Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Getting Involved

I went to the orientation last night to become a volunteer at Seattle Tilth. On the down-side, the late season garden crew is all filled up. On the plus side, they did take me very seriously and are going to see where they can fit me in for the Garden Intern Crew. They are hoping to expand some times/days for the intern crew to work on evenings and weekends.

Right now, I don't really care. What I care about is meeting people, getting involved, etc. I figure the more I get myself out there--the more opporunities will be available to me when people get to know me. And really, as long as I'm out in the gardens with them--I'm going to learn SOMETHING. Maybe not formally, but I will learn each and every time.

It was interesting. There were only 3 of us there for the orientation. They said some months it is only a few people, other months it is up to 40 folks. We had to talk about what we were interested in and, you know, there is always that one broad. You know what I'm talking about. The one when they ask, "What are you interested in?" (meaning--what type of stuff do you want to do here, not wank all over everyone) she goes on a 10 minute tangent about how she is an artist, her life-crisis at the moment, and goes on and on about some magical ideal she has about what she is going to get from the volunteer experience which always includes something about healing herself. Really, she is just saying, "I'm doing this because I've ran through my current friends and so I need new people to people validate meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Validate me!!!! I'm going to be high-maintenence and an emotional vampire! Feeeeeed meeeee!"

There is always at least one of them and it never, ever changes. As soon as she said, "....and I'm an artist", I thought "oh boy. Here we go." And we totally did. And it was like it always is with these people.

Too bad I didn't have a High Maintenance Bingo Card because she would have hit all the points. meh.

For me, I just said that I wanted my hands dirty, wanted to learn as much as I could so that I could then teach others. I would happily do grunt work. Because I am. I just don't care what I'm doing right now with them. I'd just like to get connected and start to travel deeper into my own self-sufficiency and the self-sufficiency of my community.

Later on talking to folks one-on-one I talked about sustainability, urband agriculture, my real interest in wanting to be in a place where I could teach economically disadvantaged folks in the city how to grow and store their own fresh produce and help build little neighborhood vegetable gardens for communities that didn't have fresh vegetables available.

That's when I learned about Marra Farm. And I gasped in utter delight. Not only Marra Farm, there is a ton of stuff related to making sure that there are fresh fruits and vegetables available to folks. I'm astonished that it has all been right under my nose forever and I had absolutely no idea.

I also learned that I can donate fresh fruits and vegetables from my garden to the food banks. This makes me crazy happy, especially since there is a food bank within walking distance. As of last night, I made the executive decision that at least 1 square of each/any raised bed (i do square foot gardening) I build or have built will be soley for growing food for the food bank. Most likely it'll be leaf-lettuces, callions, bush beans or something that I can hopefully harvest a fair amount of and be not so worried about crop failure . I'll have to see if they'll take fresh herbs as well.

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