“Participation. That’s what’s going to save the human race.” ― Pete Seeger

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Planting Seeds of Germination May 10-11

Update from our Germination Corps. correspondent Mark Boyd, on this past weekend in North Carolina:

We built some stuff (plant backpacks & giant vegetable puppets), hauled over to the Yancey County library, built a little more stuff (plant backpacks & shoulder bags) and did a little teaching and informing on the the fly (food security and accessibility, how and why to grow your own, where to distribute the extra to share, recycling and reuse, community gardening), THEN hauled on over to Dig In Yancey! for our first garden event.  The weather graced us with a break in the rains so we could take a few pictures and march around the garden

This coming week Germination Corps spreads like kudzu into the schools to work with 120 elementary school kids!  Each child will receive a plant shoulder bag generously fabricated and donated by Quality Plus Apparel (many thanks!) based on Jessica’s original design.  (Only in a small tight knit community would a local manufacturer step up and provide such a generous donation.  This is the power of neighbors helping neighbors!)  We’ll then have a short teach-in about plant propagation, community gardens, and food security and sustainability.  After that we’ll transplant seedlings (started with the assistance of the local ag extension service, more neighbors!) into the bags, then have a parade along the creekwalk to the site of the new 4H community garden.  At the garden, we’ll transplant seedlings event.  Here’s hoping for a sunny day!

And stay tuned, next Thursday we’re doing a big wrap up event at Dig In Yancey! during the afternoon.  Details coming here soon.

growing together

One of the best things about Germination Corps is that it teaches kids and adults to learn to care for plants through the individual attachment that each has to their own plant backpack. It also creates community through the workshops and plant parades and walking garden events. This will be exciting to see happen in North Carolina, a smaller community than Philadelphia, but perhaps far more organized already. Keep spreading the word, people!

Brother's Backpacks

Two brothers with plant backpacks, Summer 2010

Germination Corps goes to North Carolina

Plant Backpacks Coming this May to Yancy County, North Carolina and the Penland area!

Germination Corps. is an engagement art project I conceived of and started at a residency in Philadelphia at The Philadelphia Art Hotel, in the summer of 2010.  It takes the idea of our nomadic existence and examines humans’ relationship with caring for the plants we eat and live with. I developed Plant Backpacks to solve problems of the urban neighborhood of Kensington, Philadelphia, an area with much brown space.

Plant Backpacks in Philly

Backpack wall_1

Plants are planted in backpacks and then paraded through town, creating a mobile garden, that connects different green spaces like urban community farms in the area. Backpack Wall 2

It teaches kids and adults to care for a plant much like caring for an egg or a sack of flour as if it were a baby in home-ec class. This mobile garden will grow this summer as I make plant backpacks with the community of rural North Carolina. Stay tuned to see how this project adapts itself to a rural and close-knit environment.

Go Philly's