Well, here I am. After donating nearly half of my things to a local Salvation Army, throwing the rest of my life into my van, and driving from Winona, Minnesota to Boise, Idaho, I have landed on the eve of my new life. I am now officially working as a VISTA volunteer for the Idaho Foodbank as a Community Garden Coordinator. I have my own cubicle, which is definitely a new experience, and I will have to adjust to office life. However I am sure that this won't be just any mundane office experience... this will be my foray into the non-profit sector, and my foray into the start of my professional life.
At this point I am still setting up. My first day of work was yesterday, though on Saturday I went to a local farm and a local garden to weed, pick raspberries, and pick up produce. Like any new job I am feeling slightly overwhelmed and confused, but I have never been so excited to work before.
In the Treasure Valley, which encompasses Boise and the surrounding area, there is a growing (haha) interest in community gardening. The resources are there, the volunteers are there, and the desire is there. The only thing lacking is a central point of reference to join all of these willing people together. I, hopefully, will be part of that central point. These first few days I am still getting my feet wet, but this project has so much potential. It is incredibly thrilling and exciting to me that I can use my farming experience (limited as it is... one summer is not nearly enough to become an expert!) and my enthusiasm for food in general and really, hopefully, HELP some people. I believe everyone, absolutely everyone, deserves access to heathly, fresh, affordable food. I am itching to get started!
Here are some resources I have stumbled across already:
Brooklyn Botanic Garden website: bbg.org
--> This place is a fantastic resource. They have all kinds of information about gardens all over the country, and tips for how to start your own garden.
American Community Garden Association (ACGA): communitygarden.org
-->This website is basically THE main place to go. They have a community garden database, which I thought was useful.
Ample Harvest: ampleharvest.org
--> This is more of a national resource, but it allows people to register their extra food or search for a foodbank where they can donate it. There is an abundance of food that is either not suitable for sale, missed by harvesters, or not needed by home gardeners.
That's all for today. I think it's about time for lunch... as far as food goes, I need to feed myself as well!