Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
This place is a haven for many of us who have lived in NYC. We are connected to it by the man who sold us the land, peace activist Bill Henry. Many of us occupied Wall Street and came to Amenia for the solace of its trees and wetlands. After some years our hearts are lodged here among the hemlocks and the bog turtles.
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
Amenia is traditionally farm country and it has that kind of quiet to it. Located only a couple of hours from New York City there is now a mix of city, rural and suburban folk. Our location holds one of the oldest buildings in the area. We are down the road from the Wassaic Project and a short drive away from the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.
After several years of starts and stops we are in danger of losing our land just as we have found our vision. Born from the Occupy Movement we have hosted magical experiences and many episodes of trauma. Our once full farmhouse is empty. Our biogas digester, our well, and our roof shingles are all in need of repair.
We are resilient and we believe in our newest members and our newly formed board. We believe in the legacy of Bill Henry, who peacefully protested the first Polaris nuclear submarine many years ago. It is for this legacy that we will not give up our vision.
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
Our area has food aplenty but the food pantries are still busy. We have local farms but still we do not have enough local, organic food to supply all who want it. The city sprawl is driving up land prices and pushing out farms, but there are plenty of people who do come here to farm. We are one of the oldest communities and Amenia takes its history and natural wonder seriously. We feel privileged to be here.
Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.
Our vision is simple: repair our land so all of the members can come back. The local community wants and needs us and they have lived through our growing pains. Almost daily someone comes by the property to ask how they can help or get involved. They want to walk amongst the trees.
We imagine small campsites and tiny libraries on peaceful co-existence and temporary art that celebrates the ecosystems that shape us and which, as holobionts, we are.
Seedlings are raised in the winter so plants helpful to pollinators are available for sale in the Spring. Our elders work with our younger generations to help them establish their own workshops and education programs for the community. Bonfire get togethers and community circles are held monthly and people from all walks of life get to connect their experiences and talents. Hackers and third generation farmers create groups to accelerate agro-tech.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
By 2050 we are looking back down our Rattlesnake Ridge into the wetlands that now host a Peace Café. Children and elders sit in small reading nooks while wildcrafted herbs and teas are available for sale and for barter. Native hazelnuts grow in the perennial gardens we have planted within the forest, and in the spring we work with our neighbors to tap the maples and birches. Bees are living up high above our mushroom logs and daily there are workshops and trail walks.