How Can We Live Together And Prosper?
In the context of widening political divides, growing economic inequalities, and a disrupted climate system, we join many to call on every Architect, Builder, Designer, Organization and Individual to imagine places in which we can generously live together. One of these places is the Blue Ridge Region of North Carolina.
Individual voices, small and large businesses, designers from multiple disciplines, organizations, government entities, trees, rocks, rivers, and animals of the North Carolina Blue Ridge Region along with world-class Architects and world-wide students have contributed to a peripherally formed Regenerative Source Guild of the Blue Ridge. We will explore how Bark House has benefited from this engagement and the extraordinary benefits that this company is creating for entire eco-systems. The elements of growing, sourcing, harvesting, manufacturing, and selling are interwoven into one business system that follows patterns learned in nature and are all generatively aimed. Further, we will explore the purpose and the benefits that an engaged Regenerative Source Guild creates for other businesses and communities. If not already involved, we invite you to participate. If involved, we invite you to deepen the engagement.
Why is Bark House Engaged In This Work?
The co-founders of Bark House have participated in whole-living-systems work for over thirty years. Chris started her career as a registered nurse, practicing whole-health-community-care. Marty designed and created pure products and pure manufacturing methods. For many years, both have been tending relationships with the aim of forming a Regenerative Source Guild.
Bark House has been working with one of the most disenfranchised populations in the Appalachians. Farming, tourism, other nature-based sectors have gleaned public attention and support. There have been real benefits to these sectors because of that and because they are now working together. But small scale loggers (who supply raw material to Bark House and who are an important contributor to the logging industry) have not had any organizational support – they have not gleaned any benefits from public sentiment either. This group has not gone the way of big logging and they continue to create forest benefits because of this. This group cannot physiologically or spiritually separate from the land, and have been further pushed out of bounds or left behind. Through our work and furthering that work in this Guild, we aim to change that.
Nature-based business owners (such as ourselves) struggle to connect all aspects of a healthy business system in this area. Business resources are limited or ill-fitted to the nature-based-business. Building trust in the region and accessing landowners who desire to cultivate a source of products on their land is currently daunting if not impossible for most. Accessing a trained, cohesive workforce is challenging. Through our work and furthering that work in this Guild, we aim to change that.
Organizations charged with supporting economic prosperity in Appalachia often struggle to understand the culture of the local people, their priorities and methods of working together. Through our work and furthering that work in this Guild, we aim to change that.
In regenerative systems work, you look for what is known as nodal participants. These participants uniquely engage at key levels, if not all levels of the work. Bark House is a nodal participant in this process. Connecting landowners, loggers, businesses and organizations together in a scope of work that is unique and regenerative for our place. Chris is a graduate of Phase I of The Regenerative Practitioner Series. The work of Bark House has not been limited to their company alone. One example of an impossible engagement that was accomplished under her leadership is the building of the Spruce Pine Central Park and the improvements to the Main Street Organization. Already experienced in working with every sector noted, and practicing whole-living-systems-process-development, Bark House is uniquely positioned to integrate all levels of this work-collective.
Bark House will benefit as a collective of businesses and organizations working together will lighten the load of single responsibility for such an enormous system that Bark House is already engaged in. Area guild participants will provide third-party verification strategies that one-size, distant certifications could not. We will be able to meet our mission goal to honor the eco-system of our place. We will be able to respond to the question of our formation: how can cutting a tree save the planet and heal people; and how can this process be carried out honorably.