Community Garden & Co-op

Dream BIG

A community garden and community co-op has been a passion I have had for many years.  A dream... really that has grown and evolved over many years.

I decided this morning to blog about it after I saw a local community issue that is causing some waves.

Big Business vs Neighborhood & Community
After reading this article and listening to the video, I realized that there are so many other things that our community needs MORE than another Big building supply store or Wings.  That's when it hit me... a 14 acer piece of land smack dab in the middle of Dare Co.  It would be a perfect place for my/oops... OUR community garden.
I have done lots of research
and looked into many possibilities.

These are only a few resources:
I discussed this idea with many different people in several different arenas at a varying degree of start-up levels.

our girl scout service unit
friends & peers
church members

However, I have been unable to get this ball rolling.  I have not gotten it from the planning and dreaming stage to a reality.  I  have not given up though.
Ultimately my vision is on a county wide level that branches out to intertwine with different areas of our community and evolving .

The School System- "Real Food"
Food Pantry
Soup Kitchen
Parks & Rec
Cultural Arts
 Learning Center
Community Center
Green and Self-sustaining

I first openly took this idea to some of the parents in my daughter's girl scout troop 3 years ago, as an idea for our girls "Bronze Award" community project.  We were having our meetings at the time at the Dare Co. Parks and Rec. Center in Kill Devil Hills.  I even spoke with Amy about it, who said that they may even have some property available for a project like this.  She told me to come up with a proposal.

I then spoke with a friend involved with the Interfaith Community Outreach.  She told me that she may know a few people that may be interested in working together with me on something like this.

Then I spoke with one of my girl scout moms who also happens to be head of the faith formation at out church.  She said that she would bring it up at a board meeting at church.  I also took my idea to the couple that run the peace and justice at our church in the hopes of starting a church community garden and tying into Ruthie's Kitchen, a small grass roots interfaith soup kitchen.  They told me it was a good idea, bring them a proposal.

There was that "proposal" thing.  Ok, I will confess...

I am a "dreamer" a "thinker".
I can really come up with some great ideas but, to bring them into action...
that is more of a problem for me.

I have absolutely NO IDEA how to write a proposal and every-time I try to find a source to give me a jumping off place, I get very overwhelmed.  This is definitely not my area of strength.

The American Community Garden Association is one of my favorite sites for information... it is kind of a one stop shop.  And this is a great jumping in place the Rebel Tomato

Here are a few videos I found that you may enjoy:

Kind of Long, but Good

I see this garden as a wonderful opportunity for our community to come together and share in abundance, culture, knowledge, cooperation, history, charity, health and compassion.

I see classrooms, workshops, community bulletins, and most of all I see smiling faces of all shapes, sizes and shades.

The community garden is just the first part of this dream. 
A Co-op is part 2.

Gardening is a passion of mine but so is my daughter.
There are so many things that my daughter would love to try and even excel in.
Unfortunately money & time is usually an issue.

We have been fortunate over the years.  We have been able to give to her an opportunity to at least try most of the things she has shown an interest in.  She may not have been able to start horseback riding lessons when she was 3 or continue to take 4 kinds of dance classes.  But I think she has had a nice, balance of diverse experiences.  I have had to say no, to many dreams and passions that she has shown interest in over the years simply because we could not afford it.  I am sure many a parent has had to do the same.  Yet she seems no worse for wear.

Now, one of the reasons we could not afford it was due to choice, not circumstance. 
We decided a while back, that I would be a stay at home mom and go back to work at a later time. We only have the one child. I am sure if we had been blessed with more, circumstances would have been different.

Not everyone is as fortunate as we have been.
The co-op is something that I would like to see for all the children of the community.
A place for our children to come together and learn to play an instrument, paint, dance, learn crafts, exercise, do yoga, horseback ride and be around animals.

So often these things are exclusively for the well off and tend to be a bit out of reach for some children.  I would like to see all children have the opportunity to try new things regardless of their economic status.  All the while holding on to dignity and self-worth.

This vision also includes the moms and young women.
I don't want to exclude men, they are welcome too.

I would like to see a place where woman can come together and teach each other skills that in days gone by were passed down by our mothers and grandmothers.

Skills like:
sewing, knitting, crocheting, canning, preserving, spinning, weaving, baking, homeopathic remedies and other self-sustaining skills.
I would like to see all kinds of things as well like blacksmithing, cobb building, glass blowing, net tying and the list goes on.

I think you get the picture.

Giving people skills, confidence and a sense of community.
Products can then be sold to keep the program going.

I feel like we have had a breakdown in community.  Families live further apart from one another these days and people have such hectic busy lives.

We need a place to come together.
A place to share, laugh, cry, sweat and enjoy the company of friends and neighbors.

A place that is inclusive not exclusive.

I know that there is property out there for this and money with grants, loans and subsidies...
so am putting this out there...
in the hope and belief that this seed will be planted and someday it shall grow.

New Addition
Added 9/29/2010