Wednesday, March 31, 2021

National Cohousing Open House Saturday April 24th 2 to 4 pm

How long has it been since you were invited to an Open House when you didn't see 'in-person' and certainly not 'virtual'?

On April 24, you’re invited (in person!) to join Elderberry and seven other cohousing communities in this area of North Carolina. When you visit we’ll introduce you to our members and show you what it’s like to live in our particular community.

What will you see at Elderberry?

You will visit our Common House, the central hub of our community, and stroll around our eighteen townhomes.

You can visit the gardens and woodshop, walk the trails, and sit on the cabin porch – talking with the men and women who live here.

With sustainably-built homes and buildings, our community values being energy conscious

And by visiting the other cohousing communities in this area, you will have a unique opportunity to see how they differ.

Compared to other communities...

Elderberry is the most rural — 

out under the stars and surrounded by woods. But though we’re country, we’re connected by an easy and scenic drive to all the attractions of Durham and Raleigh.

Elderberry has the fewest homes —

at 18 homes clustered in duplexes and quadraplexes, we are a close-knit community who work, play and talk together with ease.

Elderberry has the largest acreage to enjoy — 

we have 10 acres of our own for recreation and gardens, but we share well over 100 acres of woodland trails with our sister community Potluck Farms next door.

Elderberry is totally self-developed and governed —

and we enjoy working on a variety of projects and doing most of the maintenance ourselves at our twice-monthly work days.

What do you have to do?

Let us know if you’d like to come on Saturday, April 24 between 2 and 4.*

E-mail Karolyn at or call 336-364-0056, or go to the “Contact Us” page on this website.*

Observe our Covid guidelines. 
Of our 20 members here, 16 are happily vaccinated. However for everyone’s protection, we still prefer masks and spatial distancing with visitors, and we continue to adhere to current CDC and NC guidelines for Covid-19.

Plan to ask us as many questions as you can think of about life in cohousing!

*And if you can’t make it on 4/24, contact us to arrange a Zoom or in-person visit at a convenient time.

We do look forward to seeing you on April 24 or at a time that's good for you!

Friday, March 19, 2021

Search Party!!!

 It has been challenging to have social events at Elderberry during Covid, but we have been very creative!  A few weeks ago we had our annual Chinese New Year celebration.... we all made Chinese foods, but we couldn't eat together, so we had the dinner event (and shared our fortunes from the homemade fortune cookies) on Zoom.  This past weekend we had our first potluck together in a year!  It was a Saint Patrick's Day outdoor party and is deserving of its own blog post (watch this space!).  In between those two events, we launched a program we call Elderberry Jam.

The idea behind Elderberry Jam is to ongoingly foster relationship-building in the community.  The Culture Committee solicited ideas from members about events, formats and discussion topics that they would find fun, interesting or thought-provoking.  Armed with this information we held out first Elderberry Jam event - a Search Party!

Prior to the event, the Culture Team had taken photos of discrete objects all around the 10 acres of Elderberry property.  Near each object was a word.  Teams of two had about 40 minutes to search the grounds to find the items shown in the photos (14 in all), collect the words, and try to form them into a sentence.
Vonda, Mary and Joyce gave instructions to the teams and sent them on their way.  At the bottom of their form, each team was also asked to rate how much fun they had, and how much assistance they gave to other teams.
Things started off a bit competitively but before long, teams were teaming up!

Nancy (in red) wasn't able to get around the grounds, but she sat quite close to two of the clues and gave hints to all the teams.
Stewart and Mary Kay found another word!

Stewart, Mary Kay, Joan, Karen and Jacquie all teamed up (little Minnie helped too)

After finding all of the words, Barb and Karolyn are trying to figure out the sentence, which answered the question "How do we find what we are looking for in life?"

We teamed Diane with Richard, because Diane is our newest resident and had little idea of where to find the objects in the photos,  and Richard pretty much knows every inch of Elderberry, so he could find most of the objects easily.  Even he was stumped on a few, though!

When we were all done, we had some special treats.  Vonda had bought Locopops (great popsicles from a local place) and Linda made fruit cups.  We also had prizes.... not just for those who found the most objects and words, but also for those who found the least, and those who had the most fun, and those who helped other teams the most!

It turned out that everyone loved this event.  Not only was it a fun game, but people had to explore the whole community and get some good exercise to boot!  And the answer to the question of "How do we find what we are looking for in life?"   If you unscrambled the words, you come up with:

By welcoming new experiences, trusting our hearts, opening our minds,
and appreciating diverse views.