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wellington kansas vfw youth community garden project  RSS feed

 
Posts: 45
Location: southcentral kansas, south of wichita. zone 6b-ish. more like oklahoma.
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i had no idea the best place to post this but wanted to get it out.  still not sure how to properly navigate any type of forums.
i have found my current passion and am very excited.  I am trying to do my part to assist paul in world domination, and from that i have found a calling to occupy me for a while.  I am a member of our local vfw auxiliary and am fairly active there.  we have a great group of people.  maybe one of them had ever even heard of permaculture a year ago.  i was given the job of chairman of our fairly inactive one man youth activities committee.  when i got the job there was nothing really happening there.  i got a folder and a good luck.  our post was also suppose to have a committee chairman for their youth activities, but did not.  so i sought a member out, found one that is already involved with youth in the community.  i am not, so that was important.  got my husband to nominate that member for the job, and then we joined the two committees into one joint committee with the 2 of us as co chairs. 
we are currently holding 2 meetings for members of both the post and auxiliary to form a real committee and identify volunteers for future projects.  i am hoping at least 2 things will come from this.  we have alot of members that never come to the post because of either the bar or hard feelings over something that happened at least 10 years ago.  so we are having a meeting at the local library so that members not comfortable coming to the post can still feel comfortable getting involve and maybe come together to help resolve some of those issues as a side effect.  the second thing is that we have alot of inactive members.  i feel that alot of them may become more actively involved if we had actual projects and interactions going on.  we currently have the same things going on with the same people doing the work everytime.
our first project and the main thing getting me excited about this will be a community garden on the open land around our post building and parking lot.  short term plans will be to put in a few raised bed garden beds in different microclimates that already exist on the land to start raising fresh produce for our community and to start building biomass while hopefully fixing the ground underneath. growing in these microclimates will provide some educational tools while we spend a year or so learning and doing site analysis. we will be working with children of all ages so they will be learning this stuff young. we will start working with boy scouts, as my co chair is heavily involved with them.  my own personal short tune goal will be to find another auxiliary member to take over my chair position of an established committee so that i can focus on the garden project. i will feel that i successfully did my duty to get a committee going while not feeling guilty about leaving someone in the same position i was stuck in when the folder was handed to me.
long term goals of this project are proper site analysis and other permaculture principles to turn it into a food forest.  this is how i feel anyway, but could change depending on committee decisions.
part of the garden project will be at least one rocket mass heater and finding a way to use it to expand our growing season, while at the same time demonstrating its safety and efficiency. my ulterior motive here is getting people to see one of these in action, learning how they work and desiring to help us getting them coded here.  to my advantage we have a retired fire chief who teaches fire safety classes at several places around the state.  our current commander is also retired from the fire department.  convincing them could very much be used to our advantage.  i have been talking about these with anyone that will listen.  people are starting to watch videos about them.  i refer them to permies and to youtube. 
also long term is to bring in other youth groups and involving anyone in the community that wants to get involved.  there is also a plot of land about a half block away that was donated to the city for a community garden that isn't currently being cultivated due to lack of interest or maybe lack people knowing about it.  i would like to propose to the city that our garden committee aid or take over the management of it.
it will be a learning experience for everyone.  i have watched alot of videos and have been experimenting in my own back yard but have no real hands on permaculture experience, and neither does anyone i know around here.  i didn't really realize until last night what a vast permaculture project this is, with all its elements, which just got me even more excited.  without paul and this community there is no way i would be taking on this project so thank you all and wish us luck.  i will try to keep you updated on our progress.  any advice on any of this is welcome.  if there is anyone in the area that wants to help with this project or just come share some of their knowledge would be welcome also.  i am hoping that through inspiring interest we will also be able to raise funds to either send individuals to pdc's and bring back the knowledge and experience, or find someone within whatever budget we can come up with to come teach us here.   i hope to have permaculture and rmhs to be a common topic around town. 
 
Posts: 53
Location: NW KS/NE CO State Line
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So a couple of things...
First, with volunteer service organizations, the best way to reactivate membership, particularly "stale" ones, is to ask.  They have maintained their affiliation with the organization because, at least to some extent, they believe in the purpose.  Call them up, introduce yourself, and explain what you are looking for.   you'd be surprised how many people who haven't darkened the door of the post in decades will show up to help, particularly with a youth program. 

