Where I come from, we have a phrase: “Tough as an old pine knot.”

Against-the-grain aberrations of sameness, knots are simultaneously markers of growth and stubborn reminders that we carry the scars of our past. Where uniformity is sought, they are intractably difficult.  They are the places where directions shift, slowness takes hold, and change occurs. 

I believe that if we are going to craft a more beautiful world, we’re going to need to learn to work with our knots, to design collaborative ways of growing that gracefully celebrate the inclusion of our ecosystems, our places, our communities — not to simply saw through them.

Pine Knot Projects provides consulting and project management services to non-profits, cooperatives, farms, and social enterprises to create local solutions that are inclusive, beautiful, unexpected, and empowering.   

Growing out of a history in community and economic development, Pine Knot Projects works with groups who are asking new and necessary questions:

  • How might we grow economies that value people, places, and particulars more than their potential for commodification?
  • How might we design with (rather than against) each other and the natural world?
  • What knowledge, solutions, and wisdom are already embedded, but overlooked, in the places we call home?
  • How can local experiments, autonomous eddies of change, give rise to more gracious ways of being?
  • What ways can we, today, begin creating new food, transportation, energy, and economic systems that we would be proud to leave to our children?

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