Mohawk Valley Land Bank initiative for 6 affordable net-zero trailer homes

Meet: David Dardzinski of 4Site Design
Designed the homes above

Mohawk Valley Land Bank inventory (cheap)

Meet: MVC board member Nick Drummond who recently fixed up a house in Sharon Springs

Meet: Sarra Jahedi, painter who just bought a house from Land Bank & potential partner

Meet: Cherry Valley - nearby art town (Allen Ginsburg, Ryan McGinley, etc) reviving creative scene

38 Division Street - MVC office could be a home-base for me + Sasha when working up there


Chip (complimenta -> c.h.a.m.p.s)

  • Enfield (Ithaca), NY
  • 2008-2021
  • Property: Chip's grandpa gave her the property. Grants + fundraising for additions.
  • Finances: See below (inheritance, grants, donations, in-kind, too much sweat equity)
  • De-centering the metropolis: Chip felt same way as me.
  • Recent years: See below
  • Other leads: See below

  • Graduated undergrad in 2008, inherited house in bad condition on 1 acre. Have been in and out since then.

  • 2012: solicited in-kind donations + Kickstarter to expand compound - was full-time for 3 years. Had an accountant who led them down path of non-profit arts organization. Elliot (partner) was living in NYC

  • Year 3 (~2015?) - closed, both went back to grad school. Complimenta -> c.h.a.m.p.s

  • Conflict: the mission is to serve local Enfield/Ithaca needs, but community was trans kids (?) + international artists (friends of friends, not through an open application)

  • RESOURCES/OWNERSHIP: must be sustainable. Chip looked into collective ownership, but at end of day, was responsible for everything (sounds like Soft Surplus) - got in way of embodying values of collectivity. Older folks (70s hippies) warned against splitting it up, as it posed challenges in the 70s when people got families, etc. But it is 21st century, and we can come up with smarter contracts/forms of collective ownership. Different attitude.

  • Solicited food donations (for 3 meals/day) - from local farms. Asked invited artists to chip in for a $250 port-a-potty, etc

  • 2020: finished grad school, Chip moved back up to Ithaca, worked on local farm. Ascetic, solo (with some romantic partners here and there)

  • ACTIVATION RESIDENCY: Seb shares this mission with Chip, and Farming Futurity is looking for land. Could this be a match?

  • ITHACA/ENFIELD: farming agriculture is great, there's an indie bookstore, college town (Cornell, etc). But NOT a satellite of NYC like the Catskills are. Very white ("Get Out" vibes). Chip is mixed-race and often feels uncomfortable.

1) Soulfire Farm - obv great, but hard to imagine in Ithaca because of its whiteness
2) Many like-minded friends went down non-profit route ex: Shondakin Project (was acquired by Storm King?)
3) New Lebanon - poets
4) Ponderosa - Stephanie Marr, dancer in Berlin (Chip almost went to go live with her)

- Applying to undergrad teaching jobs at Bard, Sarah Lawrence. Feel more community in a city. But still interested to keep c.h.a.m.p.s spirit alive - with property funds.