Here's a story about my 1st garden in the local community.
Almost one year ago I spoke with the mayor of the town I live in for help with a project I wanted to start. I had never discussed it with anyone, so it was my first try. I told him I believe I have an idea which could change the world and I'd like to begin right here.
I explained my ideas briefly, gave him my web site address and a short time later had a meeting with several of his advisers about me creating gardens in his town. I explained that my real goal is a football field sized area on which we could offer €1.00 jobs to refugees. I showed the plan for a Walipini and explained that I'd build one along with above ground garden. He never got back with me, but one of his advisers did, the one from the local grade schools.
I was asked by 2 elementary schools to create gardens! One would have been only on window sills, except that they didn't follow up on the offer, the 2nd though did. By the time we identified the plot, had visits from engineers, workers, tractors, trucks and dirt deliveries, it was late when we started so missed things like potatoes, most cabbage varieties and corn. We made a nice garden which helped the cleaning lady, a few Syrians and I hope teachers over the summer, I'd ask each of them will write a short article with pictures if possible about our experiences and results, but we'll see what the future holds. I intend to ask the kids to do the same when they go back to school next week! We had 2 groups of 10 kids each, one with 3rd graders and one 1-2 graders.
We only had 2 X 45 minutes per group, but during that time I explained the fact the ~21,000 people die of hunger related symptoms on our planet, every day and many kids go to bed hungry or come to school hungry. Many kids will never go to school, they have to work or beg to help their family survive. Next came a short explanation of Sustainability and we got to the garden. We quickly scraped out the weeds and planted 3 pumpkins, 3 tomatoes in pots, a little cress, radish, 2 sorts of lettuce, cabbage and leak.
It amazed me to see how interested they were and each wanted a chance to put as many as possible into the ground with their own hands. Of course while each took her or his turn there was lots of time for the boys to battle dangerous snake weeds and the blackberry from the pit and the girls talked and laughed and before you knew it the first 2 weeks were gone. I promptly got a report from a hard working pair which warmed my heart and reminded me why I was there.
The 2nd group, the younger, had a chance at beats, an avocado, a thornless blackberry, Rosemary, Thymne and watering the garden and seeing the flowers and leaves and how they changed in such a short time. It was somewhat nerve racking to watch them jumping over our precious pumpkin runners, but everything survived. We also put stone rings around the plants so the teachers, cleaning ladies and janitor could see where to water in the 6 week German summer vacation.
I demonstrated watering with a plastic bottle with a tiny hole in the bottom and asked the 2nd group to think about a way to use the bottle to make watering easier for the summer. All found it interesting and one already knew what he'd build with his Opa (grandpa). I promised to present all in the internet and that doubly interested them. I can hardly wait to see the results and if anyone really had time in only 6 weeks.
I found this an interesting experiment! Through simple words and actions, it's possible to show a child what inequity the world holds and that food really is simple to produce. I believe that each of these kids was touched for life through this simple garden and the teachers told me what a great idea it was and that they could have done it years before. They only needed the idea!
After visiting the UN I intend to talk to the mayor again to see if he's found a plot of land and a way to fund €1.00 jobs for approx 100 people, including any interested German citizen. I want to recommend that this experiment be tried in many many cities beginning as soon as possible.
What is really needed to create a garden?
A plot of land!
Shovels, picks, hoes and other gardening tools.
Water tanks, hoses and connectors.
Seeds and know how.
Willing, hard working individuals.
Most importantly of all, a source of water, preferably not out of the tap. The rain is the ideal source, but it must be captured and saved, then pumped out of the earth for use. A simple manual pump should be adequate and I'd try building it using plans which already exist in Appropedia. I'd also hope to use plastic which now feeds our incinerators and land fill to create what it takes to 3d print, melt or use as is for parts we need. It would also be interesting to try to create electricity through the wind or sun. The goal being to produce a garden which could easily be reproduced anywhere, including refugee camps and there where starving people exist.
A topic I'm especially interested in answering, how do we collect, sort, wash and grind plastic? How can we find the right mixture for various things we'll need for our projects. For this I ask your help!
The GG club could really change the world, if only you'll pass our link to teachers, parents, Oma and Opa, students of any age, your politicians and anyone else who could be interested in our search.
If you feel that you could do something, anything within the SDGs, even if only something small; your ideas may be enough to get a group moving toward answers.
Vote for us to the UN, donate a no strings attached $1.00 per month to the WFP and maybe this plan will be the one that succeeds. Your vote asks the UN to take action and shows that you want it!
You can start here:
Here's your chance to leave feedback! You're welcome to praise, criticize or just talk, but please be nice.
Here we are,
being the light!