Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

I decided that I don't want to have my Evokation be a project that I've already started. The Garden Mosaic is underway, and has been a collaborative project from the wh*** team at Growcology, so me submitting that to Evoke wouldn't be fair to them.

Plus, the wh*** point of Evoke is for us to initiate something new! So copying and pasting our current projects wouldn't be in the spirit of things.

However, it would also be foolish to not build on the momentum that we already have. It would be a disservice to my partners in Growcology, and the Evoke Agents that I partner with, for me to not make use of all the assets and resources that we've already amassed.

So in that light, I've decided to take the principles at the core of Growcology and our Garden Mosaic and go global. The Mosaic is very grounded in California, so some changes will need to be made to make a truly replicable, global model.

What will a Gratitude Garden be?

Gratitude Gardens will be combination social enterprise incubators, living seed banks, and community gathering spaces. Their goal is to give thanks for the gifts of those who came before us, and to create something future generations will be grateful to us for.

Can I plant a Gratitude Garden?

Yes, but the first step is not planting. The first step is research:
  • Find out what grows best in your climate, where you live.
  • Find out what edible and useful plants are native to your area
  • Explore the food and nature-crafts that the indigenous people of your area created
  • Learn about any colonizers to your area and what food they introduced
  • What are some heirloom or landrace plants (or livestock) that grow your area?
  • What kind of indigenous cultivation and fertilization was used in your area?
So thats step one: find out about the edible and useful plants in and from your area.

Step Two will involve finding local organizations you can team up with (don't reinvent the wheel), interviewing local farmers and gardeners that still use traditional methods, and finding the seeds and cuttings to grow these plants. But first, what to grow?

Views: 91

Comment by Megan Whaley on March 23, 2010 at 8:18am
Nick, I'm very interested in how this will work. I know someone who would be passionate about doing exactly what you are proposing in Michigan. Let me get in contact with her and another group of students tomorrow and I'll see we can get you hooked up.
Thanks for this!
Comment by Anthony Karanja on March 23, 2010 at 8:52am
Comment by Rahul Dewanjee on March 23, 2010 at 8:57am
The steps outlined in your article that talks about a series of questions that one could ask before deciding to plant a Gratitude Garden seem to be a very practical way to put some context into what you propose. definitely worth applauding:) +1 for vision seems very justified.
Comment by Patricio Buenrostro-Gilhuys on March 23, 2010 at 3:08pm
Nick this is a beautiful project!!! I wish I could give you +25 Vision +25 Sustainability. How will you make it a "a truly replicable, global model."? It´s an awesome vision!!!
Comment by Ken Eklund on March 23, 2010 at 3:40pm
I like the name – Gratitude Garden. It fits in perfectly with another term I just learned: First Fruits, explained by Agent Tatenda Sith*** in her blog post. Reminding me that food is not nearly as much about nutrition (although that is important) as it is about resilient and enduring community. The nutrition of food is "the fish;" the community that grows and shares it "teaches us how to fish."
Comment by Nick Heyming on March 23, 2010 at 4:04pm
@Megan and Michelle, you can help by doing a little research on where you're from. I'm going to start a wiki soon for people to input information from their hometowns.

Its not just about edibles, there are plenty of beneficial plants that have uses beyond their yumminess

@Patricio - It will be replicable and global because its simple, but completely locally adaptable. Its about people taking pride in where they are, and the gifts that their ancestors gave them. If just a few people in a dozen countries do an hour or two's worth of research, we'll have all the info we need to proceed to phase 2...

@ Ken - Thanks for the knowledge share. I'm hoping that each of these Gratitude Gardens will take on a completely unique flair, and that people will find economic opportunity in the fruits of their labor. Say someone plants a patch of walking stick kale, then carves walking sticks and sells them for 5 bucks each. The packet of seeds costs just a few bucks, and the wh*** experience will be worth its weight in gold.

There used to be "cottage industries", now its time for "gratitude industries".
Comment by Michele Baron on March 23, 2010 at 4:16pm
Nice sharing.
Comment by Thomas Pinkerton on March 23, 2010 at 4:24pm

You might find this useful. The link itself is to a record in U of Wisconsin's Scout Report, but the record itself is for a publication on a national classification for local ecologies. Something like this could be helpful in standardizing the information we share. Instead of, say, three different people describing their local area a "swamp" "bayou" or "wetland", we use a standardized term. It could be immensely useful in the globalization stage of this evokation.
Comment by Thomas Pinkerton on March 23, 2010 at 4:51pm
To throw in the wiki:

For Appalachain America, here's a good resource: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/tending/

It's a collection of manuscripts, recordings and photos that show how the people of West Virginia have utilized the mountains for their entire way of life. An excerpt from the front page:

"Interpretive texts outline the social, historical, economic, environmental, and cultural contexts of community life, while a series of maps and a diagram depicting the seasonal round of community activities provide special access to collection materials."
Comment by Nick Heyming on March 23, 2010 at 5:13pm
Thanks Thomas! I've been finding all kinds of information on my local area, I'll post about it and get the wiki up in the next couple days.


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