• Jackie Skrypnek

All Together Now

Updated: Mar 7, 2019


"We need to create a vibrant and tight knit community around our food systems in order to achieve substantive change."

-Zev Friedman

Part of the aim in creating Hereabouts was to broaden our experience of community by opening our property up to others from near and far along with their varying perspectives, interests, and circumstances. We hoped the tiny house would draw like-minded people to us while, for others, serve to inspire possibilities around small footprint living, healthy eating, and food growing. If nothing else, it would allow me to dig deeply into this place we call home and then offer some of that up in the form of food and shelter.

But there are limits to what a bed & breakfast can achieve in terms of building a future we can all get excited about. Individual endeavours can and do aggregate into community change, yet we also need ways to learn, innovate, and meet our needs collectively. And we need the venues to do this. With a potent blend of idealism and realism, a band of Cochranites (of which I am a part) has taken on the challenge of creating such a place, a community hub where we can build our town's resiliency and a culture of place. We call this new non-profit venture Cultivate Cochrane.

The plan is to construct a community-sized greenhouse where our short growing season can be much extended using smart, passive solar design that relies very little on active energy input for heating and cooling. But, much like the tiny house, the goals for the project are layered and go far beyond simply a building for food production. Food is the pivot point around which greater connection, empowerment, and resiliency can be achieved. The greenhouse will be a vibrant community hub where hands-on opportunities, workshops, and events weave a deeper knowledge of how to feed ourselves in our northern climate, provide an antidote to loneliness, and empower us through sustainable life skills. All as a means to creating a "more beautiful world", to quote Charles Eisenstein.

I'm really excited about this endeavour and hope it will resonate with anyone and everyone who is looking to be part of the solution amid dismal daily news accounts. It transcends political divides and requires only that you prefer to commit to this planet we inhabit here and now than to seek a space shuttle escape to Mars!

To learn more, become a member, donate, or sign up for a workshop, go to www.cultivatecochrane.com

#resilience #food #urbanliving