Charlottesville's Catholic Worker community

Urban Agriculture

Casa Alma is transforming three once-neglected city lots into a thriving and shared urban homestead. Our .6 acres includes three houses: a community house and two houses of hospitality where we host homeless families. Surrounding the homes are extensive gardens, a mini-orchard, berry patch, a flock of laying chickens, miniature dairy goats, and honeybees.

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Our gardening practices include replacing lawns with edible landscaping, incorporating permaculture principles into garden design, water catchment and conservation, and organic food production.  We garden and care for backyard animals not only to provide healthy foods for guests in our houses of hospitality, but also to inspire people to connect to the land – it’s abundance, fruitfulness, cycles and seasons.

We welcome volunteers and collaborators to help us plant and harvest, build garden beds and maintain paths, and to help us deepen and share our practice of sustainability. Previous collaborations include:

* Hosting workshops on solar cooking and sustainable living with Transition Charlottesville Albemarle.

* Co-sponsoring a Lenten Carbon Fast with our neighbors Sojourners United Church of Christ.

* Collaborating with Friends of Rives Park to establish a community garden in the 4-acre park adjacent to Casa Alma.

Wisdom from Wendell Berry: “The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility.”  “We learn from our gardens how to answer the most urgent question of our time, ‘How much is enough?'”