Sunday, November 25, 2007

One Dream

I'm writing this to get it out. I have told some people about the idea as it has developed, and this is its latest stage. Believe me, I will be updating this particular blog post quite frequently, as the idea continues to grow.

My blog is called In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, which means "In the Garden of Life" in gobbledygook. I picked it randomly, but it reminds me now of something that I have been day-dreaming about recently.

What I want to happen (this summer or next, depending on funds):

A small group of carefully picked individuals from Bastión do a 1 month apprenticeship in organic-permaculture farm north of Bahía called Río Muchacho

The small group (4 or 5) return to Guayaquil, where a plot of land in Block 6, 7, 8, 11 or 10 of Bastión is waiting for them. They use their newly acquired skills to tend to this land, preparing the soil and dividing it into allotment plots. The number of allotments, and size, would depend on the piece of land.

These 4 or 5 individuals become the staff of the newly establish Community Garden project in Bastión Popular. Certain families, who could show commitment to the project and have gardening experience, are invited to join in the upkeep of one plot of land. They can grow food for themselves.

The staff advises people on what crops to grow when, what soil mixtures to use and how often to water. They coordinate the families and are responsible for the success of the project.

Heidi, who has spend the past few months working on permaculture farms, has volunteered to help me get the community garden going once if it takes root in Bastión this summer.

Schools in the area can take their classes on field trips to learn about the different plants. Maybe, in the future, school children could plant gardens (I remember having one in grade 7, in a cage at the back of the property of the American School. My group of 4 tended to our allotment once a week, during Estudios Ambientales. I used bricks to create a mini-path through it... a path appropriate for rodents, because the cage was about 2.5 metres square)

Would the Esperanza grade 6 school children be able to tend to their own caged gardens? I wonder. Would the community benefit from the education programs and the agricultural experience they could gain by having a plot of land in the garden? Yes, hopefully. Not just the fact that they can learn how to grow their own food, and set up gardens in their own yards, for their family, but that anyone can be responsible for life, and will learn to work together on something. I like that idea.

Well, this is my dream. I have been looking into funding options... grants to apply for, etc. So far, not much luck. I put a button on the sidebar for anyone who wants to donate. It will hopefully happen next summer. This summer, when I am in Ecuador, I will probably wander around looking for land in Bastión, and inquire about it.

Maybe it could happen this summer. I am not opposed to that idea, either.

It is nice to have things to think about on my repetitive walks/bike rides back and forth from school.


Kent said...

The community garden is a very appealing idea. I pray that God will guide you and supply what you need to accomplish it.
I have read of neighborhoods transformed due to one person setting an example of what could be accomplished with growing things, fixing things, etc.

Anonymous said...

Sounds fantastic. I will donate.

m said...

Changing the subject a bit. B, can you change the link on your blog "my parents" to the NEW website.

Love Mom

Mom said...

A garden. Lovely. did you know that when your dad first bought the first piece of land, long before the school was founded, we hoped it would be a green space, a peaceful garden for the community to enjoy.
Now: logistics. I wonder if the age group (rather than Grade 6) shouldn't be Tarqui youth(graduated from Esperanza) but with an Esperanza Teacher as sponsor or something.
Alvaro Baque's mom was involved with the community garden project that the European Union Funding gave to Bastion between 2000 and 2006. She has a real green thumb. Mind you, she may be more than one can handle for pushiness and "character".

Béthany said...

yeah, I was kinda hoping for people from the younger generation... Arrocito, a couple girls...

Timothy or Lillian said...

Count me in too B. Sounds like a great idea, something different. You just need to get more details which I am sure you will and then we will see what happens.
I agre with Mum too and the website address. The new website is much better and it is getting "filled out" too. I had a chance to write a short history of the school's beginnings. As I write I find there is so much to say. I am filtering it but am a bit sad that it can't all be said. As I write things come back to me that I had forgotten about.
love Dad
love dad

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Janna said...

hey, i got to be one of those people...nice! glad to see you have gained enough confidence with your idea to publish it. ;)

marcelle said...

Oh. My. Goodness. Yes, yes, YES! I have a similar dream for a community garden here in the north... Do continue posting! Love organic gardening+love Bastion+love the concept of community gardens=very interested in what you're thinking about.

jacq said...

um im going to be with heid starting in january at least until june. i could help too.

jacq said...

i am going to costa rica the beginning of january. i am staying in costa rica, or perhaps if we deicde to go somewhere else- until june. then i am coming home but i will likely want to go south again. that is my plan of right now.