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Save the Garden - The Value of ACGA Membership & the ACGA Listserve

  • Subject: [cg] Save the Garden - The Value of ACGA Membership & the ACGA Listserve
  • From: "Honigman, Adam" <Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com>
  • Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 11:40:45 -0400

What you received from me was an example of how the American Community Gardening Association's(ACGA) listserve works - the Internet allows whomever is online at a given time to respond as if trading planting tips over the back garden fence.
Most of the folks on the ACGA listserve are master gardeners, agriculture agents, commuity garden program directors and rank-and-filers like myself.
The ACGA has an annual convention ( next month at NYC's Columbia University) and maintains a marvelous website, filled with the best of what appears on the listserve and other sources, a wealth of community gardening, food security, neighborhood greening and other information - http://www.communitygarden.org .
What the organizaton needs now are more dues paying members. After perousing our site, please visit, our membership page;
Best wishes,
Adam Honigman
-----Original Message-----
From: Pamela Hoffmann [mailto:phoffmann65@hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 11:31 AM
To: Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com
Cc: Scaravilli@aol.com
Subject: RE: [cg] FW: save the garden

Adam, your response was exactly what I hoped for.  Many thank you's.  I am forwarding to my friend whose garden I am helping with.  He is the real gardener--I am the labor since I am the local high school librarian and have the gardening season free of work commitments. I am fascinated by the diverse group of people working gardens that also represent great diversity. Some with neat, thriving traditional rows looking like the work of master gardeners and some planted in circles, sweeping curves, and other designs representing the flair of artists.  One Sunday I asked a lady what flower she was working with and she tried to tell me--in Spanish--and then said her son would be here in a minute (translator). Turned out it was chamomille for tea.  What a delightful exchange.  

There is a meeting tonight at 6:00.  We will share your thoughts with much praise and gratitude for your timely response.  You were so quick--have you received emails like mine before? 

Pam Hoffmann
summer address
>From: "Honigman, Adam"
>To: "'phoffmann65@hotmail.com'"
>CC: "'community_garden@mallorn.com'"
>Subject: RE: [cg] FW: save the garden
>Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 11:07:59 -0400
>I am so sorry that you are now in "Chicken-
>Little-Community-Garden-Bulldozing-Mode", generally a NYC phenomenon caused
>by community gardeners who have not looked outside of their garden gates
>long or hard enough to nuture the neighborhood support needed to sustain a
>community garden against political or developer pressure.
>I am not chiding you or putting you down - you're a community gardener and
>my heart. It's just that many of us, including myself believed that cleaning
>up a space, making it crime free and actively gardening to create a
>neighborhood oasis was enough.
>Unfortunately it isn't - you really have to politically pull the
>neighborhood with you, to have them feel that a community garden is an
>integral part of the life of their neighborhood, just like the police
>precinct or the public library - not that they'll ever use either, but that
>these institutions integral to the community.
>Community gardening is 50% gardening and 100% political action.
>Here are some generic political activist steps to take now that you are in
>Chicken Little Mode. Understand that you are not going to bed tonight. Be
>sure you pray.
>1) Contact your core group immediately(probably 3-4 core folks who care
>about this as much as you and are willing to do the work.) Get them to
>commit to bringing at least 10 to 15 friends ( they can be non-gardeners,
>what we are talking about now are bodies) to jam the meeting room.
>Politicians and city planners always count the room.
>2) Contact all of your gardeners and tell them that they are going to
>absolutely lose their garden plots unless they show up at the meeting, with
>signs and be prepared to talk. Be sure that there are plenty of seniors and
>children who are willing to get very emotional about the garden for the
>benefit of media - invite the local TV, radio and print stations ( intimate
>that there might be a civil disturbance, that emotions will be running very
>3) Go to your wordprocessor and create a one page Poster and one page press
>release ( with contact names and numbers) explaining in bullet points all of
>the reasons why garden X is important to the community and must be saved.
>Xerox hundreds of these for distribution to gardeners, neighborhood members,
>city officials and the press.
>4) Re: " Is the local councilman the first contact. Agricultural extension
>agents? . How about local garden clubs? The newspaper? Parks Commission?
>Who are our best advocates?" Contact and see if any of them will show, or
>send representatives to the meeting. Make sure that all of these have your
>literature and make any and all promises you can to get them to support you
>( a voters registration drive in the garden, photo oportunities with kids
>and seniors, veiled promises of campaign contributions and election work,
>letters of thanks and appreciation to the Agricultural extension agent's
>superiors, your first born.)
>5) Pack the room. Collect names, addressses and e-mails on sign in lists and
>be sure to transfer them asap to an Excel database and/or a roladex card. If
>you have roladex cards, have folks fill them out ( tell them to write "Last
>Name First comma First Name on the top line - place these immediately in
>your roladex.)
>6) Get 3 loud applauders to run the response to speakers ( cheers, clapping,
>hissing, polite silences) and place them strategically throughout the room.
>7) Get, if you can find them, a couple of rich and influential people to
>make phone calls to politicans they own.
>8) Get clergy and educators ( school principals and kindergarten teachers
>are wonderful) to call the politicians. If you have cops and firemen who are
>part of your garden community or think you are cute, then ask them, on
>bended knee, donuts and whatever inducements you have in hand to show up,
>while off duty, in uniform to speak in favor of your garden ( i.e., it's
>crime free, it's a great place to gather ones thoughts after a fire - they
>ran us a great benefit picnic, etc)
>9) Poster every lamp post in your neighborhood, tape up in every store that
>takes your money garden crisis leaflets.
>10) Repeat as often as necessary. Be sure that you pray.
>11) Resolve that if your community garden survives, that your garden
>community will do the kind of political, neighborhood and school outreach
>necessary to building community and sustaining your garden.
>Pray alot and keep drinking that coffee. It's going to be a long night and
>Adam Honigman
>Clinton Community Garden
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Sally McCabe [mailto:smccabe@pennhort.org]
>Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 9:34 AM
>To: list serve (E-mail)
>Subject: [cg] FW: save the garden
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Pam Hoffmann [mailto:phoffmann65@hotmail.com]
>Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 1:08 AM
>To: smccabe@pennhort.org; sallymcc@libertynet.org
>Subject: save the garden
>I am in a fight to save a community garden from developers. It has existed
>for nearly 100 years--honest--run by a school. Then it was a victory
>garden. I am thinking that there must be a strategy that has worked for
>others. Please advise. It strikes me that public sentiment is important.
>Is the local councilman the first contact. Agricultural extension agents? .
>How about local garden clubs? The newspaper? Parks Commission? Who are our
>best advocates?
>This is a political issue--not a logical one. People understand the value
>of green space. Any quick ideas of how we proceed? A mtg. is scheduled for
>tomorrow night. Thanks for any ideas.
>Pam Hoffmann, gardener

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