Last Saturday I had the pleasure of hosting a table for Pacific Gardens at Nanaimo's second annual Harvest Festival held on Wesley Street in the Old City Quarter.
I'm usually not a fan of these events, and when asked to volunteer to person a table at them, try to find ways to be otherwise occupied. But this was fun! And having a zombie flash mob during the proceedings certainly added to that :-)
It was an absolutely gorgeous fall day - lots of sunshine, a fresh breeze (not so fresh as to blow down our display, or scatter our flyers and rack cards, thankfully) and pleasantly warm.
There was great music, lots of interesting booths with like-minded, friendly people, as well as excellent food provided by local restaurants, and best of all, money raised went to Nanaimo Foodshare.
Pacific Gardens hasn't been to public events like this for quite a few years now, as we've been busy focusing on getting our community established and building up our organic gardens.
I noticed a big change in attitudes since then. When we talked to the members of the public at the Harvest Festival about cohousing, the question was not, "What is it?", but, "Is your building completed now?"
People understood the concept of creating a building that fosters community, and, contrary to what developers seem to think the 55-and-overs want, were delighted with the multigenerational aspect of Pacific Gardens.
They were pleased that we are focused on growing our food, and that everyone who lives here, whether owner or renter, is entitled to their own garden plot. They knew why that was important.
After five hours or more of talking about what intentional community means, I was a bit hoarse - but also very happy to realize how much the ideas that had seemed so avant-garde a short while ago were now part of the mainstream.