Open Space – Live documention

How can we produce more food in our urban spaces?

GOSHEN, MAR 16, 2013: Collection of tweets/pix/notes from an Open Space event, run by Transition Goshen. Participants can use hashtag #ttgoshen to contribute to this online story. Learn more about the event at

Storified by Transition Goshen· Wed, Mar 27 2013 04:21:05

This online story is an experiment using social tools to try to chronicle this Open Space conversation framed around the question “How can we produce more food in our urban spaces?”
Transition Town Goshen #ttgoshen posted a new page on using technology & social media to help document this Saturday: Bear
Open Space = Social Technology – Transition GoshenWe’re very excited with the build up to Saturday’s event. ( click here for details) To add to the fun and connect with folks that can’t a…
Open Space Basic Structure:
Although it is true that an Open Space event has no pre-determined agenda, itmust have an overall structure or framework. This framework is not intended totell people what to do and when. Rather, it creates a supportive environment inwhich the participants can solve those issues for themselves. Minimal elementsof this framework include: Opening, Agenda Setting, Open Space, and Conclusion.

The four principles and one law of Open Space.Facebook




Transition Goshen- Open Space. "How can we produce more food in our urban spaces?" #ttgoshen @ Newcomer… Rose Evans
Introductions..welcome everyone. #ttgoshenTransition Goshen

AGENDA SETTING — This is the time for the group to figure out whatit wants to do.

In Open Space, the agenda is created by individuals to have an idea, question, topic that they would like to explore. Those with a topic write it on a piece of paper and hang it on the agenda wall.
Open Space – Forming the agendatransitiongoshen
The video is a brief glimpse of how the participants form their own agenda for the day.  Each person with an idea describes it to the group and then names the time and location during the day in which it will be discussed. (The audio didn’t turn out, so enjoy the inspiring music instead.)
#ttgoshenTransition Goshen
#ttgoshenTransition Goshen
Organizing the agenda and locations of the Open Space groups. #ttgoshenTransition Goshen

Ten agenda topics were named

Ten topics have been named for this Open Space event.

– Reclaiming Vacant Lots, overgrown parking lots and mowed grass lawns for producing food –or- for creating native habitat and carbon building.

– Fruit/Food Rescue

– Challenging FDA and holding stores accountable for waste and finding better ways

– Raw Milk?

– Creating an urban food forest and turning fronts of buildings and open spaces into edible landscaping. There is a town in England that can be used as an example. Increases tourism as well as keeps profits local. Provides sustainable options for communities in times of food insecurity.

– Goshen College to start a community garden: education programs and community outreach. With the help of 2013 Senior Class Gift committee and folks passionate about this in the surrounding area. Seeking help support and resources.

– Urban Farm – Fitness – Cooperative – Certified community kitchen – guilds – café

– Abandoned greenhouse, empty lots, hunger, homeless/joblessness, landscaping/lawns, native prarie plants.

– Race, class, power, etc in the food system… exploring division between foodies/sustainability movement and those most often impacted by hunger and access to real food.

– What’s already happening in nature? Foraging/wild edibles; leaf mulch; minimum effort and resources; less control over nature.

Here is the self-organized agenda and locations in the building where the will be discussed at the #ttgoshen Open Space event.Transition Goshen
#ttgoshenTransition Goshen

Group topic: Community gardening

Proposal for a GC Community Garden #ttgoshen @ Newcomer Center Rose Evans
      Greening the Bronx was mentioned as a potential economic model for community gardening.
Greening the South BronxCNNMoney

Group topic: Urban Farm – Fitness – Cooperative – Certified community kitchen – guilds – café

Some colorful mind maps came from the folks in this group.

Group topic: Urban Food Forests and Edible Landscaping Around Town:

– What areas might be reclaimed for an Urban Food Forest? 
– How can we overcome resistance from people who don’t view edible landscaping as potentially as (or more) beautiful than “regular” landscaping, corner garden boxes, and lawns? 
– How can we talk about the concept of an Edible Landscape town or Urban Food Forest to people who may find it foreign, confusing or threatening? There are passionate, real, and sometimes quite legitimate concerns that people may have; how can we bridge the ideology gap to show that creating sustainable towns helps EVERYONE in the town, as well as providing economic and physical security? How can we remove/mitigate the stigma of “sustainable development” and involve more people so that it remains local?

There is a town in England that can be used as an example. Increases tourism as well as keeps profits local. Provides sustainable options for communities in times of food insecurity.
With energy and humor, Pam Warhurst tells at the TEDSalon the story of how she and a growing team of volunteers came together to turn plots of unused land into communal vegetable gardens, and to change the narrative of food in their community.

The full notes for this group are located in a blog entry on the Transition Goshen website.

Food forests, edible landscapes, bioremediation – ideas being discussed at #ttgoshen Open Space. #transition Beyeler

Group topic: What’s already happening in nature?

 – foraging & wild edibles
 – leaf mulch
 – minimum effort and resources
 – less control over nature

The full notes for this group are located in a blog entry on the Transition Goshen website.

Regional Expert Foraging & Wild Edible Resources:
For regional experts, if there is adequate interest we could explore what would be required (cost, minimum number of registered participants) to have Chicago-based urban foraging expert Nance Klehm lead an urban foraging hike or have Wisconsin-based “Wild Eats” founders Linda Conroy and “Little John” Holzwart prepare a group wild food dining experience.
Nance Klehm: Radical Ecologist – Environment – Utne ReaderRadical ecologist Nance Klehm talks about habitat, soil and health on her urban foraging tours. "I think of myself as a spider who has ei…
Urbanforaging with Weedeater Nance Klehmnklehm
Linda ConroyOpen Registration – Join Anytime ~Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making~ ( Link to detailed description of Empower Yourself with H…

Group topic: Vacant Lots, Buildings and Yards: Creative use for food production and/or native habitat, carbon building

Why transform unused spaces?

 1. Creating life-giving spaces in blighted areas – mental health, neighborhood security
 2. Allows for more places for community gathering, potentially
 3. Carbon sequestration potential depending on the planting schematic, type of use
 4. Possible job creation, opportunities to engage youth or adults who want to get outside, feel more utilized and that they are contributing to the community

The full notes for this group are on the Transition Goshen website.

Group wrap-up

Wrapping up our Open Space event. #ttgoshenTransition Goshen
Had a really great time @TransitionGoshen ‘s Open Space on community food initiatives & ideas #ttgoshen via @storifyKaeli Rose Evans
If more notes or photos from other groups are submitted, we’ll add them to this story.
Participants were encouraged to take their own notes from the event as well as pursue any follow-up activity, meetings or contacts if they wish. Open Space events provide a space for people to get to know others, share their ideas and take them where they wish.
Thanks to all who participated!

Recent Posts

  1. Transition Goshen Cafe Comments Off on Transition Goshen Cafe
  2. Mapping the Sharing Economy in Goshen Comments Off on Mapping the Sharing Economy in Goshen
  3. Goshen’s Climate March Comments Off on Goshen’s Climate March
  4. Community crowdfunding? Comments Off on Community crowdfunding?
  5. Community Garden Network Comments Off on Community Garden Network
  6. Rebuilding Your Local Food System Comments Off on Rebuilding Your Local Food System