Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

First Steps to Create a Gratitude Garden

This idea has been inspired by several other Agents, from Agent McLellan's Hyperlocavore movement to Agent Buentrostro's Community Urban Farms , Garden Earth Project, and even Agent Falconer's connection with the local ecovillage and his heritage as a South African.

I think all of these agents are on the right track, so I created the Gratitude Garden Movement as a way of making this work something anyone can contribute to and create a global resource for sustainable gardening practices.

What is a Gratitude Garden?

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.

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?

So thats step one: find out about the edible and useful plants in and from your area, discover the rich cultural and culinary heritage that you've inherited from your ancestors and predecessors.

Now can I plant the Garden?

We're not ready to grow just yet. No garden should be an island (unless you live on one), we need to tie into larger networks to make sure your efforts and knowledge serve the community at large.

Second Step: Make Contact

  1. Find local organizations you can team up with (don't reinvent the wheel) that support farming or gardening. It could be a government agency, a university, a nonprofit, or just a club
  2. Interview local farmers and gardeners that still use traditional methods.
  3. Ask them about fertility, planting, harvesting, and seed saving.
  4. Working with your new contacts, find the seeds and cuttings to grow the plants that interest you. Maybe you get them from a farmer, maybe from a nursery, maybe a mail order catalog. Its possible you could share some really exciting ones with the groups or individuals that you've met...

These first two steps are the most important part of the project. This Evokation isn't just about starting a wh*** new global effort, but helping YOU tie into existing ones and support them with traditional and new knowledge. The Third Step is to plant your garden, either in your home, or better yet in a community location.

But lets do these first couple steps first, then we'll truly be able to plant a garden that expresses GRATITUDE to those who came before, and will inspire future generations to give us thanks for safeguarding something truly valuable.

If you would like to participate in this Evokation, add the tag GRATITUDE to your blog, video, or photo. We'll be getting all this info on the wiki.

Views: 964

Comment by Linda Holt on March 24, 2010 at 6:18pm
Hey Nick, I just had my first meeting and my envoke for a community garden was well recieved beyond my expectations. I now have the director of the local community center, a "band leader" who is well known in the community, and the LAND! The pastor of the Vineyard Church was more than amenable to allowing the garden to be planted on the 2 acre empty and cleared lot behind the church. I am now challenged to come up with a business plan and funding opportunities! I think that there should be a graditude garden as a part of this endeavor and I look forward to seeing what it will become! Thanks for all of your inspiration!
Comment by Nick Heyming on March 24, 2010 at 6:31pm
Woohoo! Way to go Linda! Thats awesome to hear.

Last night we had over 40 schools, churches, and nonprofits in Riverside come to our barn for a meeting to discuss building community gardens at all of their locations. We had a representative from the Mayor's office and the Master Gardeners. Its great to see all of these things coming together!
Comment by uzoma judith katchy on March 24, 2010 at 7:41pm
This is a great idea and will really like to think of what to plant. Thanks for the push.
Comment by Felix Albus on March 24, 2010 at 8:26pm
Awesome! Let me see whether I can contribute to this Nick....
Comment by Jan Lampe on March 24, 2010 at 8:38pm
for those living in a less rural setting, might this help your ideas?

Comment by Nick Heyming on March 24, 2010 at 8:38pm
@thanks Michelle! Meetups are a great place to start. Organizations like the Freedom Gardeners could be a good place to find them, or World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms, or Biodynamic Farms, or Tierra de los Ninos for those who want to work with kids...

We're hoping the Gratitude Gardens unite Agents with great organizations already in their area, and bring a respect for the beautiful heritage we've been gifted by our fore-fathers and mothers.
Comment by David Dewane on March 24, 2010 at 9:30pm
Nick, this post is great and I believe we'll see more like it soon. panamerican and probably others have referred to this kind of thing as a SPARK POST - that is, a post that synthesizes a few raw ideas that surface on the game (and links back to those ideas). A few days ago you said we either have to go big or go home. Continuing to post cool things that we find in our communities or online is great - but it isn't going big. SPARK POSTING represents a key step in the evolution of EVOKE - (hopefully not the final step). If people read this they should either act on it or copy the model by combining other ideas out here. +1 SPARK
Comment by Mario on March 24, 2010 at 10:22pm
Great idea, if I can do anything to help you and the team, please count me in. Cheers!
Comment by Patricio Buenrostro-Gilhuys on March 24, 2010 at 10:25pm
Awesome!!! the part I like the most is that you are encouraging people to work with organizations that are already working in this issues. "This Evokation isn't just about starting a wh*** new global effort, but helping YOU tie into existing ones and support them with traditional and new knowledge." Totally agree. Your vision makes a lot of sense- We should be working together with what others have been working on as organizations for decades and for entire generations as cultures.
Comment by Tina Tresbien on March 24, 2010 at 10:36pm
What I like most about your ideas, Nick, is that they come from a spiritual place and involve the community. Thank you for your thoughtful sketching out of how to move ahead.


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