Friday, April 23, 2010

Just doing it . . .

Ron Copeland in 2007

Our Community Place was operating when I got to Harrisonburg back in 1999. I remember its main activity as being a Monday soup kitchen. This was held in what's now The Little Grill Collective, but was then a yummy, comfortable, hippie-shabby restaurant called The Little Grill and owned by Ron Copeland.

Copeland sold the Little Grill to a group of employees in 2007 in order to put his energy into developing Our Community Place. From the outside, OCP appears to be both a place and a vision. The place is 17 E. Johnson Street; the vision seems to involve getting folks together to do as much good as they can while having as good a time as possible. As a certified Old Hippie, I can only think this is exactly the way people should be.

Here's a link to the OCP website, if you are not familiar with its doings and would like to know what they are.

I was very interested to learn yesterday that OCP has expanded geographically, that Our Community Place Farm has come into being. And we're all invited to celebrate its grand opening.

Here's the notice I got of this festive event.

Saturday, May 8th from 3pm to 8pm
The grand opening of the Our Community Place farm situated in New Market, Virginia occurs Saturday, May 8th from 3-8pm. On that day the public will be properly introduced to this 15-acre property with estate, once home to the Crossing Creeks residential program--purchased late last year through the extraordinary generosity of local businessmen. Now playing host to the Our Community Farms program, this lush and verdant site serves as spring bed for a recovery works program and sustainable agriculture projects.
Activities for this gala event include formal tours of the property, hayrides, circus activities, egg toss, and a human wheelbarrow race, to name a few. A complimentary dinner will be served at 5:30 pm, with light refreshments being provided throughout the day. Live music includes such local and regional luminaries as Robert St. Ours, Chris Howdyshell and The Dish Dogs, Nicholas Melas, Jessie Trainum, and Tom Weaver.
Visitors will be asked to consider a list of useful items The Farm needs to initiate many efforts, while continuing to grow others. On this list are such things as material for a landscape shed and landscaping trailers, a six-foot cattle gate, a butter churn and cream separator, an ensilage fork, and even a diesel truck.
The Farm is developing a station for converting used vegetable oil to biodiesel, and any and all related expertise is also invited. Five photogenic Alpacas (pictured left), whose wool might one day make exotic winter sweaters for local gift-givers, together with two Great Pyrenees dogs (below), who help guard the place, will be available for petting and family picture-taking.
Those who wish only to be bathed in love of service, while supporting the good this property and its programs bring to the community, may enjoy a wonderful day and evening in New Market. All are welcome to this special event free of charge. Donations graciously received. Our Community Place is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
The Farm is located at 18794 Mountain Valley Road and the phone is 540.740.2951. More information can also be found at, by e-mailing, or by calling 540.442.7727.
It's very easy to talk about accomplishing good work in this world; less easy to pull it off. Here's to Our Community Place, Farm, and folks for just doing it.

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