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.
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".
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.