The Buffalo Mountain Homesteading Center Traditional Skills and Building Community Resilience in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom

Nellie Condee
Department of Environmental Studies
Vermont's Northeast Kingdom is an economically depressed, highly rural region of the state. In addition to this challenge the community must, as we all must, deal with the burgeoning impacts of climate change and peak oil, as these matters will impact all facets of our industrial economy and the vocations on which it relies. This paper explores some of the methods to address these problems of adapting and better aligning the needs of our communities, as they relocalize under the pressures of a lower energy future, with the skills of our developing workforce. We will examine this dynamic as it has been explored by the Transition Network, and we will then look at how those principles could lay a groundwork for a community reskilling center, teaching traditional or "lost" skills to Northeast Kingdom communities in order to lessen community member's dependence on a high energy, globalized, industrial and cash-based economy, and to increase resilience in the face of serious changes yet to come.