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Re: land options

  • Subject: Re: [cg] land options
  • From: "Jim Call" jimcall@casagarden.com
  • Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 21:30:22 -0500

This past spring, an elderly gentleman was out walking about when he strolled into our garden.  After greeting him (shaking hands, exchanging names, we do that a lot in the south), he began talking about his past.  He told me when he was about 20 or so, the land our garden now occupies once belonged to farmers who tried to make a living growing crops and selling their harvest locally.  He said when WWII began, the gov't (Feds) bought up alot of the farms in the area to expand their military base, the Redstone Arsenal.  
Today, this land our garden now occupies had been vacant for many years.  The elderly genteman looked around and said "What is this garden for?"  I thought about his story and said "Ya know, its really strange how things work out". 
He said "what do you mean?".
I said "this land once belong to farmers feeding the community, then purchased by the gov't, and now today this land helps feed the community again (elderly and homebound)". 
The land is still owned by the Feds but the City of Huntsville leases it from them for a buck a year for the next 99 years.  No taxes.  No additional charges.  The labor is free via local volunteers who plant, maintain and distribute its harvest freely to those less fortunate. 
Funny how things work out. 
Jim Call,  CASA Community Garden Volunteer Director
Oh yeah. When I get a chance, I will have to tell you this one.  
"What would you do if you received a gov't grant for 150K to start a community garden?"  An unbelievable story.
Unfortunately, this is not related to the CASA Community Garden.
----- Original Message -----
From: John Verin
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 2:55 PM
Subject: RE: [cg] land options

Paraphrasing Einstein, problems cannot be solved with the mindset that created them.
Thus, how are we to have land that serves Earth and humans, when those who "own" it want it to serve as a profit generator. In the end, can't really.
I encourage people to realize and promote the idea that not ever square inch of land needs to be taxed and/or earning dollars, particularly if that land serves wellness of ecology and humans. That service IS the profit. Doubly so if that land is being maintained by volunteers, that is, unpaid labor. Put a dollar value on that labor and suddenly the land has "paid for itself."
So, if a piece of land is feeding people 17,000 pounds of food, why the heck does someone have to pay for the land? If the food weren't being grown, somehow money would have to be spent to feed the people.
Free your head, your tail will follow. So let's drop the old school land ownership scam and really start living.

Paco John Verin
City Wide Coordinator - Philadelphia Green
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
100 North 20th Street, 5th floor
Philadelphia, PA  19103-1495
Phone: 215-988-8885; Fax 215-988-8810

-----Original Message-----
From: community_garden-admin@mallorn.com [mailto:community_garden-admin@mallorn.com]On Behalf Of Richmond Fruit Tree Project
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 1:51 PM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] land options

Hi Folks,

I work for a nonprofit organization in Richmond, BC(Canada). Just to give you some background: We are a nonprofit organization that finds people/farms that have surplus fruit and vegetables and matches them with volunteers who have the time and energy to harvest it. All of the produce goes to the food bank and community kitchens. This year we have harvested over 17,000 lbs. We have a vision for next year of attaining our own land to grow food for the food bank. Ideally we would like to see us growing the 100,000 lbs of produce that the food bank distributes each year so the food bank no longer needs to buy it(part of this would consist of a small orchard, we would like 1-5 acres). So I have a few questions, does anyone know of any similar projects that we may want to gain some advice from? Also we are thinking that we will have a small farmers market to help raise funds and use the farm/market as a training and educational site for youth/low income individuals. The city h! as also approached us to act as stewards for their community gardens. We would like to see this happen, if people in the gardens grow a small portion for the food bank, is this unrealistic? We are also trying to find the best way of attaining the land. Leasing? Donated(wishful)? Any suggestions or contacts would be welcome Thanks!

Erin Mullett
Project Coordinator
Richmond Fruit Tree Sharing Project

"teach a person to garden and they will lead a delicious life"

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