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RE: late into the garden? Time to Organize

  • Subject: RE: [cg] late into the garden? Time to Organize
  • From: "Honigman, Adam" <Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com>
  • Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 12:40:01 -0400

Dear Harmon,

You are rightly steamed. And when you are rightly steamed and cocked to send
off intemperate letters and statements to the powers that be, it is sensible
to do the right thing - listen to your wife and chill out. 

I have the devil's own temper and it is only the ridiculous aspect of
stroking out over some minor detail or other that has kept me from making a
greater fool of myself than I already am. If you're lucky enought to have a
spouse who also gardens, you are ahead of the game.  

Step back from the problem, take a deep breath, and think of this: In New
York,  city employees BULLDOZE gardens, not plow them late in the season.
Things may be frustrating, but you're not in "Chicken Little" mode as we are
in NYC. Things can be worse. Going off half cocked always makes things
worse.  

From your e-mail message, I can't tell where your garden is located but from
the link that I got from under your signature, you live somewhere near Cook
County, MN?

As your problem seems to be a misguided but not malign local government, may
I suggest that you do a couple of things?  

1) Everybody in your garden who is not underage or an ex-con should be
registered to vote. As you have a lot of Hmong in your garden, it might not
be a bad idea to have a newspaper guy and a local politician  around when
you do voter registration - all these fine New Americans and all...

2) I know that you are growing a row of crops for a local soup kitchen or
senior citizen center to help fight hunger. If not, maybe you should start.
A letter from Father or Reverend X at such and such center(s) about how they
really apprectiate what you're doing and how it would help them in the fight
against hunger in America if you planted earlier cc'd to Parks, the mayor
and local councilman might do wonders...

3) A couple of angry letters from one person is like flashing , "the
finger". Regular mailbags full of letters from a larger number of your
gardeners - handwritten with the sentence - I am a registered voter is like
a brandished fist. Also - this is added work load for staffers at the
politician's office. They pay very close attention to handwritten letters
from constituents - more than to letters from folks with word processors -
believe me. 

3a) How to do a mail drive: Create five versions of your basic letter ( 250
words tops, you don't want to tire your volunteers out. . Make sure that you
have several different pens, different pads of paper and envelopes. Make
sure that your writers include their home addresses on their letters - this
tells the lawmaker that this is a voter in their district or someone who
could elect or not elect a neighboring colleague. SUPPLY STAMPS AND MAIL
THESE FROM DIFFERENT MAILBOXES IN YOUR DISTRICT. 

3b) Repeat as long as necessary. In a democracy, it is important to put a
note in your legislators "lunchbox." You are not being a pest. You are
guiding your public servants to do the right thing.

4) Get started

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman



 

 





-----Original Message-----
From: Harmon Seaver [mailto:hseaver@cybershamanix.com]
Sent: Saturday, June 01, 2002 10:33 PM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] late into the garden


    We were only allowed into the community gardens this year last 
weekend, May 25. The excuse was that the ground was too wet to plow 
until then. Normally here peas, potatoes, and cabbage family should be 
planted by May 1st. Obviously the people who are running this, county 
employees, are not gardeners. We don't want them to plow at all in the 
first place. At least 95% of the gardeners are Hmong, most of whom go in 
and till up their plots with hoes anyway, and the rest either have 
rototillers or can rent one.
     Is anyone else having to deal with such ignorance, and what are 
they doing about it? We've tried reasoning with the powers that be, even 
serve on the "guidance committee" to which they pay absolutely no heed.
Not only do they open the gardens too late, but they want to close them 
right after the first frost, totally ignoring the fact that many crops, 
especially root crops, keep right on growing, and shouldn't be harvested 
until much later. This is the first year, in fact, that we got them to 
stop applying chemical fertilizers, and allowing people to keep the same 
plot from year to year, however, it's very frustrating to build raised 
beds (what works best here in the heavy clay and what most Hmong do 
anyway) and then have them plowed away.
     I'm wanting to start writing letters to the editor, publicizing 
their stupidity, but my wife, who serves on the committee, wants to 
continue to try to reason with them -- but so far that fails to work. 
Has anyone been through this and know the answer?


-- 
Harmon Seaver	
CyberShamanix
http://www.cybershamanix.com



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The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


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