The North Country Sustainability Center, Inc. based in Ashburnham, MA was officially notified that we have been granted our 501c3 non profit status by the IRS! Now we can start raising the money to purchase the old riding stable and furniture factory to build our sustainability center.
Lots of people thing this project is about "greening" the region, and to some aspect it is. I had a little girl tell me this spring that sustainability means "what we have to do to stay here." I loved that definition! So, in order for all of us to stay "here" we need a place to make a living, learn how to care for ourselves and our neighbors, build a community we care about and a reason to care. So that's what we're doing at NCSC.
It's a sustainable ag educational program, but it's also a human economics center ie. sewing, preserving, woodworking. It will be a food hub eventually, starting with a year round farmer's market, but also a facility for local food entrepreneurs to make their products for sale. That will include a micr0-creamery and a commercial kitchen. It's also a facility for 4H and dog shows, exhibition space for a contradance or workshop, and an arts center for traditional and fine arts, even a performing arts center for intimate, acoustic performances. That's a lot in a little space, but it's possible if we can purchase the buildings we are looking at. Check us at www.northcountrysustain.org and see what we are working on.
NCSC will be open to anyone in the Central MA/ Monadnock NH region. For those who want to use the micro-dairy, we are open beyond that, but there are requirements regarding milk transport that must be overcome. We are planning on setting a facility that can handle up to 22 gallons of milk at a time.
NCSC is also working with alternative energies, initially with solar, but eventually micro-hydro. If you know someone with an interest or business in these areas, they should contact us. We have a lot to learn!