At Biocraft one of the most important things we incorporate into our daily works is Collaboration. The idea is that learning together creates successful ecosystems, because we are all in this together. Though out my past twenty years as a student of horticulture, the true guiding force has been the ability to grow and nurture relationships with others. Horticulture created a language for me that transcends the plant world; it stimulates a curiosity that makes multidisciplinary environmental studies possible.
Many of my mentors have forty plus years of experience in the horticulture field, every moment that I get to collaborate with these individuals is like going to college all over again. This is the reason Biocraft is an Ecosystem Design Company, we connect to knit people to their biome. Agronomists, soil scientists, mycologists and the like all have my ear, to collaborate only enhances Biocraft’s ability to design and implement strategies to improve the world around us.
This year Biocraft got the opportunity to collaborate with Appalachian Voices, a wonderful non-profit organization that has been defending and empowering the greater Appalachian community for over twenty years. Working together at Floyd Fest and Off the Grid Fest at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina we raised over $1,000 support their mission. To support Appalachian Voices we partnered with Ovanova, a community fundraising organization that has a unique approach to solar education. Ovanova envisions, like Biocraft and Appalachian Voices do, in the possibility of a brighter, greener future not dependent on fossil fuels. Check them out at www.ovanova.co/regenvillage if you want to learn more about affordable solar energy for your home.
This year also marked the completion of Richmond Virginia’s first eco-friendly, handicap accessible Coffee Lounge at Back Hand Coffee. Biocraft reached out to the community to tailor an accessible, beautiful, and environmentally conscious spot for people to enjoy their delicious cups of Joe. Biocraft used natives plants, salvaged and locally sourced materials, Earthbag and Burlapcrete building techniques, as well as a green (living) roof. Below can see our friend Devin setting up his drone for flight over our recently installed Coffee Lounge. Collaborating with Devin allowed him to show his passion for eco-promotion and get some great shots. His journey has taken him throughout the country attending our workshops, learning principles of ecosystem design and recording the story of others like us on the environmental mission. Through Devin’s eyes we have been able to see our work from an outside lens, aiding in the growth of our activism towards regeneration of the planet on a local and global scale.
Perhaps the most exciting Biocrafting for us this year was working with homeowners and The Virginia Conservation Assistance Program or VCAP. VCAP is an “urban cost-share program that provides financial incentives and technical and educational assistance to property owners installing eligible Best Management Practices (BMPs) in Virginia’s participating Soil and Water Conservation Districts”. VCAP really does give home owners both educational and financial tools to benefit their earth, also the staff at VCAP were a delight to work with. Working with this organization gave us the opportunity to connect families to their Biome and create a meaningful environmentally responsible ecosystem in their back yard. Below you can see the children who got involved with transplanting seedlings in their own backyard on a different installation. The integration and love they showed for their new space was super inspiring to us as we LOVE seeing youth get pumped about plants.
During the growth of Biocraft we have been able to collaborate with people that are new to ecosystem design, alternative building techniques, and technologies that years ago seemed like science fiction. These opportunities stimulate curiosity, innovation, and challenge us everyday to think globally, act locally to best create regenerative ecosystems. Collaboration for Biocraft is a tool that illuminates possibility and enables use to grow a planet that we want to be a part of.