So here is one of my Evokation ideas:
Get Dirty!(or maybe Earthy?) is an organization I would like to create that's purpose is to help city kids and kids everywhere become or at least have the opportunity to contemplate becoming a farmer. Not necessarily a traditional farmer, though those are definitely necessary and kids will be encouraged towards that if they are so inclined, but also including and helping with a lot of urban farming ideas.
This idea came about after watching Dirt! the movie, and also was inspired by the Evoke premise. In the Dirt movie I learned that more people than ever live in cities rather than rural areas, which not surprisingly concerned me as that would no doubt mean fewer people producing the food which the cities rely on.
Also, just as the Evoke network taps into the innate abilities of gamers a heretofore ignored and disparaged population of people, I suspect that the cities contain an untapped population of farmers and green-thumbs who have just never been given the opportunity to discover that about themselves. I grew up in a fairly rural city, with a family who always had a garden in the backyard during the summer, and spent a great deal of time in nature and was very aware of the world around me as a kid and yet it never occurred to me that I could be a farmer for a living. I suspect then it is very far from the realm of possibilities for kids who spend their entire lives in the middle of a concrete Jungle like Toronto or New York.
To this end I would like to create an educational program that puts a garden in every schoolyard, and teaches all the kids how to grow food, as well as how farming on a larger scale works, and how new urban farming techniques like rooftop and community gardens could work in their neighbourhood. But I don't want this to just be something in schools, I want a program that brings parents and community members in and creates a self-sustaining system of education that doesn't disappear when the people from the Get Dirty organization leave.
Other ideas I'd like to incorporate, but I'm unsure how are the concept that human beings and what they build are not separate from nature but part of it, and there really is no difference between a wasp's nest and a condominium. Also, I think the Western abhorrence for all things dirty, i.e. getting your hands dirty, and the culture of sterilization and "99.9% germ free" is a negative one, and I'd really like to see it disappear, and if I could work in a way to start that into this program I'd love that. I'd love to replace the word dirty (which has so many negative connotations) with earthy- as technically it has the exact same definition and yet sounds much more positive. I know its just semantics, but frankly our entire society revolves around semantics so I think it could do a lot of good. All of this education and interaction with growing food, both rural and urban, longterm could go along way to making big cities food secure, which is a great goal, and if we can introduce some kids to their vocation along the way, all the better.
So what do you guys think?