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 http://bit.ly/14Ug9Xu
Storified by Transition Goshen· Wed, Mar 27 2013 04:21:05
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.
AGENDA SETTING — This is the time for the group to figure out whatit wants to do.
Ten agenda topics were named
– 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.
Group topic: Community gardening
Group topic: Urban Farm – Fitness – Cooperative – Certified community kitchen – guilds – café
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?
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.
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.
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.
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