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
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 2:55
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
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
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
TAXES OR LEASES OR COSTS FOR LAND THAT IS BEING USED TO KEEP EARTH AND US
ALIVE AND WELL.
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
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
100 North 20th Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1495
Phone: 215-988-8885; Fax
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
Richmond Fruit Tree Sharing
"teach a person to garden and they will lead a delicious life"
Post your free ad now! Yahoo!