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!
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!
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.
Here Wes of Quality Plus is showing us a finished product:
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.
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.
If you are afar and don’t know Dig In! Yancy Community Garden, let me introduce you.
The Dig In! Yancey Community Garden was born one evening in 2009 when two friends – both activists for hunger relief – looked out over three acres of unused land belonging to one of them, and said…
“Gee – this field would be a great place for a Community Garden!”
In that moment, Dig In! was born. In April of 2010, ground was broken, and by June produce from the garden was being served in a local soup kitchen feeding almost 200 people each Monday.
In our first year we delivered over 2000 lbs of fresh vegetables to soup kitchens and other agencies in Yancey County. The 2012 growing season put us over the 9000 lb. mark. As community involvement grows, so will our production.
Germination Corps. will be having a field day at Dig In! this Saturday the 11th from 2-4 p.m. right after the Back Pack drop-in workshop at the Yancy County Public Library. Participants will be planting their backpacks with vegetable seedlings, and seeds. I will be demonstrating and building some vertical palate gardens and we will have some large puppet making and flag bearing to get ready for future Germination Corps. Plant Parades. We will even parade around the garden.
Come out and see what a beautiful and giving farm this is. It is also a destination for you WWOOFers out there.
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!