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Fwd: information on starting a community garden in Memphis, TN

  • Subject: Fwd: [cg] information on starting a community garden in Memphis, TN
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 23:29:06 EDT

Friends,

Here is Van Cheeseman's reply, and it's a lovely one that was addressed to me, and Judy Tiger, but I think should be out here on the listserve becuase there are so many really bright and experienced Community Gardeners out there who should pipe in to give these nice folks in Memphis, TN a hands up.

My idea is that the interested folks in that nice 6000 member suburban church should start walking in that neighborhood and getting to know and partner with individuals who give a damn in that neighborhood. Talk to the real caring professionals, the teachers who buy crayons and school supplies for their students, the nurses who bring in toys for kids on holidays and nice stuff for patients who have nobody, the cops who volunteer their time to teach the kids sports.  Also, there are local churches and block groups with people who are helping their neighbors that can use a hand's up. 

My family are moderate income members of a high profile synagogue in NYC ( http://www.emanuelnyc.org/ ) where America has been very good to some of the congregants. We're called upon to help synagogues that have been bombed in other countries, work with hunger in our own city, societal and religious needs.  But the important thing for us is that while we want to help, it's helpful that people in the areas that we're in put in the "ask."

As much as I love community gardens and urban farms that produce food for the poor as well as desperately needed open green space, they only work in areas where the community has expressed a need for them, and is willing to support them with sweat equity and participation.  Simply, to paraphrase Jane Jacobs, these spaces have to be adopted by the residents as theirs and give them the blessing of their active participation in their maintenance and governance.  The only way this happens is to walk, talk and listen to the folks in the areas where you want to help.  The last thing you want to seem to be doing is dictating, to folks who may not talk or look like you, what they should do instead of what should have been done.

Again, please read all of the ACGA links, and click on the individual neighbors sites in order to work on your randori.

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman

Subj: Re: [cg] information on starting a community garden in Memphis, TN
Date: 4/12/04 10:28:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: vanlee2001@yahoo.com
To: Adam36055@aol.com
Sent from the Internet



Thanks for your reply and the searching questions. Let me try to explain. I am a landscaper and a member of a large suburban church that has adopted a poor decaying neighborhood in downtown Memphis for the next 20 years. We are trying to come along side the people there in many ways. I was thinking wouldn't it be great to include gardens in this alll encompassing plan. I see the garden as a way for folks, if willing, to come together in a task and profit from all the blessings that community offers. There are many older folks that could teach the younger. We have 6000 members so I think that I could find a volenteer base to work with. The neighborhood has alot of vacant lots whats to stop us. I know that you all have done great things in cities. I know it will be baby steps but you gotta start some where. My dream might be to have a place where folks can tend plants , watch things grow. Experience defeat and success. Get to know and trust neighbors,make a place for dialogue. Create COMMUNITY.
Well thats a start what do you think?
Thanks
 
Van Cheeseman
3058 Holly Heath Drive
Germantown, TN 38138

Grow19@aol.com wrote:

Hi,
You've asked a lot, its hard to know where to start.  I saw that Adam in NY send you lots of resources.  And its going to be easier to help you if you start out by explaining lots more about yourself and the ideas you have.  Before you get to the questions about government help or other help, you need to start at the beginning.  You need people and land.  And foremost people.  And really I can provide more advice if you explain more.
- how many people are currently working together on this dream or is it just you?
- what is the dream that you have (ie, if help was not an issue and it was all magically coming together, what is it that you've created, who's involved etc)
Starting with this will help.
Sincerely,
Judy Tiger
Washington DC
 
i should add - don't be in a hurry; it never helps




--- Begin Message ---
  • Subject: Re: [cg] information on starting a community garden in Memphis, TN
  • From: VAN CHEESEMAN <vanlee2001@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 19:27:53 -0700 (PDT)
Thanks for your reply and the searching questions. Let me try to explain. I am a landscaper and a member of a large suburban church that has adopted a poor decaying neighborhood in downtown Memphis for the next 20 years. We are trying to come along side the people there in many ways. I was thinking wouldnt it be great to include gardens in this alll encompassing plan. I see the garden as a way for folks, if willing, to come together in a task and profit from all the blessings that community offers. There are many older folks that could teach the younger. We have 6000 members so I think that I could find a volenteer base to work with. The neighborhood has alot of vacant lots whats to stop us. I know that you all have done great things in cities. I know it will be baby steps but you gotta start some where. My dream might be to have a place where folks can tend plants , watch things grow. Experience defeat and success. Get to know and trust neighbors,make a place for dialogue. Create COMMUNITY.
Well thats a start what do you think?
Thanks
 
Van Cheeseman
3058 Holly Heath Drive
Germantown, TN 38138

Grow19@aol.com wrote:
Hi,
You've asked a lot, its hard to know where to start.  I saw that Adam in NY send you lots of resources.  And its going to be easier to help you if you start out by explaining lots more about yourself and the ideas you have.  Before you get to the questions about government help or other help, you need to start at the beginning.  You need people and land.  And foremost people.  And really I can provide more advice if you explain more.
- how many people are currently working together on this dream or is it just you?
- what is the dream that you have (ie, if help was not an issue and it was all magically coming together, what is it that you've created, who's involved etc)
Starting with this will help.
Sincerely,
Judy Tiger
Washington DC
 
i should add - don't be in a hurry; it never helps


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