What is too much? What is enough? Tiny houses, green burial, simple living, and seize the day.

 

Burial vs cremation: WWJBD?

In burial vs cremation, which is greener? Well, WWJBD? No, that’s not James Brown. No, not Jimmy Buffet either. Nor Justin Bieber, Johann Sebastian Bach, or Jessica Biel. Not Joan Baez. Not Jennifer Lopez, either. I just like her, that’s why. Not Jason Bourne. Not Jack Bauer or Joe Biden. Not Julie Byrne. What would James […]

Mount Athos, “kingdom of monks” — part 2

Find below the second part of a 1990 travelogue about Mount Athos. If you’re just dropping in now, here’s the backstory. Mount Athos is the famed monastic republic in northern Greece. I count Mount Athos as one of the foundations for Melleray Farmstead and Piedmont Pine Coffins. Since I like to talk about monastic inspirations for our […]

Mount Athos, “kingdom of monks” — part 1

Mount Athos is the famed monastic republic in northern Greece. I count Mount Athos as one of the foundations for Melleray Farmstead and Piedmont Pine Coffins. Since I like to talk about monastic inspirations for our place, here’s a peak into the old file cabinets and into the archives — into the past that forms us in the […]

Dovetail joinery for pine coffin corners

Dovetail joinery came up at a funeral this week. What’s a better look for the corners of a Piedmont Pine Coffin, I asked the funeral director, as a beautifully decorated pine coffin was being fitted into its concrete vault and lowered into the grave. Post-and-panel construction, or dovetail joinery? I’d used post-and-panel for this particular coffin, and with […]

Affluenza, green burial, and tiny house life

Is there an affluenza vaccine, and is green burial part of it? Is living in a tiny house the cure for consumerism? Would it were so, would it were so. I wish. Then we’d have an easy answer to the question I posed in a recent post, For what sort of life is a green […]

Melleray Farmstead Holy Week freeze

Melleray Farmstead is the substrate of Piedmont Pine Coffins. It is our cottage industrial home, so to speak. Here’s a mid-April update from the farm, cold and green, to help color in some background to the web impression of Piedmont Pine Coffins. Should you ever like to visit and see for yourself, call. We enjoy […]

Coffin Workshop Weather Upgrade

Storms hit us hard this past winter — for North Carolina — especially the Valentine’s Day Ice Storm of 2014. Two months on, we have at least renovated the coffin workshop to keep the weather out. This should hold us until we can build a separate and purpose-built coffin-works. As you may recall, the current […]

The tree funeral in China and America

What is a tree burial, and how do you plan a tree funeral? Green burial, of course, isn’t confined to the West, and America isn’t the only superpower with environmental concerns. Turns out China needs green burial too. With land for cemeteries at a premium, and with traditional burial costs rising, some Chinese are complaining they […]

Green Burial Information Session Earth Day 2014

Piedmont Pine Coffins is hosting a green burial information session at the Chatham County library in Pittsboro, NC. We chose Earth Day (Tue 22 April) to celebrate the more environmentally friendly options available with green burial. We will meet in the Holmes Room at 6:00 pm. Attendees will get to hear, in broad strokes, what […]

Conversion of manners and green coffins

“Conversion of manners” is a term from the world of Benedictine monks. What does it have to do with green burial and coffins? At Melleray Farmstead, the cottage industrial home of Piedmont Pine Coffins, we like to say we take inspiration from monks and monasteries — primarily the Benedictine tradition. Benedict’s monks down the ages […]

New Monasticism in the Garden at Melleray Farmstead

Let there be a garden for the New Monasticism at Melleray Farmstead, the cottage industrial home of Piedmont Pine Coffins. Before I get to the New Monasticism, however, here are some borrowings from the Old. We’re not old monks here — we’re a young family — but we do echo some old ways. The official […]

“Get three coffins ready,” says Clint

Thanks to friend Paul and others for alerting me to perhaps the most famous green burial coffin line in all of movie-dom. In this scene from the 1964 spaghetti Western Fistful of Dollars, Clint Eastwood gets hassled and gets revenge. It seems a couple of town regulars have taken offense to the new guy in the poncho riding […]

Green burial New York publicity push

The omphalos of it all — NYC — now knows green burial, thanks to Amy Cunningham. With her recent premium publicity, she IS green burial New York. Amy is the blogger and funeral director behind The Inspired Funeral. She has put together a mighty fine collection of links for someone who wants a primer on […]

Tiny Houses: Melleray Farmstead American Gothic

Thanks to IndyWeek for this recent tiny house profile of Melleray Farmstead, the cottage industrial hub for Piedmont Pine Coffins! For more tiny houses, see Tiny House Listings and its collected expertise courtesy of Steven Harrell. Indy Week, if you didn’t know, is the central NC arts, entertainment, and politics newsweekly. Check out the photo of […]

Green burial documentary to be screened in Blacksburg, VA

Those of us in the Piedmont of NC may know about the Durham green burial documentary A Will For the Woods, which chronicles a dying man’s drive to create a green burial cemetery in which to be interred. That cemetery is Wake Forest’s own Pine Forest Memorial Gardens. South Carolina vs. the Old North State in […]