August 1, 2019
Next Introductory Meeting: Saturday, August 10
Just Two Homes Left!
Building Walls, Building Community:
Working and Playing Together before Move-in
Future Fair Oaks EcoHousing residents are still several months away from move-in, yet getting to know each other better and better all the time. How is that possible? First, all members attend the once a month General Meeting and potluck, where we propose, discuss, debate and approve policies for how we will live together after move-in: how many pets can people have? What kind of chairs should we have in the dining room? Should we have required work hours?
This is the work of envisioning and planning for how we will live and work together in the now-near future. The meetings, usually about 2.5 hours long, start with a warm-up activity (a singalong, a quick game of 'Name that tune,' etc), and are followed by a potluck dinner, with time to socialize over the food, as we will do later in the Common House.

Most members also serve on a committee during the pre-move-in time, which provides another opportunity to connect with other members while working on things that really matter to the success of our project: selling the homes (Marketing), making sure the construction is true to the architect's design (Construction Interface), monitoring the budget (Development, Finance, and Legal); overseeing the planning and facilitation of meetings (Process); planning for the gardens (Landscape); furnishing the Common House (Common House) and much more. Most committees are small, 4-6 members, making it easier to get to know each other, to discover and appreciate each other's strengths, and to work through any differences. In effect, committees are micro-communities, letting us practice many of the same skills we will need to bring to our participation in the larger community.

Last but not least, members have opportunities to participate in outings organized by the Social committee, like going to a River Cats’ game, seeing a play at American River College, or enjoying a picnic by the river. It takes time to build a new cohousing neighborhood, but the work (and play) members engage in during the construction and marketing phase also helps lay the groundwork for a strong community after move-in.
Orphaned Cacti Find a New Home: Suzanne's Story
I was never able to keep houseplants alive. I either over watered, or totally neglected. There was no happy medium. Then I was introduced to succulents, the most forgiving plants around. I fell in love with plants that accepted me as I was.

As my interest increased, I joined the Carmichael Cactus and Succulent Society. I learned that all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. Do you know how to tell them apart? Cacti have areoles which are small, round, cushion-like mounds of flesh where spines, hair, leaves, flowers, and more grow

Succulents have thorns along the edge or on the tip of the pad, such as an Aloe Vera. I also learned how to keep them happy with proper care. They need porous soil so water will drain, too much watering can lead to root rot; and they need 12 to 18 hours of light a day, not necessarily direct sunlight. Just a little shade can make a big difference. They grow on mountain sides, rocks, or near the ocean. 
Years ago, at my home in Carmichael, I planted large cacti in ground. That is where they are the happiest and show off by propagating and blooming. Cactus fertilizer makes them strong and encourages bloom. They grew so well that I had to use a machete to thin them out. I am sad to think what happened to the garden when I moved. However, I was able to take some plants in pots, and gave them the best care, making sure they thrived in the right spot at my new home. 

Fast forward nine years.

When I sold my home in January this year, my plants were the most problematic for me. Not only did I have so many (my daughter calls me the plant hoarder), but many were so large that moving them was a challenge. Also, because I am renting a room, and there is no yard to have them with me, I have boarded my plants in four different locations. For the exceptionally large ones I called Marty, who is such a great resource, and asked if she knew of anyone with a yard where I might board them. She did! She suggested her yard, but access was difficult. So she called her neighbor, Dan, who has an area in front of his home right next to the street. 
He has tried growing many things in that space to no avail, and graciously agreed to let me rest my plants there. The rain was horrendous when we put them down, and it continued to pour for weeks afterward. I was concerned that they would get too much rain, not let their feet dry out, and ultimately rot. What I did not take into consideration is the fact that they are so large, and their roots take up so much of the pots, it was difficult for the rain to hurt them. Or maybe I underestimated the power of prayer protection I put over them. 
A few months later one of the cacti bloomed, 18 flowers to be exact. It had never been that prolific in my care. Because I could not think of a place to put them at my new home, I asked Dan if he would like to keep them. He was excited to do so, and I was excited that he wanted them. The plants obviously like it there. It was a win-win-win.

What could be better?
FREE WebChats from the National Association of Cohousing in the U.S.

Each webchat is a Zoom call available to all. If you haven't already, you will need to download and install Zoom on your computer. It is extremely easy to use. The presenter shares for 15-30 minutes on a topic, then takes questions from the audience. These are a wonderful resource!

All WebChats will be at the same time: 5pm Pacific, 6pm Mountain, 7pm Central, 8pm East
All will use the zoom room at

Upcoming WebChats:

Wed, Aug 14, 5pm Pac, 6pm Mt, 7pm Cent, 8pm East
Laura Fitch
Design Programming 
Making decisions about architectural design is complicated and potential stressful. Up front “programming” is critical. We’ll discuss ideas for successful design decision making.
Introduction to Fair Oaks EcoHousing
Saturday, August 10, at 10:30am

Fair Oaks EcoHousing is a neighborhood of 30 homes on 3.7 acres in Fair Oaks, CA, 18 miles east of downtown Sacramento. Come see the site and our architectural plans, and meet members at an upcoming cohousing informational meeting. Kids are welcome.

Act now! Fair Oaks EcoHousing has only two homes left but we are taking names for our waiting list for all other floor plans. If you are interested, please come to the informational meeting and site overlook. Other h omes do become available on occasion. If you like what you hear at the meeting, please join our interest list to be notified of new availability.

To attend the Introduction to Fair Oaks EcoHousing, meet at 10:30 am at the Fair Oaks Coffeehouse in Fair Oaks Village, at 10223 Fair Oaks Blvd , at the intersection with Park Drive. Look for us on the side of the Coffeehouse, in the patio area or in the building at the back. We will introduce you to the project and then we can carpool to the site, where we will be able to overlook the construction of our new community.

The event will last about an hour and a half, with an optional lunch afterwards at the Siam Patio Restaurant or the Smokey Oaks Tavern. If you can't make it on the 11th, the next meeting is Sunday, August 25. Please RSVP below. Thanks!
Be Part of Our Community:
Just Two Homes Left!
As construction progresses on our project, Fair Oaks EcoHousing has only two homes left. Call now to learn about cohousing, observe the site and reserve a spacious 2-story 4 bedroom townhome or the popular downstairs two-bedroom flat. Note: I f you are interested in a different floor plan, please contact us so we can add you to the Waitlist and call you when your preferred size home is available.    We recommend that you come to an Introductory Meeting, if you haven’t done that already.

The 2 bedroom flat includes:

• Wide doors and open space in the home
• Spacious bedrooms with large windows
• Easy access to the porch, pool and Common House

The 4 bedroom townhome includes:

• Spacious upstairs master bedroom with a full master bath and walk-through closet
First-floor bedroom, perfect for a home office, an aging family member, or single-floor downstairs living
• Large windows, allowing natural light to penetrate deep into the home and make rooms feel light and spacious
• Open design for living and dining areas, providing flexibility in use
• Modern kitchen with ample storage and counter space
Large wrap-around porch providing roomy outdoor living space

All homes in Fair Oaks EcoHousing are designed for energy efficient living, with eco-friendly construction and high-quality fixtures and finishes.

Fair Oaks EcoHousing is a pedestrian-friendly village for residents of all ages, with a centrally-located clubhouse, pool and spa, and garden. 

The location is close to Fair Oaks Village and the American River Parkway, with many nearby dining and entertainment options, plus easy access to the freeway.
Want to Learn More About Fair Oaks & Sacramento?