Wednesday, May 21, 2008

South Knowlesville Community Land Trust

I slipped into a little piece of comfort this past weekend, in the middle of the bustle of finding myself offering up my home to a friend from out of town who's become closer to me than family in some ways. We took a road trip into north-western New Brunswick -- country that's so familiar to me that although its absolute gorgeousness always leaves me a little in awe, returning to it always leaves me all too well aware of the transitoriness of the current backdrop or context of my small city. We visited Leland and Tegan Dougherty-Wong at Artful Acre, hoping to get a good peek at (and understanding of) their recent project, which is the setting up of a community land trust in South Knowlesville to establish a small sustainable community of individuals with an emphasis on community, ecology and economic self-sufficiency. They plan to establish a common food growing area, with fields of grains and vegetable crops, as well as orchards and herbs.

When we arrived, Leland was engaged in sharing some of his timberframe and straw-bale construction knowledge and skills with a small workshop group. (I should note before I forget that he'll be part of a more extensive three day Natural Building Theory, Design & Practice workshop at the nearby Falls Brook Centre from June 26 to 29.)
So after having taken a few wrong turns, we arrived late and were only able to hear a bit of the presentation before everyone was welcomed into the Dougherty-Wong home for a potluck. After discussing the economic reality of the rural area with Leland, we ended up learning more about their vision of the South Knowlesville Community Land Trust and of the steps they've taken towards getting it going. Tegan mentioned that they were still ironing some things out, but that their biggest need right now is for more folks to jump in, both to settle on some guiding principles and to do the hands-on work that will be involved in building some of the homes and of preparing the actual land on which food will be grown. For more information, visit their site. Here are some ways in which you can get involved.

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