Building food wealth from a living room near you!
Avon does it with makeup. Tupperware does it with plasticware. What would happen if we approached backyard edible gardening with the same kind of zeal? And only required seeds as payment?
Clement Waters Retreat is taking a new approach toward urban agriculture education. As they cleared out trails at their first Kansas City project (Clement Forest at Jackson Ave. and Gregory Blvd.) some of the residents gave feedback about how much (or little) they garden for the purpose of growing food. The nearby residents didn't seem to utilize the many resources at Kansas City Community Gardens, even though the bounty of help at KCCG headquarters was right down the street. Consideration of this paradox of service got minds thinking about new ways to get people food gardening.
This spring, Clement Waters personnel are visiting homes for garden parties coordinated by the resident, with friends and family as guests, to discuss composting, bio-intensive companion planting, and seed saving for locally resilient varieties—all methods that reduce the costs of growing food. Residents use free water, free fertilizer, zero pesticides, and zero herbicides. That translates into truly no-cost food in the best cases.
In return for hosting the party and entering the growing experiment, the host family receives free site planning services, free garden layout mapping, free seedlings, and free direct-sown seeds. Recipients of this service may give a donation if they feel it is appropriate, but the real payback happens with the fresh vegetables at harvest, and when 10% of what's planted is let to seed out and dry. All of the varieties of food plant distributed are heirloom varieties, stable over multiple generations of seed saving and replanting.
If you are interested in helping with this effort by starting seeds on weekday evenings or helping with the streetside food garden at Clement Forest on Saturday mornings, please contact Joy Ellsworth, firstname.lastname@example.org, or (816) 944-1491. Thank you.