Joelle and Being a Good Neighbor
Hello, Good Neighbor Community. Today, I want to introduce you to one of the resident volunteers at Good Neighbor House, Joelle Axton, and share some of our conversation about being a good neighbor.
Each resident volunteer has a role within the Good Neighbor Community, and Joelle’s is “yard and garden,” which means she maintains the basic upkeep of the yard and landscaping, and she grows seasonal vegetables in our community garden. Joelle’s favorite part of the week is when she hosts a meditation group and a Quaker meeting (currently using Zoom because the House is “closed”).
To Joelle, being a “good neighbor” is related to the concept of “permaculture,” which is the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient. Joelle describes it as “a set of principles used for sustainable agriculture and community care.” Applying this to the idea of a community helps us think of communities (or neighborhoods) as made up of different zones, where individuals are “Zone 0,” and each of usmust take care of ourself and our zone before we can worry about others and their zones. No one else’s zone will prosper until our zone does.
Joelle couldn’t have created a better comparison, as this is the idea of community we want to foster at Good Neighbor House: resident volunteers create a friendly and helpful culture within the house before (or while) they expand to others in our neighborhood.