Current Projects

Current projects:

We live in Woodfolk House, a 9 person urban collective that is on the cutting edge of environmental sustainability. The house’s solar features allow us to consume 10% of the average American energy consumption. We are managing the large vegetable garden. The house has an extensive orchard of about 80 fruit trees, as well as 2 composting toilets. In addition, Woodfolk acts as a hub for local community. We are helping strengthen the local alternative culture and social network by hosting radical movie nights, garden work parties, potlucks for people interested in community, radically re-interpreted parties and other community-building events.

We are working to create a new urban commune in Charlottesville. Expanding the number of community nodes in Charlottesville, this collective living situation will have a horizontal power structure and will be ecologically sustainable and socially satisfying. It will allow for varying degrees of social and economic involvement, while maintaining enough collectivity to foster culture creation and resource sharing. It will also serve as a hub for organizing at the neighborhood and city levels, and will provide organizing and meeting space for activism, arts, and culture. We will incorporate the cutting-edge of low-tech alternative energy, natural building, and appropriate technology. This community will provide a model for sustainable urban community.   After a couple months of lengthy discussions with an array of people, we’ve created an initial “Statement of Intent” as a tool for organizing and bringing together a larger group of folks to work on this project.

Our work with QCC through Patchwork Farms led us to divide the original Patchwork Farms project into several smaller projects.

Neighborhood Gardening Ambassadors for QCC: This involves reaching out to folks in our neighborhood who have been gardening or have lots of room to garden in their backyard.  We’ll function as “garden ambassadors” in the neighborhood,  using these backyard gardens as a way to get neighborhood kids involved.  Folks who help out will earn QCC garden tokens to exchange for vegetables at the QCC market.

Patchwork Farms has morphed into a more long term business that would take the place of landscapers by planting gardens in people’s yards.  We’re stepping back to to try and create a wider web of interest in this project.  This year will be primarily R&D, and the collectively owned and run business will get off the ground sometime next year.

Parking Spot Reclamation: We got inspired by Streetfilm’s short documentary about NYC’s celebration of National Park(ing) Day, and have been doing monthly parking spot reclamations here in Charlottesville.  Park(ing) days are an opportunity to celebrate pedestrian culture and demonstrate alternate uses of public space dedicated to cars.   We’ve done 3 reclamations so far, with another one coming up in May for Bike Week.   We’ve written a couple blog posts about the events, which included an array of tea, snacks and activities, along with chairs to lounge on and visuals of transformed, human-centered public space.   We even got a layer of sod for a temporary grassy Earth Day Park(ing spot)!   The pictures speak for themselves, check out these links: Earth Day Park(ing spot), First Park(ing spot) Action.

In addition to these projects, we are each devoting our time and energy to support a number of smaller on-going projects here in Charlottesville. Sky is doing organizational support for CHUVA, Collective Housing at the University of Virginia. We are helping create a home-gardeners support network, supporting bike activism here in town, and helping strengthen the regional communities network. We aim to be both focused in our efforts, and flexible in our ability to respond to issues as they arise.

Full Project List

Current Projects

(links in parenthesis are examples of similar or inspiring communities or organizations)

  • Garden managership at Woodfolk House
  • Presentations on our European communities tour
  • Early development stages of a new urban commune (Ganas Community, EGFS )
  • Developing Patchwork Farms collective business
  • Organizing community building events like radical movie nights and potlucks
  • Supporting the development of the home-gardeners support network in Charlottesville
  • Local bike organizing
  • Park(ing spot) Actions
  • Cooperative development and skill-building with CHUVA (Cooperative Housing at the University of Virginia)

Medium-term projects (6 months-1 year):

  • Focused development of a new urban commune
  • Presentations on community, sharing, and social change
  • Bulk-foods buying club that would evolve into a Food Co-op

Potential long-term projects (up to 3 years):

We are very aware of the potential for overwhelm and burn-out, and see taking care of ourselves as key to both our personal happiness and our effectiveness in the world. As our work in Charlottesville evolves we will continue to solicit guidance and council from our extended community.

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~ by skybluestar on January 25, 2009.

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