I met-up with Joshua Reis and Emily Gaines the other day. We talked about their work and plans for one of the City's newest homesteads - 226 East Utica (google map). Joshua recently closed on the formerly City-owned house and is plowing forward with a contagious mix of grit and grace with his partner, Emily.
Joshua is drawing inspiration for his work from his studies at the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute, which he attended in 2009. Since taking courses at the institute, Joshua has continued his interest in permaculture, reading books such as Gaia's Garden and Edible Forest Gardens. He also gained insight from an on-line resource - Permaculture Activist. Emily teaches music at the Bennett Park Montessori Center in Buffalo, NY. During the past year she has participated in dance and drumming classes around the corner from her new homestead at the African-American Cultural Center on Masten Avenue. For her, this has been an exciting continuation of almost 8 years of study of African music. Emily is new to the ideas of permaculture and is living proof that the ideas of urban farming are accessible to anyone who believes in his/her community.
226 East Utica
A fellow community member and friend, Matt Zinski is the architect for this project. Matt was featured in a recent Artvoice article about his Capoiera classes on the West Side. Joshua is his student and the Capoeira community has been instrumental in the progress made at 226 East Utica so far.
226 East Utica - interior
fixBuffalo readers may remember this post about 226 East Utica (March 2008). While a number of people have expressed an interest in calling 226 home, Joshua and Emily are doing it. Stop by and visit and/or keep track of their progress in this Facebook album - Solrise Farm.
Here's a podcast with Joshua and Emily (after the jump, running time nine minutes).