Friday, July 22, 2011

Get your project on!

Community Cultivators is very excited to share with you the amazing community that is under cultivation in East Austin. It seems like every week several new and exciting developments happen all at once. It's been awhile since we've been able to take the time to capture some of the most amazing developments in on this site. Let's get you up to speed!

Over the course of this past year Community Cultivators started investing in development projects at the Permaculture Park in East Austin. We collaborated with to put together few workshops and produce a couple videos you can check out here.

As development progressed, we started hosting workday potlucks to share all the fun and excitement we saw building. Each week, the potlucks ebbed and flowed and we realized that our work projects needed to expand in order to accommodate more participants. 

There were many challenges to this stage in our community's growth. At the same time as our community was expanding... part of the household that was hosting the potlucks was relocating across the street. As each new Sunday rolled around, we confronted these challenges by sharing our ideas for this new space and the community reacted with astounding love and generosity. Within a few weeks an entire 4 bedroom house was cleaned and renovated, gardens were installed, fruit trees planted and a whole yard (previously covered in rusty metal and broken glass) was cleaned, raked and sheet-mulched. It was quit an impressive show of the potency and potential of what was growing up around us!

Today, the Permaculture Park is joined by the Dead-end Homestead (across the street), The Womb (adjacent to the Park and the original location of the Sunday Potlucks... now reborn) and, most recently, The White House Austin (a developing art studio and collaborative a few lots up the road). Everyday has brought new and exciting developments to the East-end of Pennsylvania Ave.

For a time, while we were in the throes of relocation and oppressive summer heat, we considered shifting the potlucks to every other week. At first this seemed like it would relieve some of the pressure of the households involved and allow for more organization of our workdays. This, however, mostly just led to unintended consequences such as a general confusion as to when the next potluck would be held and who might or might not be there.

It wasn't long before we were back in the swing of the weekly potlucks. And, with the development of The White House Austin and the rebirth of The Womb, our original potluck location, the community took on a renewed vigor.

Thanks to the vision of Nettie Tiso and her "Womb-ates" a project board was constructed to capture the diverse array of projects that were already in process. We still haven't found a way to dispel the summer heat but we did find a way to manage our projects so that we can enjoy productive activities, in a community setting, without the threat of mass heatstroke.

Now, no matter what time you arrive on Sundays, you can almost assuredly find a project (or several) in action. This past week, while a group was helping Andy Howell construct self watering container gardens (great for apartment balconies or any area where space is at a premium) another group was building a long trail into the beautiful wood behind The White House Austin, while yet another group was touring the Permaculture Park.

We also encourage you to bring your own projects to the table. There is nothing in this word more empowering than to see a community of passionate and loving people take up a project with you. With incredible synergy you'll witness projects that would take you months to complete on your own come to fruition in mere moments!

It's truly inspiring to witness the transformation of these various spaces. The Community Cultivators mission is being actualized in spades by the activity on Pennsylvania Ave. in East Austin. Before too long, it will be time for find new fertile ground to spread the seeds of community. What's happening on your street? Could you bee the next pollinator of a community in your neighborhood?

Join us this Sunday, July 24th for a fun filled day of pallet house construction, trail building, screen-printing, sheet-mulching, building self-watering container gardens, etcetera... while sharing skills, enjoying new friendships and cultivating a vibrant community. 

There is also a very exciting event on the horizon for next week. In addition to our normal Sunday Potluck, the Dead-end Homestead will be hosting an Adventure Kickoff party for Yours Truly. That's right, on Saturday the 30th of July, you are all invited to celebrate the first day of my new adventure. Please check out my personal blog Adventures in Cultivation for more details!

1 comment: