Wednesday, July 22, 2009

BUGS, Backyards, Newspapers

Yesterday I met with the executive director from a non-profit group here in town called the Boise Urban Garden School (BUGS). This is a garden behind a church in Boise that is essentially for educating children. They have all kinds of projects during the growing season, and it's almost entirely funded by grants. They grow all sorts of vegetables and some flowers, too. The meeting offered even more resources for me to check out.
First, she mentioned a place called Sharing Backyards. This is a website that covers the whole country and I think a few other parts of the world, too. People who have land to offer for gardening of farming purposes register it in this website, and through an interactive mapping system it shows up. Also, people who need land for farming or gardening purposes register. The point is to connect the searchers and the givers together and give them a place to figure out the logistics. This could be VERY useful to us if we need to tell people where to find land!
Secondly, she mentioned Sustainable Community Connections of Idaho. This is a group that focuses very heavily on the concept of local as sustainable. They have a big program they are just starting called the Treasure Valley Food Coalition. When I eventually re-form the Garden Committee (I may not have mentioned this before... part of my assignment involves forming a garden committee and tracking its membership), she suggested that I ask someone from this group to be on it. Makes sense to me!
She also gave me some good advice about forming the garden committee itself. As I have never really done this before, it was good to hear. Basically she told me to be very explicit and clear when explaining the committee's purpose and intentions, and to also be very clear concerning the commitment required of each member. There was a garden committee in the past but it fell apart. Apparently because those in charge were not entirely clear about what they expected from each member. Hopefully I won't make that mistake again...
In other news, I was contacted by a reporter from the Idaho Statesman who wants to interview me! That's really great news, because it could really get the word out there. That's the hope, anyway. I have never been interviewed for a newspaper before, so this will be a new experience!
Edit: I just remembered! At the Foothills Learning Center (3188 Sunset Peak Road) here in Boise there's going to be a free composting workshop this Saturday. It starts at 10, lasts an hour, and doesn't require any pre-registration.

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