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 […]

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 […]