Pedaling for the new economy

What’s better than an economy without dollars and transportation that’s (fossil) free?    Probably just bikes, love, and camping out.

IMG_8160hOUR Economy took the alternative economy on the road this fall, with four days of farm work, cycling, food sharing, tent pitching, and story telling.

Each of the farm hosts was a long-time hOUR economy member. Cyclists and campers ranged from the experienced biketourist to the very first-timers.

Beginning at Geezer Farm, we rounded up some talkative hens and spread some compost over new beds in the greenhouse. Day two, we peddled to Holly Parker and Marc Armstrong’s permaculture homestead, where we helped complete their outdoor kitchen (which also doubles as a future community canning facility and the site for their upcoming wedding).

On Saturday, we were off to Sue McKown’s to harvest vegetables and elderberries, to weed, and to assist with future garden bed prep. Our final stop was Willow Run Farm in Harrisonburg, where we harvested over 400 squash, which will make its way to the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community.

The alternative economy fueled the full weekend, and no money exchanged hands, for either farm labor or food.  We’ll still not sure who got the better end of the bargain — the farmers whose fields were worked, or the pedalers whose stomachs were filled. But perhaps that is the magic of the gift economy.



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