JUMP TO: DIY SUSTAINABILITY WORKSHOPS • COMMUNITY EVENTS • CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION • KIDS’ SUSTAINABILITY • LAND STEWARDSHIP • SUSTAINABILITY TOURS • SMALL HOUSE CONTEST • ONLINE STORIES • FISCAL SPONSORSHIP • COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS
At Abundance NC, we bring people together to exchange ideas and build strong communities resilient in the face of challenge. We aim to be a hub of sustainability and local economy in North Carolina, sourcing out abundant local and sustainable resources, helping people tap into those resources, and supporting the people making those resources available.
How do we accomplish this mission? We started out small and able to take on any interesting project at a moment’s notice — and we like to stay fleet of foot as we grow. We don’t have much red tape to wade through, so when we come across an inspiring idea, we go for it. That’s meant getting our hands dirty quite often, successfully initiating dozens of projects and throwing numerous memorable events – several of them now annual or seasonal affairs.
(Read more about our specific projects after the break.)
Everything we do revolves around bringing people together to build stronger, more sustainable and interconnected community in North Carolina. We believe we have everything we need, right here at home, to eat well, live amazing lives, and take care of the land on which we live.
So what exactly do we do?:
- DIY SUSTAINABILITY WORKSHOPS – We bring talented instructors to The Plant in Pittsboro (and other locations in the Piedmont), to teach skills and knowledge that help us live more sustainable, self-sufficient lives. Some recent workshops include: Superhero Bike Repair and Ride, Grow Your own Mushrooms, Mozzarella 101: A Case Study with Cashews and Whole Milk, Intro to Aquaponics, and Garden Wines: Drink the Harvest! Find out about upcoming workshops or peruse past ones.
- COMMUNITY EVENTS – Each year we throw our annual Pepper Festival, a huge celebration of local chefs and farmers. We also annually host an Earth Day 5K Race, a Climate Change Adaptation Conference for farmers and climate researchers, and a Harvest Abundance fundraiser for the Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market and our other projects. We’ve held bimonthly Pecha Kucha idea-sharing nights for several years, as well as numerous one-off events that have arisen spontaneously, like movie nights with traveling documentary filmmakers, and the Collective Biodiesel Conference.
- CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION – A local farmer asked us to teach a workshop on how farmers could change their farming practices to adapt to the challenges brought on by climate change. Discussions ensued, and instead of just a workshop, a whole conference was planned, bringing together more than 150 farmers and climate researchers to discuss challenges and brainstorm solutions. This is now an annual event that has also spawned several research projects and keeps people coming back year after year.>
- KIDS’ SUSTAINABILITY – Our first ever project was installing solar hot water heaters at a school that lacked hot water for the kids to wash their hands. Since then, we’ve taught kids about organic gardening, biodiesel and more at our Sustainability Summer Camps, brought star local chefs into the school cafeterias to develop healthy menu items using local produce, brought Cafeteria Man to the Piedmont for showing of an inspiring film about his makeover of Baltimore school lunches, and we assembled an expert panel to brainstorm ways to best teach kids about sustainability.
- SUSTAINABILITY TOURS – Come to The Plant, in Pittsboro, NC, any Sunday afternoon, and we’ll guide you on a tour of the ecologically-minded businesses and nonprofits that share our home. You’ll see innovative structures and systems like a completely off-grid tiny home, a biodiesel factory and fueling station, a craft micro-distillery, an aquaponics system for growing fish, and several organic farms, including where shade-tolerant crops are grown underneath massive solar arrays. We also schedule group tours for schools, scout troops, and more.
- SMALL HOUSE CONTEST – Four community partners are collaborating to offer the Affordable Small House Yearly Competition. The primary goals of the contest are to bring visibility to good design around affordable, energy and resource efficient, aesthetically pleasing small houses, and to create an opportunity for amateur or novice designers to feature their home design concepts. Each house must be under 500 square feet.
- ONLINE STORIES – Like an online magazine, the Stories section of our website is where we tell you about all the amazingly creative, inspiring, and visionary people in our local community. We interview local farm-to-table chefs, inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators. We tour eco-friendly businesses and homes, showing you pictures of their beautiful spaces. We post essays on topics of sustainability and local economy. These days we all spend so much time on the internet, but we hope these stories will encourage you to get off your device and go visit a local business and meet your neighbors.
- FISCAL SPONSORSHIP – For many people with great ideas for start-up not-for-profit organizations, the task and expense of starting up a legal non-profit organization is too daunting, and so their ideas never get off the ground. That’s where The Abundance Foundation comes in, providing legal non-profit status and guidance to fledgling organizations, so they can test out their ideas without jumping first through too many hoops. We’ve sponsored the Deep River Clean Water Society, Pickards Mountain Eco-Institute, Raleigh City Farm, Sixth Sun, Slow Money NC, Solarize Shakori, and Yardsprout and others.
- COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS – We love to collaborate with other nonprofits, businesses and other individuals who have exciting projects and ideas we want to be a part of. Have a great idea? Contact us and share it!
We are always developing new projects as needs arise, creating sustainable community-scale solutions to local and global challenges. Keep up to date on what we’re doing by signing up for our email newsletter. It goes out every other week and is chock-full of interesting stories and upcoming opportunities you won’t want to miss out on!