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
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
of the folks on the ACGA listserve are master gardeners, agriculture
agents, commuity garden program directors and rank-and-filers like myself.
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
the organizaton needs now are more dues paying members. After perousing our
site, please visit, our membership page;
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?
>From: "Honigman, Adam"
>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
>by community gardeners who have not looked outside of their
>long or hard enough to nuture the neighborhood support needed to
>community garden against political or developer pressure.
>I am not chiding you or putting you down - you're a community
>my heart. It's just that many of us, including myself believed
>up a space, making it crime free and actively gardening to create
>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
>integral part of the life of their neighborhood, just like the
>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
>sure you pray.
>1) Contact your core group immediately(probably 3-4 core folks
>about this as much as you and are willing to do the work.) Get
>commit to bringing at least 10 to 15 friends ( they can be
>what we are talking about now are bodies) to jam the meeting
>Politicians and city planners always count the room.
>2) Contact all of your gardeners and tell them that they are
>absolutely lose their garden plots unless they show up at the
>signs and be prepared to talk. Be sure that there are plenty of
>children who are willing to get very emotional about the garden
>benefit of media - invite the local TV, radio and print stations
>that there might be a civil disturbance, that emotions will be
>high.) REMEMBER TO PASS THE HAT FOR EXPENSES AND TO KEEP TRACK OF
>OUTLAYS. BE SURE THAT YOU ARE ALWAYS ABLE TO MAKE A REPORT TO
>WHO CONTRIBUTE MONEY.
>3) Go to your wordprocessor and create a one page Poster and one
>release ( with contact names and numbers) explaining in bullet
points all of
>the reasons why garden X is important to the community and must
>Xerox hundreds of these for distribution to gardeners,
>city officials and the press.
>4) Re: " Is the local councilman the first contact. Agricultural
>agents? . How about local garden clubs? The newspaper? Parks
>Who are our best advocates?" Contact and see if any of them will
>send representatives to the meeting. Make sure that all of these
>literature and make any and all promises you can to get them to
>( a voters registration drive in the garden, photo oportunities
>and seniors, veiled promises of campaign contributions and
>letters of thanks and appreciation to the Agricultural extension
>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
>Name First comma First Name on the top line - place these
>6) Get 3 loud applauders to run the response to speakers (
>hissing, polite silences) and place them strategically throughout
>7) Get, if you can find them, a couple of rich and influential
>make phone calls to politicans they own.
>8) Get clergy and educators ( school principals and kindergarten
>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
>bended knee, donuts and whatever inducements you have in hand to
>while off duty, in uniform to speak in favor of your garden (
>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
>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
>community will do the kind of political, neighborhood and school
>necessary to building community and sustaining your garden.
>Pray alot and keep drinking that coffee. It's going to be a long
>Clinton Community Garden
>From: Sally McCabe [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 9:34 AM
>To: list serve (E-mail)
>Subject: [cg] FW: save the garden
>From: Pam Hoffmann [mailto:email@example.com]
>Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 1:08 AM
>To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
>Subject: save the garden
>I am in a fight to save a community garden from developers. It
>for nearly 100 years--honest--run by a school. Then it was a
>garden. I am thinking that there must be a strategy that has
>others. Please advise. It strikes me that public sentiment is
>Is the local councilman the first contact. Agricultural extension
>How about local garden clubs? The newspaper? Parks Commission?
Who are our
>This is a political issue--not a logical one. People understand
>of green space. Any quick ideas of how we proceed? A mtg. is
>tomorrow night. Thanks for any ideas.
>Pam Hoffmann, gardener
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