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.
We have been making plant backpacks out of every type of material here at the North Carolina residency, including used belts and old backpacks that get ripped up and recycled into the plant backpack pattern. A great deal of the fabric for this project in Yancy and Mitchell counties was donated by Glen Raven Technical Fabrics in Burnsville. They make things like Sunbrella and super fabrics for Jansport and the US forces. If you have any old backpacks or suitcases or belts that you would like to donate, bring them by the Green Plum gallery this week from 1-5 p.m. We can make them into a Germination Corps. Plant Backpack!
Here is the pattern table in the gallery workshop. You can see all the woven belts we found and are using for shoulder straps on the right. Old shopping bags work well for the pattern pieces.
Some kids-sized shoulder plant bags made with the Glen Raven donated fabric. The emblem of the Germination Corps., the three leafed sprout, is a necessary component of each bag and is a quick identifier of the project.
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
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.
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.