We are so proud of our interns! It was an honor to see them share their experience here and show off Ampersand's infrastructure and living systems during the open house. We will miss our rocket stove competitions (4.5 minutes to boil 4 cups of water is the record) and cheering for Datura Flower Grand Openings together. They have now flown the coop, bringing their skills and enthusiasm to new ventures. Check out this blog post that Kelly developed from her recent presentation.
Meanwhile, It's peach season! Processing and preserving local fruits is a favorite activity this time of year. We chop them up and let them dry in the solar dehydrator, and put some up in jars in the solar ovens. Yes, solar canning! Join us on on Saturday for our community homestead day and join in the fruit fun.
Creating Sustainable Community
by Kelly Hardin, Ampersand 2014 Intern
When I graduated this past May, I found the world wide open and full of possibilities but I also faced big, difficult questions: What does it really mean to live in sustainable community? Where can I find it? What can I do to foster it?
I majored in International Studies, where I studied global phenomena from different angles and disciplines. I found that the more I studied the “global,” the more I realized how vital it is to foster the “local”—especially local communities that are both socially and environmentally sustainable, addressing both human needs and the needs of an imperiled planet.
My search for answers was a large part of what led me to Ampersand. As a Sustainable Living Intern I spent the past two months learning how to live in tandem with the land in a more sustainable, holistic way. In one sense, this meant learning concrete skills such as mud plastering, biodynamic gardening, and rockwork for land restoration. In a less tangible sense, it meant examining how and why Ampersand functions a sustainable community. While I still have much to think about, here are some of the most important lessons I’ve learned about sustainable community during my time here:
Fundamentally, sustainable community is about relationships that include and transcend people.
Ampersand sees sustainability as “an approach to life, which includes our relationships to everything—our resources, our waste, our interactions with the earth and fellow humans.” This idea is built into everyday actions and projects at Ampersand. I saw how water was harvested through...(read more of Kelly's awesome post)