The Ionia barn, under construction, will hold the harvest and provide a grain and vegetable processing center. It is designed to be a place where therapy and subsistence meet. Heated with renewable resources and built with local log beams, clay and straw, it will be an educational environment with a low carbon footprint. We are using Kenai Peninsula logs and clay, which is of the highest possible grade, and dry 2010 harvest Delta Junction barley straw.
The finished barn will hold a carpentry shop, mechanics shop, storage for farming and processing equipment, harvest processing area and numerous sun-bumps for winter growing. It will serve as the center for many of Ionia’s simple seasonal activities and vocational training for youth and people experiencing behavioral disabilities. Ionia residents are providing most of the labor. In the summer of 2011 over 35 volunteers from all over the world are traveling to Ionia to help with the barn construction project.
The Ionia Barn Project is funded by matching grants from the Rasmuson Foundation, MJ Murdock Charitable Trust, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, USDA Rural Development (planning grant) and Paul G Allen Family Foundation as well as generous private donations.