Germination Corps. : Growing in the Classroom

Germination Corps begins by partnering with some awesome teachers in their classrooms. Last May we worked with the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh and local schools on the Northside. Here I am asking the kids if they can tell me what “germination” means. We then embody the seed’s life cycle from germination to food production. All the arms in the air is an exciting site, just like leaves reaching for the sun. Wait until the rain comes!

In the classroom at Propel Northside

In the classroom at Propel Northside

Next comes movement exercises…we start out forming a seed shape and then growing…

being a seed before planting

being a seed before planting

Growing our roots down into the ground. Stomping is good!

with Propel Northside

with Propel Northside

Growing Kid Plants

The rain is coming! Better soak up the water with our roots!

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We grow toward the sun and shake our leaves and stretch our stems.

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Bringing Plant Packs to Pittsburgh in May

Read all about it! Germination Corps. is coming to the North Side of Pittsburgh in May and working with some great schools and community groups in partnership with the Mattress Factory Museum of Art. We will create a colorful plant spectacular May 17th! read the article in NEXT:Pittsburgh http://www.nextpittsburgh.com/2014/04/16/mattress-factory-host-plant-parade-may/

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Plant Parade!

What a fantastic time we had at Gouge Elementary in Bakersville, NC. The sun was shining, the air was warm and we had 120 Germination Corps. members making up the biggest Plant Parade to date! We made our way with flags, vegetable puppets, headbands, costumes, music float, bean tambourines, songs and 120 plant backpacks to the 4-H garden to plant the baby plants in the ground. This was the longest and most colorful walking garden this town has ever seen! Thanks to all involved!

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More pictures as I receive them…I was running up and down the parade line, so all my action shots are just that, in action!

More Members of the Germination Corps.

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This past weekend, we were at the Yancy County Library, holding a making event, a little teach-in and build of some plant backpacks and shoulder bags. Last Friday we had some great helpers at the Collaboaratory making giant vegetables for our Plant Backpack parades. This is Emily, below, a graduate of University of Michigan, School of Art and Design. She moved down to Asheville after she graduated, and drove out to help paint a giant carrot. It was a super day at the gallery!

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Next, we took the giant vegetables to the Yancy County Library to dress up their stairwell and lead visitors to the making workshop that we help last Saturday. Many people showed up to make a Plant Backpack. Screen shot 2013-05-14 at 8.17.47 PM

This great member of Germindation Corps., Mira, had never sewn before she came into the Library last weekend. She is now an accomplished bag maker. She planted a pepper and a cabbage her bag, and got a water bottle to hydrate herself and water her plant. Screen shot 2013-05-14 at 8.17.26 PM

These ladies were from the local 4-H group and they run a radio show on the local radio station too!

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People are great! Here is another volunteer from the Dig In! Yancy garden, making a few bag fronts.

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Cutting out the all-important 3 leafed sprout of the Germination Corps.

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John Hartom and Lisa Blackburn head up the information table and told people about the project as well as spread word of their garden, Dig In! Yancy Community Garden and project Empty Bowls that has really taken off as a way to raise money for feed people in the community. It has been great to grow the project with them and bring The Germination Corps. to Yancy and Mitchel Counties to spread the word of food sharing, food security and sustainable growing to feed the community.

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The larger parade seemed to get rained out at the garden, but we persevered with our own mini parade.

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got brand new bags!

The folks at Quality Plus Apparel in Bakersville, NC just finished making bags (in a week’s time!) from my pattern for the Gouge Elementary School workshop and plant parade. Don’t they look great with the reflective seedling emblem on them? The bags are sized down for the 2nd and 3rd graders.

Quality Plus donated all their work to benefit the project and community and worked with the donated fabrics from Glen Raven in Burnsville, NC.

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Here Wes of Quality Plus is showing us a finished product:

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Its so great to have all these bags, and to be able to let each kid in the 2nd and 3rd grade have one for their plant, to transport it and to parade it around while they care for it. These are the tools, the artwork. These personal, mobile gardens, all come together to make a community.

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And here it is on a 2nd or 3rd grader!

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News from the Green Plum Gallery

Green Plum Collaboratory in Spruce Pine, NC has been a hotbed of activity during my residency here. Not only do I have a show there, but it has been my studio for Germination Corps. and a Plant Backpack making hub for the last two and a half weeks. Here are some pics of the the progress and people that have come in to help cut patterns and cut up bottles for the bags and made giant vegetables. Thanks everyone for helping to make the upper street in the town of Spruce Pine so colorful.

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Here are two wonderful volunteers of Dig In! Yancy Community Garden who came to Germination Corps. to help sew- Deborah and Pat. These ladies got some patterns going! Thanks you two!

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Lisa Blackburn, a founder of the project Empty Bowls and a very great printer and book maker, cuts up some salvaged bottles to plant plants in for the kids backpacks.

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Here are some other great Gallery Shots. Deb and Pat try on my Paper Helmets: Helmets for Telling Secrets. Part of the show this month at Green Plum Collaboratory.

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And then we pose for a photo to show the kid’s sized Plant Backpack I made using fabric donated from Glen Raven Technical Fabrics and pattern pieces cut by these wonderful ladies.

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Thanks to all the community members in Yancy and Mitchell counties that are helping and have helped with Germination Corps. — more photos to come!