Piedmont Center for Sustainability plans to demonstrate sustainable living through the implementation of a number of projects. These projects are very diverse and focus on demonstrating working models of sustainable systems. The projects will not be implemented all at one time, but will be developed as our budget and staffing allows.
Build a Garden – Get a Garden
Our first project will be setting up gardens in food deserts where people have limited access to fresh produce. Recipients who demonstrate need will receive a garden with established plants after volunteering to help set up gardens for others. These gardens will use the Global Bucket system (GlobalBuckets.org) which is self-irrigating, low-maintenance, reusable and cannot be over-watered. We use food grade 5-gallon buckets sourced from local restaurants to keep plastics out of the landfills!
One of our primary projects will involve the use of permaculture techniques to improve the visual appeal of the land while also turning many of the open spaces into food producing zones. Permaculture improves the overall health of the land and also makes it more useful for the people living on the land.
We will also make some improvements to the large, modern structures on the property. These improvements will allow the land to be used as an event venue for weddings, banquets, corporate events and educational workshops. Starting from our first month on the property, we plan to hold workshops for participants to practice the very same techniques and skills that we will be utilizing as we work to improve the property and implement other projects. These include techniques related to using natural building materials such as Cob and Hay Bales.
Community Supported Agriculture
A small natural farm, combined with a large-scale aquaponics system, will provide food for the community as well as a CSA program that will help us bring food into some of the areas within Greensboro that lack a ready access to food. Our CSA program will feature an outreach to food deserts, where baskets of fresh produce will be offered at a minimal cost that is offset by grants and donations.
In several stages, a 12 acre section of the wooded areas will be turned into a food forest by removing invasive plant species and replanting as many food plants as possible. The food forest will be open to the public for harvesting and for educational purposes and will provide food for the communities within and surrounding the property.
An ecovillage of individuals and families will reside on the property; these people will work to maintain the various programs while joining together to form a strong community that demonstrates sustainability in practice. We will work together with the ecovillage to provide educational opportunities to visitors who wish to learn about consensus decision making, environmentally sustainable living, alternative energy systems, and more.
Click on these links, or use the navigation at the top of this page to read more about the programs.