Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Global Gratitude Gardens: Possible Evokation

The last few days I've been doing alot of work in my garden. We mapped it all out using Google Sketchup:

Whats not included in this sketch are my compost piles, the Chefs du Potager gardens along the top right section, the barn where we hold our workshops, or the propagation house. Still, I'm excited about how much we've mapped, and its all to scale and will be uploaded to Google Earth soon.

Tomorrow we're inviting dozens of community groups to the barn to discuss building around 24 community gardens across town. They're going to come every other week and design and build a garden here in the shape of the raincross (which is the upside down bell on the map above), and then the alternate weeks go back to their community location (a church, a school, a hospital) and design their own gardens.

Then next do the hardscape. First with us, then their location.

Then the irrigation, same learn and apply. Then the pathways and raised beds. Then planting. Then learn how to find local partners and identify volunteers and resources in their community. Then harvesting. Then replanting.

All in the learn, then apply style, where they'll be emboldened to do projects they would otherwise not have the spark or courage to undertake.

Plus they'll be networked to support each other, and there will be a complementary city-wide vegetable exchange they'll participate in that will also interface with local soup kitchens.

Its an ambitious plan, but we've worked on similar stuff in the past and are just trying to use all the assets the community already has. We've been asked to do this enough times, we figured its high time we embarked on a serious, integrated plan.

So wish us luck, we're also going to be submitting the Garden Mosaic with its Veggie Exchange, Resourceful Gardens, and Sustainable Hub to the city public utility, the state Strategic Growth Council, and the Metropolitan Water Agency.

I'm thinking of building on this idea for a possible Evokation. I'll contact a few of the agents currently working on food and food security, and discuss my ideas for Global Gratitude Gardens. If you're interested, send me a message.

Views: 64

Comment by Jane McGonigal on March 23, 2010 at 7:15am
Amazing, congratulations on taking this project to the next level...!
Comment by Nicholas Nagao on March 23, 2010 at 1:17pm
Sounds like another great project Nick! I like the way you've broken down the "integrated plan". Just out of curiosity, do you usually have all of your participants from the first weekend, or do you get more as the program goes on through word of mouth (I suppose you lose a certain number as you go on as well). Also, how long is this project planned for? I'm sure the answer is obvious, but where are you doing this (California)? Perhaps adding the location to the tag would be helpful for newbies like me hehe. Well, sounds like some great things you're starting wherever it is.
Comment by Nick Heyming on March 23, 2010 at 2:25pm
Thanks Nicholas. Its in Riverside, California, which was recently designated an Emerald City as a prototype sustainable model for all of California. Most of the reason for that is because of the "top-down" city stuff going on, there was very little in the way of grassroots organizing in that plan.

So when we at Growcology heard that, we decided we'd BE that grassroots movement. So we're taking all the existing community groups that already want to build gardens, and give them the tools. We're also going to doc**ent the wh*** thing, and create scalable models for our wh*** region (the Inland Empire/Green Valley) and the wh*** state.

The Global Gratitude Gardens will Tie into it as well...
Comment by Patricio Buenrostro-Gilhuys on March 23, 2010 at 6:42pm
Great project!!! Best of lucks to everyone at Growcology!!! I like the spiral design on the top left. Are those herb spirals?
Comment by Nick Heyming on March 23, 2010 at 9:38pm
One is an herb spiral, one is a children's educational garden, and the big one on the bottom is a butterfly and hummingbird garden. We've also got a massive beneficial insect attracting garden, a Master Gardener Grow Lab, the Chef's du Potager culinary students' gardens, and the Resourceful Gardens community hub.
Comment by Nick Heyming on March 23, 2010 at 9:38pm
I should label all those.
Comment by Jan Lampe on March 26, 2010 at 10:52pm
hey, i just saw you tagged it changemind (sorry for being so slow), would you like me to feature it as well?
Comment by Nick Heyming on March 26, 2010 at 10:55pm
Sure Jan! Your post was one of the ones that inspired me to take it to the next level.
Comment by Nicholas Nagao on March 26, 2010 at 11:06pm
Random fact: Raincross is Riverside California's city symbol. I was trying to figure out if a rain cross was some sort of irrigation system :)

Comment by Daniel LaLiberte on March 26, 2010 at 11:26pm
Alright.. I've been stewing on this idea all week, and maybe finding this blog will push me over the edge. The idea, related to your own it seems, is to put together an internet site/service/portal/whathaveyou to facilitate community gardening around the world.

I do web sites, and collaboration technologies, and I know about gardening, but I would need the help of many other people to do the wh*** garbanzo. I see the need to encourage many many people to grow their own food, locally, regionally, far less globally unless it can be done much more efficiently. But we are all in a fix to put together the necessary resources to make it happen, so we all need to collaborate.

The reason for a global service is to promote networking and sharing of information on a wider scale even if we don't necessarily distribute as many physical resources globally. We have a lot to learn from each other around the world. Another reason is that even if we only shared with our neighboring regions, all regions neighbor other regions, so it is again a global network.

I don't think such a service exists yet, but I will of course investigate that first. Certainly there are global collaboration networks we can leverage as well, but this service will new a few widgets targeted at the needs of community gardening, and the geographic based networking. How this all comes out as an implementation is part of the challenge. Obviously a long-term project, but initiating it is the first step.

That's it in a nutshell. I'll be getting my ACT2 together on this tonight.


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