In early 2015 two more Stewards moved into the Village. This put the Village at Phase 1 capacity. The hard work of cooperative living, building micro-enterprises, and growing food as a food source began. Quite a few new processes, expectations, and agreements were formed.
Two Stewards moved into the Village in the early part of 2015. At first it seemed as though we could make it living as mainstream society, in houses with little interaction with our neighbors. Having to share resources, we soon learned that this needed to be more than a typical small neighborhood or gated community. We share resources; a makeshift kitchen, bathrooms, showers, and our individual resources, though varied, weren’t enough in themselves alone to survive. We were also aware of some glaring inequities.
In the spring of 2015, the Stewards held their first official meeting to discuss how they were going to be organized, issues, expectations, and how to create equity.
In late summer we were able to get an alteration to our PUD to add two more houses and one Steward moved in shortly afterward.
We started our micro-enterprises, the Village Store through products made from OM Build, our first bee hive, and selling some produce on an honor system (as people could afford the produce, otherwise given away).
We held our first annual plant sale, selling about 200 heirloom plant starts. We were also able to auction many items we made, including a playhouse. Financially though, we were still teetering and there were many nights of lost sleep wondering how we were going to make ourselves sustainable through the micro-enterprises.
We were also able to develop many of our collaborations with the community and develop relationships with many of our immediate neighbors. One of these collaborators, Lafollette High School, delivered the first Tiny House they built.
Occupy Madison continued to be a group of activists that focused more on racial equity. Young Gifted and Black held a teach in at the Village and we had a productive conversation afterward.