Please click on each of the titles
Big Plans for the future!
"The Hub" -- Local Living Resource Center
& Agricultural Depot
We're calling it "The Hub". A resource depot in the Canton-Potsdam area for "slow money" style local economic development, information on renewable energy and green building, plus major agricultural resources. Many other organizations may find a home here as well, or display their resources for public use, as we are working to create a space that welcomes tourist and locals alike.
Originally intended to include aggregation, packing, refrigeration and cold chain storage in town for various farmer enterprises, we've settled to make a start of it with value-added production facilities to be included at our Homestead Learning Community farm and let it grow organically, as community need arises.
A commercial kitchen is the centerpiece of the facility, and it will eventually include capability for canning, drying, fermenting, vac-pac, flash-freeze, and more, plus packaging, storage and distribution. Opportunities for business incubator projects of all stripes are sought and community food preservation projects will be encouraged.
These are some of the "back of the house" operations we foresee, with particular emphasis on partitioned space for various needs to be met by one expanding facility.
Natural offshoots might involve an indoors Farmer's * Market space as well as potential for a wholesale farmer's market for local institutions and grocery/convenience stores. A comprehensive "Buy Local" campaign** would be just one more bud on the branch of a regional food economy that works for all. Myriad projects, yet to be inspired, can co-exist in this facility. Many revenue streams are envisioned to create the lowest cost space for all participants.
*NYS puts the apostrophe before the "s" in "Farmer's"; we are following suit.
** Independent retailers in communities with "Buy Local" campaigns reported an increase in holiday sales in 2010 that were three times stronger (up 3 percent) than those in cities without such campaigns (up 1 percent), according to a survey by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
Additionally, other natural functions would include retail space for the value-added products created in the facility, shared offices for a variety of community-building and small enterprise incubator businesses and non-profit programs, possibly to include space for various classes, dances, dining, and community celebrations.
The wishes of the community will take the facility in many directions as yet unknown to us -- but many fabulous ideas abound: a tool lending library is at the top of the list, as well as horticultural and botanical teaching gardens, renewable energy demonstration projects, a showcase of "green" building practices, and much more. Your input is welcome! Please be in touch at SustLivingProject@gmail.com.
Click here for more on "The Hub".
Homestead Learning Community
The Local Living Venture Center or "Hub" is one component of the
A Hands - On Farming & Homesteading Experience
Whole System Thinking