12/06/2010

Homestead: 226 East Utica - December 2010

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.

226 East Utica - Buffalo, NY

Josh 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 - Buffalo, NY

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 - Buffalo, NY

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).
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12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I give them a lot of credit...although they show more balls than brains...thier choice of neighborhood has a very low mortality rate!
Hopefully..they'll live to tell about it!

Anonymous said...

^^^ Ironic, spelling “their” wrong while insulting someone else’s intelligence…

I love reading stories like this one, and I wish them the best of luck.

Dan said...

The Dec 6 commenter doesn't even understand the meaning of "a very low mortality rate" !

olcott_beach said...

I am always impressed with the tenacity and commitment from individuals such as Joshua Reis and Emily Gaines mingled with remorse from my own loss of adventure that I once had but have somehow lost along the way.

I wish them well in this new adventure and I hope this single act of restoration will help convince others, of like mind and attitude, to take on such a project as their own.

Anonymous said...

very cool. Best of luck to these two-I look forward to following their progress.

Miner 5 said...

awesome!!!stop by 58 glenwood ave...a family of 5 is doing a complete rehab there too ~ we're there every saturday...right around the corner from you david! :) good things happening...

Miner 5 said...

this is a great neighborhood! my family of 5 is completely renovating a house only a block over and 2 blocks up from this...it's not far from BAVPA a great school! one of my 3 boys goes there and hopefully 2 of 3 next year! david stop by on saturdays we're always there working! :)

Anonymous said...

Buffalo needs more brave souls like this couple to breathe new life into the city. Inspiring article.

dennis said...

In the 60's I lived at 262 and 271 E. Utica St. I attended St. Nicholas elementary school. I miss the old neighborhood. I'm sure they will enjoy living in Cold Springs.

dennis said...

In the 60's I lived at 262 and 271 E. Utica St, I attended St. Nicholas elementary school, I miss the old neighborhood. I'm sure they will like living in Cold Springs.

house and lot for sale philippines said...

You have a nice house. Can't wait to your next post.

Deirdre G

Anonymous said...

Buffalo, you are doing it right. Congratulations and thanks to all the individuals and families making this commitment to better lives and a better community!