Cherry Tree Hill Co-Housing Association
The Cherry Tree Hill Co-housing Association is the owner of the AllTogetherNow! property, with acres of vegetable and herb gardens, apple and fruit orchards, barn, pool, and farmhouse/Community Arts Center. The organizational structure follows communitarian principles. There are four members: three homesites and the Community Arts Center/farmhouse owned by members Ellen Leonard, Janice Walrafen, Ben Graham, and Adrienne Allison Graham.
AllTogetherNow! is a community of partners woven together to manifest a livelihood of working in harmony with one another and Nature, celebrating our interconnectedness and interdependence, building an ecological community.
Cherry Tree Hill Co-housing Community Association is the newly organized structure of ownership and management of the property.
Our community mission is manifested through art, ecological design, biodynamic practices and community celebration, to honor and participate in a mutually beneficial relationship with Nature, celebrating her generosity and bounty. We seek to restore and nurture healthy soils, and healthy relationships to one another and the natural world.
For over a decade, we have been gardening as a collective, growing, preserving and storing food crops to nourish and sustain us throughout the years. We offer permaculture and transition town workshops to learn how to apply these principles in our daily lives and as a part of the seasonal cycles.
On the 10.2 acres we purchased in 2004, are two existing dwellings: one is a 1800’s farmhouseand accessory dwelling/the AllTogetherNow! Community Arts Center and another recently renovated/rebuilt dwelling/ home. A third home is currently being built, and a fourth building site is designated for another home.
The land is on top of a hill facing east to the Groton Range and Spruce Mountain. The property to our west is a 500 acre Trust for Public Lands property with numerous community trails. Our land is open with fields and acres of vegetable/herb gardens, young apple and fruit orchards, a barn used to store puppets and tools, a greenhouse, and an in-ground salt water pool. The organizational structure follows ecovillage and communitarian principles, and Vermont State statutes that govern condominium associations.
The Community Arts Center/Farmhouse was built in the early 1800’s to house a large farm family and has been lovingly maintained. It is now held by an LLC to manage it as a multi-use facility. This is what goes on here:
- Affordable Housing - Upstairs are four rented bedrooms each with their own bathroom and a shared community room/office space.
- AllTogetherNow! Preschool occupies the front yard and several rooms of the first floor in the Community Arts Center/farmhouse that has been caring for children and families in our community for over 20 years. Ellen Leonard is the founding director of this nurturing school for 3-5 year olds with an incredibly dedicated staff. It is an outdoor program where the days are spent outside throughout the seasons, where nature is the teacher.
- Art Tiles Clay Studio is in the basement of the farmhouse where Janice creates handmade tiles, sculptures and clay vessels to provide her a livelihood and beauty to those who purchase them. Students of all ages, and apprentices are a part of the clay studio’s learning and creative environment. See her tiles at: www.jravenarttiles.com
- Art Classroom - on the first floor is where Janice creates larger than life puppets, masks and costumes, and at times the classroom is filled with paper mache’, cloth, wood and fibers retrieved from the waste stream to create magical dancing puppets for community performances. She regularly teaches classes and workshops both in her studio and in the community. In the Summer the classroom is used by the AllTogetherNow! Summer Camp program.
- AllTogetherNow! non-profit corporation is a 501c3 corporation. It was established in 1987 by families of Central Vermont dedicated to offering quality arts programming to the community. It has a long dedicated history of organizing performances, artist-in-residencencies, festivals, founding Onion River Arts Council and establishing First Night Montpelier. In 1997 Janice Walrafen and Ellen Leonard joined the board and this grassroots organization has been the foundation from which 30 years of Montpelier’s seasonal celebrations have been supported: All Species Day, Ice on Fire, Enchanted Forest, First Night Montpelier, and more. Our non- profit also organizes and supports permaculture workshops, Transition Town Building convergences, and fun filled summer camps for youth ages 6-12.