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C'Ville Foodscapes, Charlottesville, VA

C'VILLE FOODSCAPESC'ville Foodscapes designs, installs, and maintains food-producing gardens in Charlottesville, Virginia. Our mission is to help people grow healthy food using organic, sustainable methods.

Our Philosophy

We believe that if more people knew the simple joys of plucking a perfect, vine-ripened tomato, or of pulling up a beautiful orange carrot out of the earth, more people would garden. But in our fast paced lives, we seldom have the time to devote to planning and maintaining a garden, and these moments of happiness never come to pass.

We believe that in a world where we are acutely aware of the impact we are having on our environment, growing some portion of our own food is the responsible decision. How much longer can we afford – financially and environmentally – to ship fruits and vegetables around the globe when we could take action into our own hands? We all need to start thinking globally by acting locally: and you can't get much more local than your own backyard.

We believe that fresh, wholesome, healthy food is a right, not a privilege that varies by race or income level. That is why we set up our Garden Grant program. We want to ensure that those who are less fortunate than ourselves do not continue to be marginalized and forgotten. What good is being progressive if it does not help everyone progress?

We believe that businesses function optimally when they are owned by those who work for them – we take pride in and responsibility for that which we can call our own. C'ville Foodscapes strives to serve as a representative for cooperatively run, worker-owned enterprises everywhere. Membership is voluntary, and each member has equal say in the decision-making process.

About the Foodscapers

C'Ville foodscapeSky Blue has lived and worked in the Co-operative and Intentional Communities Movement for 13 years, working most closely with Twin Oaks Community, the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, and PEACH, a co-operative health-care fund. His work focuses on co-operative organizational development and group process. With Alexander House Inn & Hostel, and now C'ville Foodscapes, he has moved into the business arena, with a focus on the legal and financial aspects of both worker-owned businesses. Living at Twin Oaks provided Sky with several years of gardening and food-processing experience. He is entering his second year co-managing the garden for Woodfolk House, a co-operative house in Charlottesville.

C'Ville FoodscapesSam Pierceall is a traveler, a writer, a gardener, and an eternal student. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2005, he promptly went traveling through Central America for three years. While living in Nicaragua, he marveled at the old colonial style homes, with lush, green gardens inside, growing all sorts of delicious tropical fruits. Through the course of his travels he became certified in Permaculture Design at Maya Mountain Research Farm in Belize, and studied natural building and sustainable living at Proyecto San Isidro in Mexico. In 2008 he apprenticed on Radical Roots Farm, in Keezletown, VA, where he learned about small scale, organic vegetable growing. Sam finally moved back to Charlottesville in 2009, ready to implement all he had learned, and to get as many beautiful, food-producing gardens growing as possible.

C'Ville FoodscapesKassia Arbabi is a community activist, musician, and gardener. She spent four years living at Twin Oaks Community in Louisa County, where she played Klezmer Music with the Vulgar Bulgars and fell in love with growing and preserving food. Kassia participated in nearly every aspect of food production on the community's farm. In 2007 she moved to Connecticut to work on a Jewish Community Farm where she enjoyed the opportunity to grow food in a very different setting. Inspired by wanderlust and a desire for urban sustainability, she then spent nine months traveling in the US and Europe, visiting and learning about a wide variety of sustainable communities. Kassia moved to Charlottesville in 2009 with the intention of bringing the joys of rural sustainability into an urban setting. Last year, she co-managed her collective house's large garden along with Sky, growing and preserving copious amounts of vegetables. She is excited to share her love for growing delicious food with the wider Charlottesville Community.

C'Ville FoodscapesWendy Roberman is in awe each and every spring watching little seedlings push their way through the soil in her garden – what joy! She's excited to put to use her 20+ years of business management skills and experience in this new venture where she can fulfill her passion for helping people grow their own food. In 2001 she completed the Permaculture Certificate Program at Earthaven Ecovillage where she learned to use and develop ecologically sound technologies for water, waste, energy, construction, and food systems. Wendy has been at the forefront of the Eat Local movement in Charlottesville since its inception and imagines a day in the not-too-distant future when lush, delicious home food gardens are as common in Charlottesville as the lovely dogwoods and magnolias.

C'Ville FoodscapesPatrick Costello is an artist, organizer, gardener, and bicycle rider. A graduate of the University of Virginia and proud Charlottesville resident, he began vegetable gardening with his mom in elementary school and quickly developed an addiction to backyard grown salsa. In 2007, Patrick worked with Green Guerillas, where he had the opportunity to do community organizing work and help manage the Harvest for Neighborhoods program. The program had him planting and maintaining unused community garden beds in Brooklyn, harvesting the produce for neighborhood food pantries and soup kitchens. Continuing to garden and organize ever since, he is deeply interested in helping create food security in Charlottesville because he thinks that everyone likes to eat.

C'Ville FoodscapesAngel Shockley is an aspiring mistress of curiosity and a woman committed to making her wildest dreams come true. One of these dreams is to transform urban areas into beautiful, livable, food growing spaces while supporting others in discovering the joys of gardening. As a teenager she began gardening and growing plants in her rural Virginia home. After graduating from college she spent three years learning, living and working on farms in California, Hawaii, Montana and Virginia. Angel has lived in Charlottesville since December 2008 and is excited to help more gardens grow.

Our Story

When Angel moved in across the street from Patrick in the winter of 2008, the idea of an urban agriculture project was little more than a brief, neighborly conversation out on the front porch. That conversation quickly snowballed; and as they continued chatting about the idea of creating a backyard CSA in the city, they soon found out that some other folks in town had also been scheming. Sam had recently posted a similar idea on the Eat Local list-serve, and Wendy had responded to his post. Soon, Kassia and Sky came onto the scene, fresh from West Coast travels, and they had their own dreams of expansive urban farming.

It wasn't long before we all found our way back to Angel's porch on a sunny day in early February. As we shared our visions for the project, a few themes immediately emerged. We were all interested in supporting a sustainable urban food system. We were all concerned with food justice; making healthy, delicious food available to people of all income levels and demographics. We were interested in working collectively, and in creating a viable business model that would provide satisfying work at a reasonable income.

Our early meetings felt almost eerily charmed and magical. Our skill sets and past experiences fit neatly together. In addition to all of our own personal gardens, Angel and Sam had both spent time working on established CSA farms in the area. Sam and Wendy had also been certified in Permaculture design. Meticulously organized and well-connected in the city, Wendy had previous experience running a small business. Patrick had experience working in urban community gardens and doing community organizing work. While living at the Twin Oaks Community, Kassia and Sky had been able to live and work cooperatively, and gained hands-on farming skills. They had also just spent months traveling in the states and abroad, researching successful models of urban sustainability and urban agriculture projects.

A bit giddy with excitement, our initial visioning was large and expansive. We dreamed of backyard gardens blanketing the town, of an urban CSA run out of people's yards, neighborhood veggie stands selling produce grown right on the block, and abandoned lots turned into thriving community gardens. We wanted to help transform Charlottesville into a patchwork of thriving edible foodscapes. As we continued meeting regularly, many questions arose and we discussed a myriad of different ways that an urban agriculture project could exist in the city of Charlottesville. With guidance from local organizations and suggestions from friends, we spent many long hours hashing things out in living rooms and on porches over endless cups of tea. Eventually, we honed the project and emerged nearly a year later as C'ville Foodscapes.

quadro nero C'Ville Foodscapes


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