One of the things we parents need to do (among many others), is to find our what the needs of our community are. This way we can come up with solutions to provide those needs. Having a good, local source of food is very important for everyone. Why not leverage this need to come up with a solution that includes our kids.
So, we tried this last year with a few families. Here are the steps I see in this process.
- Acquire land on which to grow. I attended a gift circle sponsored by our local timebank and transition town in Media. As we went around the circle, expressing our needs and what our gifts were, I wondered what I would say. When it was my turn, I decided to go for it and asked if anyone had land we could use to grow things. Someone replied that he did and that was the start. We got a plot of land in Rose Tree Community Gardens (20 x 24).
- What would we grow? I decided to grow sunflowers instead of produce. I wanted to pattern this venture after Juniper Hills Farm.
- Who would help in the growing? We had several families who were interested.
We tried setting up our families to help. Someone did volunteer to help till the plot and get it ready for planting. That is a big step. We never got anyone to help plant, so I did that. We never got anyone to help weed, so I did that.
The sunflowers grew and I cut them and sold them at the Media Farmer’s Market where we became a vendor of sorts. This is another key step – where will you sell your items.
We learned that not everyone wants to be a farmer and get out in the sun and get into the dirt. What our families and kids did like was growing plants at their own homes. So, we provided them with pots and seeds. When they were grown, they brought them to the market.
Farming and gardening is a tough and laborious job. It is not for everyone. Will this work with our children? I believe it will work for some who really like this.