Tuesday, June 8, 2010

EcoVillage Planting Round Two!

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman. Photos by Hans.

While I was away for the weekend, another round of planting happened at the EcoVillage Demonstration Garden. The garden takes up much of the southeast corner of 31st Ave N and 6th St N. Initially, this was to be considered "Phase I" of the EcoVillage, with 5-7 condo/townhome style houses built for new owner-occupants. However, in order to get seven townhomes built, we'd need five purchase agreements. And in order to get THAT on new construction, the market has to be much healthier.

So the plans for the EcoVillage were altered somewhat, and this spot will be used as a demonstration garden for native plantings. I'm grateful to Hans that someone was there to take photos. But I've got the same friendly advice John gave me when I first started contributing to JNS. Namely...

...get closer. Always get closer. Are there eight people doing various tasks? I want a shot of one person, not a broad picture of all eight. Better yet, a close-up of somebody's dirty hands as they're in the midst of planting a tree. Like the top photo there. That's what it's all about.

Or like this one. Now we're getting somewhere.

Boy, do I wish we could've seen this baby in action. I've only used augurs like this to drill ice fishing holes, so when there's no risk of falling into ice-cold water this almost seems anticlimactic.

Once again, I've got to mention that first photo. I LOVE IT. They're obviously trying to get the dirt in the ground and the dirt on the base of the tree to line up and be nice and level. And the volunteer on the right is throwing up his hands, as if to say, "That's IT! Nobody move, we've got it!" More like this one, please.

Thanks Hans, thanks PPL, and thanks to all the other volunteers that came out on Saturday!


The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Oh, and I should also point out that the house profiled in the link to the previous round of EcoVillage planting (which is south of 26th) has a new owner-occupant!

Johnny Northside! said...

I'm so glad Hans was there to take those pictures! Thank you so much, Hans!

Anonymous said...

I'm not comfortable with the use of gas operated tools on a green project when hand tools would work just as well. I think a better example should be set for the residents of NOMI.

Shakira said...

I would appreciate it if you could show more diversity in these photos. It seems any time a picture of people doing something good is posted they are lily white. Anytime you show criminals they tend to be more diverse

Anonymous said...

Nice catch 911. This is the EcoVillage after all. It should be a 311 reportable offense to use gas powered tools. Better do some Carbon capturing to repent.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

"Shakira," did "Shamika" get old as a fake name?

The pictures we take are of what happens, it's not like we're propping up one race over another. John's got pictures of Keith Reitman and Pete Rickmyer up while saying some pretty nasty stuff. When he covered the Drew Henkel homicide, there were plenty of non-black photos there.

The Hawthorne Huddle pictures I took showed the diversity of people in the room, and I've also profiled several Hmong events.

So either show up and get YOUR picture taken at a positive event so we can see what color skin you have, or quit the race-baiting.

Hans said...

If I had actually been volunteering I would have certainly gotten more close up shots... but I practically sneaked over there in my pajamas. I was up late the night before after driving home from Wisconsin.

It was more of a hit and run [photo] shooting than anything.

Jean' said...

Thanks for your volunteering Hans. Contributing to the EcoVillage is about the best thing a NoMi citizen in good standing can do for the community.

Your Eyedea said...

Jeff, Call me next time for photos! I'm very gutsy and in your face with photos.. But I will state that Hans was in his pj's looking a lil crazy taking photos..

Your Eyedea said...

Shakira or who ever you are :

maybe you should have been there to help.

or you could just get a life..

Shakira said...

Well you know I would however being I don't have the income these others have I work 4 part time jobs just to stay afloat. You see there aren't any jobs around here, seems new businesses have a tough time getting approval and all so I work 4 jobs just to make all my bills.

Sad but true said...

I hate to disrespect you guys, but someone has to say it: North MPLS is an absolute garbage part of town to live in.

I'm glad you guys want to make it nicer and I really hope you're successful, but to me it just seems like you're trying to polish a turd.

