“We empower people with skills through hands on skill building workshopsto collectively build resilient and sustainable communities.”
We don’t get out much, but Wednesday night we made the effort and it was so, so worth it.
I’ve been following the growth and evolution of Minga Skill Building Hub since sometime last year. It’s a Guelph-based community-focused organization that offers hands-on workshops of the homesteading variety. Things like how to bake a pie or a loaf of bread, the art of butchery, how to can and preserve. The kind of stuff you remember your grandparents doing, and only now, as an adult, wish you’d paid closer attention to.
Anyway, Minga partnered with Mike and Mary Kate from Backyard Bok Boks (the kind of start-up that Guelph inspires) to host a backyard potluck, an opportunity to learn a bit more about both groups, meet our neighbours, and feel like part of the community.
That photo up there? That’s Mike and Mary Kate’s backyard. They’ve built an urban farm in the middle of the city, and they welcomed 100 new friends into it the other night.
Just think about that for a second: when was the last time you welcomed 100 strangers into your home? Later that night, I thought about that old-fashioned spirit of openness, how refreshing it feels when you come across it, and how Mike and Mary Kate might be two of the kindest and most generous people we’ve met in a very long time. They announced they’re opening up their backyard as a public space on Wednesday evenings all summer for more community potlucks, and conversation, and collaboration.
Only in Guelph, I tell you.
PS, Does this happen in other neighbourhoods? Cities? Have we just been missing out? I want to know.
PPS, When was the last time you went to a party and didn’t see anyone with their nose in their phone? Amazing.
Photos via Minga Skill Building Hub