Asheville ShareFest May 31st!

What Would Make it Easier to Share?

REAL Cooperative and SHARE Asheville present the first Annual Asheville ShareFest on May 31st in the parking lot of the French Broad Food Co-op and inside Co-Luminate downtown on Biltmore Ave.  Asheville will join cities all over the world to host a ShareFest on Saturday May 31st as part of #SharingSpring and Global Sharing Day to celebrate local Sharing Initiatives, Collaborative Consumption Resources, and the Preservation of the Commons. Share a Skill, Get Up and Perform, Swap some of your unused Stuff, Exchange some Seeds or Speak your Peace. This is a participant driven event and won’t be the same if you don’t show up and participate.

Activities will Include (but hopefully won’t be limited to):
Really Really Free Market (Stuff Swap), Skill Share, Bike Repair (At Recyclery), Seed Exchange, Entertainment (Open Mic, ‘Show and Tell No Talent Show’), Soap Box (Speak your Peace), Booths, Collaborative Art Projects, Kids Activities… What will you Share?
Find out more information:  or

This co-created event will showcase local organizations, projects and knowledge. Asheville ShareFest will highlight examples of the sharing economy which has become a (new) social safety net and multi billion dollar industry in the new economic framework. The event will be one of over 40 ShareFests taking place in cities around the world in the months of April, May and June as part of the international campaign coordinated by Shareable, Center for a New American Dream, OuiShare and The People Who Share.  Please let us know if you would like to co-create this event with us and offer a Skill, Performance, Activity by filling out this FORM.

SHARE Asheville will be hosting coordination meetings (link to FB Event and details) on Wednesday evening’s from 7-9pm 5/14, 5/21 and 5/28 if you would like to help make this event happen (nudge, nudge).

Contact Tom with any questions:



Mapping the Sharing Economy in Asheville

1-Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 5.43.48 PM

Asheville and Buncombe County have a lot to offer its citizenry. On the surface it is easy to see the countless restaurants, boutiques, bike shops and breweries, but much like in most cities there is more to this mountain town of ours. Many of these surface offerings aren’t designed to serve those who actually live here and large portion of our community can’t afford or lacks access to participate. At the same time there is an often invisible and unconnected network of initiatives, resources and services supporting our citizens and building community.

Last year Asheville based organization REAL Cooperative, in partnership with Shareable and about 25 community members, decided to map out this unconnected network with a purpose of supporting existing projects, connecting those who would benefit from them and identifying needs and niches yet to be filled. The first community meeting which launched this project in Asheville was covered by Lea Mclellan from Mountain Xpress (How well does Asheville share?)

After 4 months of accepting community feedback and expanding the scope of the project we would like to welcome you to the SHARE Asheville Community Directory and MAP. This list has been and will continue to be “crowd sourced” from the community and we welcome your feedback and suggestions. The directory (and Map) aims to showcase the Sharing Projects, Collaborative Consumption and Common Resources which Asheville has to offer. Scroll through the over 150 offerings in 7 sections: Food, Services, Reuse, Community Health, Community Wealth, Commons and Public Libraries.  We will soon be developing a list of “Off the Map” resources serving the community without a physical location.

Have a suggestion for something we should add? Or maybe you think there is something which should be removed?? We rely on feedback from the community to make this a useful resource! Please submit all suggestions through this FORM.


This Map is only a launching point for a larger initiative were calling SHARE Asheville to foster the further development of community serving policy and infrastructure to support the, for lack of a better word, sharing economy.


SHARE Asheville will be hosting our first large event later this Spring. Asheville ShareFest will take place on May 31st at the French Broad Food Co-op and will be a series of interactive co-created events which will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday May 30th-June 1st showcasing local organizations, projects, resources and skills while highlighting examples of the sharing economy which nationally has become a (new) social safety net and multi billion dollar industry in the new economic framework. The event will be one of over 25 ShareFests taking place in cities around the world in the months of April, May and June as part of the international campaign coordinated by Shareable, Center for a New American Dream, OuiShare and other organizations. Please let us know if you would like to co-create this event with us by filling out this FORM.




Are We Eating Fishy Food? National Tour (leg 2)

Fishy Food Tour Crew Abita Springs, LA

Fishy Food Tour Crew Abita Springs, LA

On November 7, GMO labeling activists set out on a cross-country 6,083-mile journey from Seattle to New York City for the “Are We Eating Fishy Food? Tri-Coastal Tour.”

The tour features five mutant GMO art cars fitted with 300 pound roof-mounted sculptures that call attention to the need for labeling genetically engineered (GMO) food. The tour, which began two days after the world learned that voters in Washington state did not approve I-522 requiring labels for food that has been genetically engineered, launched the second leg of the Tour on Wednesday, Dec 4th.

Ben Harper, co-founder of the REAL Cooperative, is excited to be behind the wheel once again for his third National Tour in the Fishycorn Car.  He has taken the baton from David Piller, another member of the REAL Cooperative, who participated in the first leg of the tour from Seattle to Huston.

After tour stoops in Louisaiana the past 2 days the tour will continue on to Miami Florida before hooking North towards New York City where the tour will come to a close on Dec 16th.

