I left feeling inspired and excited. There was a good turn out of just under 20 people - some new faces too.
It was exciting to hear about all of the different reasons people want to be a part of the group. The main theme seems to be the sense of community we are getting from the activities.
I also took some time to discuss my intended structure of the group. I described it as an adhocracy. I guess this could be considered part of the experiment in itself... will this group structure work?
How it will work:
Basically I consider myself to be somewhat of a 'facilitator' for the group. What we do and the directions we go in all depend on the people who participate and what they want. I will aim to keep the project on track, and keep people informed about events. Anyone can plan an event - just send me an email and let's make it happen.
Also if and when a decision needs to be made, who ever is there will discuss and decide on the spot.
"oh no!!?! in the garden plan there are 4 rows of carrots but there is only space for 3"
"shall we do 3 rows instead"
"that seems reasonable"DONE!
We are all capable individuals so I figure we can spend less time organizing and more time actually doing something.
I believe that this will also be a more empowering to everyone who is participating and each person has the opportunity to make the project their own.
Another aspect of the structure is that I do not want Stratford Urban Farms to be an umbrella for various projects as we begin to do more and branch out. Instead I would prefer if the structure was more horizontal and other individuals act as facilitators for their own projects.
Let's face it - this is something we are all doing in our spare time we don't need to make it feel like work.
We talked about having a scrap book either at Revel Caffe or somewhere where people can draw a sketch of each garden and write goals & preference of vegetables to grow. Also having pages with resources and skills of people in the group for easy reference.
It would be nice for people to keep looking at the updates and possibly scan them and post online every now and again.
Stratford Compost Initiative
The first spin off project for Stratford Urban Farming Experiment.... Liz will be facilitating this initiative and will possibly blog about her ideas soon?
We were lucky enough to have some excited students on board and there were great ideas about the possibility of doing projects like videos (we do have a youtube channel) and building for class or just using school resources.