Talking About Edibles and the Cambridge Community
Yesterday evening Becky and I attended a open conversation with members of the Cambridge community who have a passion for sustainability and community.
Helen, our garden mentor, hosted the conversation and asked the questions, what can we do and what do we want to do to create a Cambridge community?
This was my first time involved in the conversation, however I felt immediately welcome into the group. We all share interests in gardening, sharing and learning skills about sustainability, and reaching out to the inhabitants of Cambridge.
Two of the women that I met in the group, Jules and Helen (there were two Helen’s at the meeting), had been involved in fostering community for years by hosting “Do It Ourselves” workshops where people were welcome to come and learn skills from making rope with nettles to distilling water with solar energy at home. The League of Urban Canners was also represented at the meeting by Oona, who talked to us about how it is important to get everyone involved, even if it is simply to look for plots of land that we might be able to use.
So with these backgrounds coming together we brainstormed ideas of projects that we could do. We threw around idea, starting with empty spaces that had previously been found in Cambridge where we could start something. We could start a community compost in a strip of space or maybe a community garden in a piece of empty land by a bank in East Cambridge. However this decision was only the basis for the bigger project that we wanted to create for the Cambridge community.
What could we do that would get the Cambridge community interested and keep the project ongoing? The idea of starting a Cambridge community garden was put out on the table, however we thought if there were individual plots for people then there wouldn’t be a feeling of community. What if we had Cambridge skill-shares? The only problem with that is people would come, learn and then leave. We need to have a project where the skills they learn can be applied. What if we had a Cambridge seed-swap? The only issue would be that people would leave with their seeds and plant them at home, again there would be a lack of community.
There has to be a way to cumulate all of these ideas. We left the conversation at that for last night. Our goals until the next meeting are to continue looking for space, no matter how small, where we could start something. And even more importantly, contemplate this something for our Cambridge Community. If you have any ideas or thoughts please let us know!