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March 10, 2021
Cold Brook Farm: Einkorn Wheat and Rye Crops, September 2020

Building the Passive House Legacy Through Responsible Land Stewardship

During the numerous conversations we had about what we wanted from this next chapter of our lives, when it came to our role as landowners, we had very specific things in mind. We wanted to be good stewards. We knew our role would be a temporary one; the land would remain long after we were gone and we wanted to protect it and improve its health—enhance its biodiversity, revitalize its soil, and remove the invasive plants and plant native ones. But, we also planned to build a house.
July 14, 2020
Cold Brook Farm | WESKetch Architecture + Construction

In Pursuit of the Passive House

As I sketched out a new rendering of the homestead, lifestyle and convenience certainly remained factors, but were no longer the primary drivers of the design. The priorities of the passive house would be guided by sustainability, energy-efficiency and the home’s integration with the land surrounding it.
May 22, 2020
Permaculture for the Small House | WESKetch Architecture + Construction

“Designing” Land Using the Science of Permaculture

Permaculture integrates the mindful stewardship of the land with our daily way of living. It is about marrying the way the land will be planted and used by the people living there.
March 31, 2020
South meadow view of the Small House homestead | WESKetch Architecture + Construction

Creating a Homestead in the Heart of New Jersey

Having spent 39 years in real estate, I am no stranger to conversations about moving from the hustle and bustle of a town or city to the open spaces afforded by the countryside. Sometimes, people tell me they want a certain type of home—a stately Georgian, charming Victorian or sprawling country estate. Other times, they talk to me about land—a property with elevation, rolling hills, or surrounded by a woodland. When I first met Jason and Deborah, I recall thinking that I had never spoken with two people so determined to find both—the right house and parcel of land–in their pursuit of a modern homestead, where life is just as much about the land as the home.