An updated schedule can be found at

12/3/13 1:00pm – Lafayette, LA
12/4/13 12:00pm – New Orleans, LA
12/4/13 1:00pm – Mobile, LA
12/5/13 9:00pm – Tampa, FL
12/6/13 9:00am – Sarasota, FL
12/6/13 3:00pm – Miami, FL
12/9/13 5:00pm – Jacksonville, FL
12/10/13 1:00pm – Atlanta, GA
12/12/13 1:00pm – Asheville, NC
12/13/13 1:00pm – Richmond, VA
12/13/13 1:00pm – Washington, DC
12/14/13 1:00pm – Baltimore, MD
12/15/13 1:00pm – Philadelphia, PA
12/16/13 10:00am – New York City

NOTE: Times & Dates are approximate & may change

SHARE Asheville: ‘Map Jam’ Part Deux

Map Jam Part Deux_Skinny


On Wednesday November 20th, community members and resiliency organizers in Asheville, NC will join together for Part 2 of the creation of a Map of what our city already has to offer from the Sharing/Collaboration/Commons perspective.  The intention will be to leave the evening with a completed (digital) map that can be accessed by all residents and those passing through who wish to support a local solidarity economy.

We will be adding additions to our list, recording all the necessary information about each location and making the map!

Wanna get involved?
Please bring a laptop or tablet if you can. Don’t worry if you can’t, we’ll have some extras on hand and will be breaking up into groups so not everyone needs to have one.
Please bring something to share for the pot luck and a list of organizations, businesses, resources and events that should go on our new map of Asheville.

P.S. If you can’t make it please include your ideas on the event page.

***Parking is best towards the bottom of Congress St. We only have parking on one side of the street and it is a constant negotiation with our neighbors…

Quick Note: At the first event we did a Brainstorm by sector and created a list of over 100 things to go on the MAP!
We also received some media attention from the Mountain Express: How well does Asheville share?
Finance – credit unions, public banks, microfinance and local investment, ongoing crowdfunding dinners (Sunday Soup), socially responsible investing firms, community currencies, slow money chapters
Production – energy coops, producer coops, community gardens, coworking spaces, urban farms, hacker spaces, maker spaces, art collectives, fab labs, computer kitchens, repair cafes
Land/housing – public parks, open space, community centers, housing coops, community land trusts, intentional communities, cohousing developments
Services – public libraries, carsharing pods, bikesharing stations, worker coops, community or cooperative healthcare, bike kitchens, childcare collectives, preschool coops, timebanks, education coops, free skools, community owned media, infoshops
Distribution – food coops, farmer’s markets, reuse stores, tool and seed libraries, barter markets, free stores, stationary free boxes and food pantries

Asheville Tool Library: Tool News (November)

Hey Asheville,

Here’s the installment of our monthly Newsletter

Much to report:


$3,000 big ones!

Earlier this month we received an incredible gift and a challenge from Asheville resident Jonathan Reily. With a goal of raising $10,000 to start this project off right and a fundraising campaign that earlier this month was only 20% complete, Jonathan offered to double all contributions up to a total of $3,000!  We’re more than half way to that $3,000 goal and need your help to get over the hump in the next few days.

You can join the nearly 100 donors who have contributed to this project by clicking HERE.


$1,200 big ones!

Groundswell’s global coordination office is based in Asheville and is excited to support the Asheville Tool Library with funds raised from their 2013 Spring Seed Campaign. “We believe it’s important to invest in local leaders and innovators who are providing solutions to issues affecting our community,” says Chris Sacco, Groundswell’s Director of Operations. “Establishing a tool library in Asheville is a wonderful way to create community, reduce our impact on the environment, and generate economic well-being.” 

Groundswell International is a non-profit organization that works in partnership, locally and globally, to strengthen rural communities to build healthy farming and local food systems from the bottom up. Groundswell does this by investing in communities to lead their own development processes and by linking local organizations to wider food sovereignty movements.

To learn more about Groundswell, please visit:


Thank you all so very much for attending our Tool Talk event held at the co-op a few weeks back.  We had a smashin’ good time of getting folks together to talk about the new tool library – we were gifted tools, money and loads of advice from people like you. We put together a SURVEY for everyone to take during the event which had questions like, tools you want, classes you want, volunteer interests, etc – if you haven’t taken it, take it:

A big thank you to Mammacita‘s and Asheville Brewing Company Beer for supplying food and booze!

Pictures from the event taken by our friend, Grant Adkisson here: Tool Pics

Let’s Build it Together!

Anyone interested in helping to get this project off the ground?  2014 is just around the corner and we need some more community support before we can open the doors and start lending tools.

An open-to-the-public community meeting:
Wednesday November 13th from 6:30-8:30 we will be meeting at the office of the Dogwood Alliance (129 Biltmore Ave Asheville, NC 28801).

Please join us if your interested in volunteering and have 1 hr/month or 10hr/wk… we know everyone in town has something to offer.


Hey, ho – we’re accepting tool donations!

That’s right, if you’re interested in donating a new, or kindly used tool please get at us! Drills, saws, garden tools, BCS Tiller (!),  painting supplies, wrenches, sewing machines, generators, ladders, cobbling tools, leather working tools, wood working tools, bungee cords, etc etc… Bring em’!

Contact us here:

How to get in contact with us:

For general Inquires:
Volunteer Inquiry:

And finally, now something completely different…

Co-Creator of the Asheville Tool Library, Julian Dominic, will be giving a cooking class on corn! More specifically, Nixtamal:

One of the oldest techniques of corn preparation, Nixtamal (knee-shta-mal), refers to the process by which the revered grain is cooked in an alkali, hulled and eaten with your neighbors. Come enjoy the old method of cooking, hand-grinding, and eating the regional Kentucky Butcher Dent Corn – making tortillas from scratch!

NIXTAMAL: Corn Processing
Sunday, Nov. 10th, 5-7pm. @  V I L L L A G E R S

$5-15 (Proceeds go to Charlotte Got Crops)
Please RSVP, here

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Let’s start lending tools!

Nick, Tom, Julian and the growing tool team

P.S. We’ve extended our fundraising campaign ’till November 22nd!. Please consider a donation today.