Did you know that chickens like to lay eggs in squash plants? And that honeybees are not native to the Americas? I learn the coolest things here at the central office.
Lately I have been helping with grant writing, grant research and managing the website/facebook. I just recently found out about crowd funding, which is basically getting the online community to help your cause. I saw several articles where students made their way through college with crowd funding! Hopefully Grow Appalachia can try something like this!
Other than that I’ve been getting into the groove of things here. I’ve always had a passion for nonprofits and NGOs, so its been really interesting learning about all the different partner sites of Grow Appalachia. Last summer I worked with Mujeres Unidas for half the summer, which was a blast. The other half of the summer I was working for a nonprofit in Guatemala called Community Cloud Forest Conservation (CCFC). There I helped with agroecology workshop planning, nature tours, and general work around the farm. I lived in a thatch hut for 1 month, using rainwater for washing and only a few hours of electricity from our little solar panel. Life off the grid can be really amazing.
While working with CCFC I was able to enhance my Spanish speaking skills and I continued doing that at Mujeres Unidas tambien (oops I mean, also). The two organizations showed me the importance of community gardening, whether its in the cloud forest of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala or in the church backyard St. Thomas Lutheran in Richmond. The theme of community gardening has continued over to this summer as well. Visiting the BDVP farm, talking to Mr. Cooke and Mark Walden, and keeping up with the blogs has definitely shown me how great this community is.
The connections we make with each other and other gardeners across the world make me realize that this isn’t just community gardening, it is global gardening.