This is our first Garden Newsletter of Fall 2017! Thank you for expressing interest in our nascent Chapultepec Community Garden project. The name is a work in progress, for sure, but that will all come in time! Please read below to see what we’ve been up to.
- Garden Design- Selection Made!
- Up for Discussion: Share your thoughts and reply all!
- Future Directions
- How YOU can Help
Garden Design–Selection Made!
After consulting a focus group at clinic, the most popular design for the garden has been selected! Completed by Samuel Perez, an instructor in the urban agriculture movement, the design was intended to tackle a few main issues. Mainly, the limited space means we have to emphasize and dedicate more resources to the teaching aspect of gardening and providing lessons that will arm community members with ideas for how to interact with food, with nature, and with each other. We also want the garden to be aesthetically pleasing and a meeting place for people in the community to commune with one another and to integrate wellness into their lives in the different ways they see fit to do that. Please see the selection below!
Up for Discussion: Share your thoughts and reply all!
To address the fact that our garden is visible to pedestrians and to a degree by the cars on the road adjacent to clinic, we want to think about how we can reduce theft once the garden is up and running. Theft would amount to someone taking produce from the garden or breaking into and taking tools from the storage sheds. There are a few ideas we have come up with and would appreciate some feedback on, or other suggestions. If you want to comment, please click reply all and start an email thread for us all to discuss. Or email email@example.com.
- Idea: fabric that is attached to the fence to hide it from view of the main road. Pro: people cannot see inside the garden or know locations of the things inside. Con: we will be shielding the garden from view and possible discouraging people from participating.
- Idea: place corrugated steel or a hard, cheap substance between the storage sheds and the fence so people outside cannot tamper with it.
- Planned: Hire a resident, Samuel, to be a watchman. He will handle general maintenence for the garden and walk by, as he lives nearby, to make sure the fence is not tampered with.
- Planned: The dental clinic right alongside the plot of land has video cameras installed so we can see at least the part of the fence the storage sheds will be built on.
Starting this project is something that cannot be accomplished by any one person. We want as much as possible for the people in Ensenada to take ownership and run this garden in the best way they see fit. However, in its construction and in the education element, we can coninue to develop ideas to present to the community for guidance and access to information they might not otherwise have resources to collect themselves.
I am looking for interested members to form a committee specifically for this garden project and initiating other health interventions in the future. Responsibilities would include keeping up with newsletters, scheduling meetings for people who want to take part in the garden as convenient to do so, and, if you like, going to Mexico to oversee construction and put on workshops. Members who show exemplary initiative can be considered for Executive Board positions for next year and list their experience as community service hours for future professional or graduate endeavors, with a signature or reference from myself, Jennifer Corona, Co-President.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with Garden Committee in the subject line to express your interest in forming part of the committee. Additionally. please share this newsletter with any interested friends so they can stay updated on our progress. Link to the Google Form will be in the Flying Sams newsletter every Sunday!
How YOU can Help
Whether or not you are interested in joining a committee, there are several things we are researching and trying to network for to help us to execute all our plans for garden. If you’d like to suggest ideas or donate your time to working on these tasks, please email email@example.com.
Construction of garden
- Compare prices of materials in our list: what can be donated, bought in Mexico vs. US
- Hire labor (figure out for which specialized tasks) and recruit volunteers for work days closer to December
- Organizing work days
- Recruitment and outreach to SD and Ensenada groups
- Recruitment and outreach Ensenada and SD experts
- Bank of resources from 4H and similar groups- building and designing curriculum
- Ideas! Gardening, cooking with fresh food, crafts, repurposing old containers/ food (eco), nature walks, compost, healing properties of plants
- Lynhea sugggests: you should also think about those PT or Zumba classes to incorporate healthy eating with healthy exercise
- Consult psychology or teaching experts maybe? For advice on how to communicate and teach to children and adults
- Translating curriculum into Spanish
Garden contracts/ management
- Should we hire second person point of contact to handle day to day complaints? Or can we form a committee of people in the community who want to be board members and handle this?
- Fundraising and donations, $10,000 Strauss grant will run out eventually
- Draw up simple agreements for participants, rules to follow: garden plot maintenance, scheduling and open garden hours, will we have communal tools?, what is free, what people have to pay for