountains beyond. Forest work will be done to clear trees as needed to create home and garden sites and optimize views. Spacing between homes will be generous enough to ensure room for privacy and individuality, while also providing a sense of community. The overall cost of owning a parcel and the 1/9 share of the Commons land ranges from $130,000 to $170,000 including development and permit costs.
We have developed house packages that go from $160,000 an up depending to square footage and quality of construction. The costs of Breidablick and Campanula cottages are $340, 000 and $500,000 respectively. Once a family decides to join in our design and building team work with them very closely to support the building process with an eye on cost and quality.
This small pocket neighborhood community is designed to appeal to artisans and gardening enthusiasts, persons with a strong interest in the environment, sustainable living, outdoor recreation, Nordic skiing and physical fitness. The intent, utilizing permaculture design principles, is to preserve and protect this land while also provide members with the opportunity to use these resources for sustenance and income producing purposes like farming, artisan activity, and commercial gardening, we also place a strong emphasis on insuring that the infrastructure is in place to support home based professional offices.
Together we will create an environment where a diverse and multi age group of families feel a sense of belonging and interconnection with others and their environment—a place that is aesthetically uplifting, culturally rich, and environmentally and economically sustainable. We understand that the stewardship of natural resources is ultimately a synthesis of people engaging in community with nature.
We would love to hear from you.
Mark and Marijke