I have been looking for an organization like NCSC for 40 years. It combines responsible stewardship of human and environmental resources in a way that can help bring prosperity back to North Central Massachusetts. Since we found a temporary home in an old vacant school building we have continued our Farmer's Market through the winter, opened a retail space, opened an art gallery where we have hung two shows of the work of local artists,our third show will open May 12th, hosted a local author, hosted and open mic once a month providing a venue for young performers in our area to get up and try out their music before a live audience, taught classes in goat keeping, chicken raising, soap making, knitting, sewing, scrap booking, crafting,and I'm sure I have forgotten somethings. We've done this in 5 months. I have dreamed for years of opening my own business but settled for craft fairs because I couldn't afford retail space. My business, Auntie Oel Earth Friendly Toys and Accessories has a space at NCSC with room to grow. This isn't a dreamy conversation, a "wouldn't it be nice if someday...", it's happening in Ashburnham Massachusetts NOW! One of our next steps is get a permanent home. We want to raise the money to buy a small group of old mill buildings that have been vacant for a long time. These buildings repurposed will allow us the space to continue to grow and the land that comes with the buildings is suitable for agriculture. Our membership is starting to grow as people hear about what we're doing and get invloved. We're not a household name yet... but we might become one.
I find this organazation to be unique in which it is helping people to help themselves. Weather it is learning a new skill or to perfect ones they already have . It also teaches people to be resourceful with what they have an to help keep the earth clean for our children. They have the tools and the knowledge with very friendly people to show them the way.
It is a great pleasure to have this kind of organizion in this region to combined the old with the new. A very dear friend of mine always said "you are NEVER to old to learn" and this place show the way. If youwant to learn about goats, gardening, sewing, arts or have some talent you would like to share this is the place.
The NCSC has given me and many other artists in Ashburnham and the surrounding area the opportunity to build an art gallery and to showcase our and many others artwork. Art is an important part of a healthy local community and the NCSC SchoolHouse Gallery provides a professional setting to display art for our local residents to help enrich cultural awareness. http://www.schoolhousegallery.org
- Justin McGonigle
This is a fantastic resource in any community! The Farmer's Market is great with lots of fresh fruit, veggies, eggs, and meats... and also baked goods, lots of local artisans and crafters! A wonderful way to explore fresh and local grown, and support local small businesses/artisans as well!
Up until a year ago, I had never given much thought to sustainability. Our PTA was lucky enough to have Pat Stewart come speak to us about this great idea she had for starting the NCSC. I've had the pleasure of buying local farm fresh eggs, veggies, honey, breads/pastries and more at their Indoor Farmers Market. I took their Chicken Raising class this winter and came to the conclusion that, YES, I can do this. There is something for everyone at the Center, even a vintage clothing boutique. This is definately the story of "The Little Engine That Could".
This young organization has done a tremendous amount in a short time. It has potential to be an important player in transforming food culture and food infrastructure in North Central MA (spilling over to southern NH, too). They have been an important force to get our local farmers markets off the ground, as well as a place for local artisans.
In todays economy and changing times, it is refreshing to see that local communities are building a network to keep their locale local. The NCSC is taking a big chance with it's goals- it has big goals, but goals that the local people have been asking for. The few people that are the backbone of this organization are far seeing- they are trying to bring together their community so that it may sustain itself and they are offering to help folks open new businesses, skills and community. NCSC is also trying to utilize buidlings that have been laying dormant, giving them new purpose- some are historical some are not. Rather that tearing down the old NCSC is repurposing the buildings, the community and the people - becoming sustainable should be our goals- this organization is accomplishing this.
Sometimes it is necessary to DREAM BIG. North Country Sustainability Center has big ideas, and can make a big difference for people looking to find a way to live in the typically depressed area of north-central Mass. What I especially like about this organization is the potential to serve as a model for other areas of the country where people are looking to use old techniques for organic farming, gardening and home crafts in a new and productive way. A few organizers are taking a big chance. Their idea is that people DO want to connect with the earth in a sustainable way. Sometimes it is hard to concentrate on a single objective because there are so many ideas, and so many things to be done. But, in just the few months I have been involved, the organization has moved into and renovated a temporary rented space, hosted many classes, farmers' markets, craft sales, art shows, and community entertainment. The goal is to do these things in a permanent space that would allow more people to expand their own ideas and use their own talents in a way that can support them. As Margaret Meade noted, "Never underestimate the power of a small group of people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." North Country Sustainability Center can do just that!
I have been involved with this center for about a year now. I have watched ideas flourish and I see the future introducing great programs that teach sustainable practices, and skills that have been lost over generations. I sell in their retail center, and I have seen craft and creativity interest grow. This can only help with the goals that the members of the Sustainability Center have in mind. This Center has great intentions. I am proud to be a member of it.
The first of it's kind in the Monadnock area of MA (upper central MA), this non-profit seeks to educate people on the benefits of using sustainability practices. It also brings the community together by forming groups and guilds as no other non-profit in the area has done thus far. With a wide range of services the NCSC provides, I truely hope this non-profit succeeds far into the future.