Hans said...

sad but true:

Do you live in north or spend time here? I'm just curious because it's easy to form a bad opinion about something you don't have a lot of information about. (South Mpls isn't exactly paradise either.) I used to think north was all garbage too until I actually started driving around block by block.

When I was looking for an affordable house to buy it became apparent very quickly that Nomi was THE place for cheap homes. The downside is that you might have to live in a not-so-perfect neighborhood.

I agree that some blocks in north are "garbage part[s] of town"... but a lot of other areas are quite nice.

You might think the entire North side is a Turd... but I argue that the only parts of town that need polishing are those that have been SHIT ON by slumlords and slum-tenants (like my backyard).

Your Eyedea said...


Anonymous said...

I can see what Hans is saying but I must say i'm skeptical about the Ecovillage being a viable project in this neighborhood. In an area where it doesn't make economic sense to put new roof or siding on most homes without realizing you are directly losing money when you do who will want to pay for new build prices. I wonder how long until we see the first Ecovillage short sale.

Anonymous said...

7:37, I understand where you're coming from with the speculation, and ordinarily I'd agree with you. In fact, 5 or 10 years ago I would have been saying that same sentiment. But I've noticed a trend happening here that seems to me to be a game-changer.
Through neighborhood functions and get-togethers, I've met some of the recent home-buyers in NOMI over the past couple years, and the thing that stands out in my mind is that overwhelmingly, they're young, able bodied people in the early stages of their careers -some fresh out of college and working their first real job. They buy here because NOMI has great housing stock to choose from, -sure, there are some real ugg-o's on the market, but there are also plenty available that just need a little TLC and some elbow grease- and are available at ridiculously low prices compared to elsewhere. So look at the equation, we've got young up-and-comers who delight in DIY projects (I attribute this to the impact and popularity of HGTV and make-over shows amongst younger people) buying homes at rock-bottom prices -homes that aren't typical starter homes, mind you, but rather, offer size and amenities that can suit their owners beyond the starter phase, past the raising a family stage, and into retirement. They're saving money straight out of the gate on home price, and another bundle on improvements because of the work they do themselves. Even if they do a purchase-rehab loan, they end up doing a lot themselves, which still makes their mortgage tiny, saving them money on principal and interest.
Even as these young, ambitious folks advance in their careers, earn more money and make more friends and connections in their neighborhoods, they attract more people with similar goals to the area. I've met more than a few young couples and even single people who have moved to the area after friends of theirs bought homes here. And they seem to network, or rather, spread like a really pleasant virus, attracting their other friends and acquaintances. They're invested in the community, which strengthens our neighborhoods even as the relatively young ages of new home owners renews the area for another generation. As time passes, they'll advance in their careers, bringing more money and prosperity. This is what is changing NOMI, and it's happening faster than most people realize.

Any area people in the realty business care to weigh in on this? I'm sure they've noticed this trend even more than I have.

Anonymous said...


I agree with what you're saying but I'd take it a step further. Not only is the EcoVillage not a viable project, it is also a poor use of community resources. It only benefits the few elitists who can afford to live there.

Our community resources would be better spent on extending unemployment benefits or food aid for families.

Your Eyedea said...

Anon: 7:37

Maybe you should do some research before making asinine comments like that.

Hans said...

anon June 14, 2010 7:15 AM:

you said: "It only benefits the few elitists who can afford to live there."


You are obviously ignorant.

Check MLS listings and you will see cheap houses for sale in and around the eco-village. I bought mine for ~60k... and you call that elitist? Get some perspective.

Homewood Confidential said...

Anon 2:34, I could not agree more with your observations. I too have met many recent NoMi transplants at neighborhood functions and get-togethers, and the speed at which a critical mass of new, young homeowners has adopted this area as their home is truly remarkable.

These folks have ditched any preconceived notions about the area. They aren't putting up with the traditional Northside nuisance crimes. They're making NoMi into what they want it to be...and that will make ALL the difference.