Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

On behalf of Nick Heyming and Gratitude Gardens I am sending out an Urgent Evoke.

Gratitude Gardens is an Evokation with serious promise but it needs your help. First a little bit about Nick, Growcology, and Gratitude Gardens.

The first step in getting this global network of farms going is data mining.

First Step: Research

  1. Find out what grows best in your climate, where you live.
  2. Find out what edible and useful plants are native to your area.
  3. Explore the food and nature-crafts that the indigenous people of your area created.
  4. Learn about any colonizers to your area and what food they introduced.
  5. What are some heirloom or landrace plants (or livestock) that grow your area?
  6. What kind of indigenous cultivation and fertilization was used in your area? How did they ensure long-term fertility, instead of short term yields?
  7. Does any of this appeal to you? Seem tasty, useful, interesting? What do you want to grow?
I don't know about you but when I read that this list, not only is it confusing, but it sounds like a lot of work--but I think the issue is in the presentation, so here's what I need. I need 5 motivated agents who want to be a part of a pilot group. The goal being to eventually re-phrase the research steps so that they are understandable and manageable. Once the pilot group finishes their work I will edit/design a better survey for the community. There is no way that I can do this myself so I'm hoping that a few of you will want to be a part.

Message me or post here if your interested and I'll get in touch.

PS also if you are playing Evoke banking I am paying paying out 25 EVs

Views: 62

Comment by Turil Cronburg on April 3, 2010 at 10:26pm
I'm wondering what the primary purpose of the project is. Is it just to give people a list of things to do to satisfy some ideal? Or is it to help people connect with others so that they can do these things?
Comment by Boltair Nalt on April 3, 2010 at 10:33pm
Well you know what grows in Massachusetts. We raise a lot of hay and corn in our area and there are several cows and horses in the Rochester area. My family has a small backyard garden where we grow everything from tomatoes to summer squash. We have a few apple orchards in Achushnet and the pumpkin patches come to life in October, as one would expect. I'm not 100% familiar with the local produce economy, but I know there are large plans in the works here, as far as new ideas for locals paying for growers to grow. Hope this helped and let me know if you'd like me to dig up some more info.
Comment by Mark Mulkerin on April 3, 2010 at 11:56pm
Hi Wintermute,

If you are familiar with the Plants for the Future organization, have a look. They have an absolutely stunning database of 7000 useful plants searchable by all kinds of parameters.
Comment by Wintermute on April 4, 2010 at 12:41am
@a.v.Koshy -- Thanks for the long reply, I agree that the information required is somewhat over whelming. I like some of your suggestions and definitively agree that they need to be simpler. I think one thing that would really help people fill this out, is knowing about databases like the one that Mark recommends (big thanks). If any researches know of data bases that people could seach to help answer these questions that would be awesome.
Comment by Kevin DiVico on April 4, 2010 at 4:24am
Ok - this is easy to solve - the complicated questionnaire part- first code up an interface for already established databases (free ones) or ones you contact ... then make the answers as much as possible a drop down menu....so people can scroll down or enter in data and have that auto fill... this is easy for climate and location...and for #2 - you could link 2 to 1 easy...for 3 & 4 don't list answers but generate places to find out the knowledge based on answers to 1 & 2...the same as we go down the list... it can be simplified and still be educational and compelling... and should run on a mobile phone...
Comment by Nick Heyming on April 5, 2010 at 3:26am
Thanks so much for all the suggestions on this guys!

@Turil - Its definitely NOT a just bunch of stuff I'm trying to get people to do. The goal is to create living seed banks and social incubators, but the research up front is absolutely necessary for the Alpha stage.

@Mark - I'm a big fan of Plants for the Future. I'm thinking a global database with actionable goals as opposed to a database limited to just the US and the UK, but they're definitely a pioneer in the field.

@ Kevin - I'm all about making this simpler and easier to interface with. I defer to people with relevant experience on issues like that, sounds like you have some good ideas...
Comment by Joshua Z on April 5, 2010 at 3:51am
Count me in. I'll try to have it done by next EVOKE Phase -- Wednesday.
Comment by Wintermute on April 5, 2010 at 12:01pm
Comment by Ursula Kochanowsky on April 5, 2010 at 2:49pm
I am going to answer these questions and i'm going to tell you how I got the information.

Find out what grows best in your climate, where you live.
Done! Book called Down to Earth Gardening. I was lucky to find this book. Its out of print. I had to talk to a coworker at the historical mission site about gardening and she just happened to know of this book and let me photocopy several pages from it.
Even has info on row spacing, planting times for my area, yield and days to harvest.

Find out what edible and useful plants are native to your area.
Done. Here : http://www.fnps.org/ Florida native plant society. Gotten by doing a google search on florida native plants. Breaks the info down by county. Unfortunitally not an accessible database. Most areas of the us have info like this if you search for "blank" native plant communities.

Explore the food and nature-crafts that the indigenous people of your area created.
Done. Mission San Luis. http://www.missionsanluis.org/ I worked there for 3 years. Volunteered for 7. Appalachee Indians were part of the Mississippian mound building culture. Extensive agricultural practices (tallahassee means old fields). The main one being corn, beans and squash. Clothing was made with Spanish moss and woven with back strap looms. Unfortunitally the Spanish fairly severely overwrote the native culture and the Appalachee indians, after adopting Spanish traditions, lost the ability to defend themselves and fled from the English in 1704. Abandoning the area for about 150 years.

Learn about any colonizers to your area and what food they introduced.
Done. Also Learned from Mission San Luis The Spanish prized any area that could grow prize crops. They ran cattle. They planted wheat and grew corn. Theres several historical cooking manuals from the time period which we used in cooking demonstrations. SCAers, Society for Creative Anacronism, http://www.sca.org/ would also have access to this sort of information. Theres so many history nuts there.

What are some heirloom or landrace plants (or livestock) that grow your area?
That information has unfortunitally been lost. However. From the 1900's we have several heirloom roses which are adapted to tallahassee conditions. Theres a historical house which has tried to preserve its heirloom and heritage plantings. http://www.goodwoodmuseum.org/gardens.php
Also the Spanish were fond of San Clemente Goats. Cracker Horses and cracker cattle are also the descendants of the horses and cattle the Spanish let loose after they fled from the English. Our government actually keeps this species alive and here in tallahassee. Gotten by talking to other san luis coworkers.

What kind of indigenous cultivation and fertilization was used in your area? How did they ensure long-term fertility, instead of short term yields? Beans fix nitrogen. Its pretty much a closed system. They also put one fish in the h*** with the seed and let it feed the plants.

Does any of this appeal to you? Seem tasty, useful, interesting? What do you want to grow?
My biggest interest is in creating living systems that take care of themselves. Permaculture is my friend there. The best book i've found so far is Gaia's Garden, a guide to home scale permaculture.
But let me tell you where it falls flat. It actually requires me to do all of this research. Because I love the idea of gardens which take care of themselves and want to see as many of those as possible, I have done this work. I can write you lists of cultivars if thats important to you and I can show you how to trade out native species for their food producing counterparts.
Comment by Ursula Kochanowsky on April 5, 2010 at 2:57pm
Oh yeah.. also forgot to mention
http://www.floridayards.org/fyplants/index.php A Florida friendly yard database.
and another good book: http://www.amazon.com/Florida-Gardeners-Book-Lists/dp/0878339086 The Florida gardeners book of lists


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