Second, my folks live in Newkirk.  My dad hasn't had time to retire in the past ten years since he got laid off and went into business for himself.  He runs a handyman service, which involves quite a bit of landscaping.  He's in the Legion, and might be able to assist with biomass and/or salvaged construction material for raised beds. 

 
lisa goodspeed
Posts: 45
Location: southcentral kansas, south of wichita. zone 6b-ish. more like oklahoma.
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thanks so much chris
 
lisa goodspeed
Posts: 45
Location: southcentral kansas, south of wichita. zone 6b-ish. more like oklahoma.
15
food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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we have dates for our initial committee meet and greets.  now i have to get a lot of letters out to our vfw and auxiliary members, and put up flyers to invite everyone that works with youth.  we will have younger kids working with older kids to research the plants they want to start growing right away.  this will lead to learning what makes up different types of soil conditions, water needs of different plants, what creates different shade and sun conditions, and what plants to plant together and which ones not too, as well as what other beneficial plants we could add to help our food plants be more productive.  i think starting with container gardening, raised bed, self watering and whatever ideas the kids come up with will really connect everyone involved with how plants grow, how soil lives and works, how insects and our local wildlife interact with the gardens, how it all forms one great big web, and how we are a part of that web.  we will be working on rain harvesting  to help get us through the dry hot part of our summer.  our gutters currently drain right to the edge of the building.  the insurance has already said we need to change this, they said run it out to the street like everyone else, but nooooo, not gonna do that.  the rain barrels will direct feed self watering beds.  we have a decent size building with a decent size roof so will have several barrels for this purpose.
the permaculture smackdown this last tuesday about residual incomes got my mind really working and opened up a whole new area of the project.  we hope to have the youth start a web page with videos, blogs, maybe some step by step instructionals on projects.  with my lack of computer expertise i will probably be learning a lot more from the youth then they will from me.  the awesome side affects of permaculture in action. 
excitement is growing.  when i first started talking about putting in a community garden  i got replies that ranged from  "i would donate a couple plant starts" to "people will just come steal all the produce or destroy it so that is a bad idea."  but nobody really wanted to help or even thought it was a good idea.  i still get some bad replies sometimes, but i pointed out about the stealing issue, it isn't an issue because it is for the community, there will be a sign or 2 stating that the produce is free for anyone in the community, but please remember your neighbors may be hungry too.  some of them don't quite get the logic, but others are catching on.  people that were against it all together are starting to think maybe it is a good idea, those that thought it was maybe a good idea but not something they wanted anything to do with are starting to talk about it to others, and the ones that actually liked the idea are stating that they are really starting to get excited and think this is something we really need here.  i am riding high on the excitement of not only the garden project, but that i am actually becoming an active member of a positive change for our community and doing my part to help spread the ideas and actions of permaculture.
we will also be putting up pics of our work days on the vfw national website, as they have a page just for that to show what individual posts around the country are doing in and for their communities.  i hope that other vfw post will see this and maybe do a something were they are.  what better way to help veterans, their family and there communities then sharing a little permaculture.
 
lisa goodspeed
Posts: 45
Location: southcentral kansas, south of wichita. zone 6b-ish. more like oklahoma.
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Chris Palmberg wrote:So a couple of things...
First, with volunteer service organizations, the best way to reactivate membership, particularly "stale" ones, is to ask.  They have maintained their affiliation with the organization because, at least to some extent, they believe in the purpose.  Call them up, introduce yourself, and explain what you are looking for.   you'd be surprised how many people who haven't darkened the door of the post in decades will show up to help, particularly with a youth program.



it is my hope that a lot of those that don't get involved is because there isn't anything going on that they want to get involved with and that the garden project, and youth activites in general, will help "stale" members find a way to get involved.  we are also trying to recruit younger veterans, as most of our post is of the older generations.  we need young blood with young ideas.  that has been a problem with many vfw and american legion posts, since wwii.  each generation seems to put out the vibe, or even sometimes straight up says "you didn't fight in a real war like i did, you don't belong here" and then wonder why they don't have any younger members.  we are trying to change that here, and other places like denver post one have made great changes to that atmosphere.  it is hard to get some of these old guys to understand that you gotta change with the times or you just won't exist any more.  I really just want to put out there that if any of you on here are vfw or auxiliary eligible or american legion, please join and help us make some change.  there is a lot that can be done with the power of these organizations.  i am using my membership to be the change i want to see.
 
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Posts: 4938
Location: Missoula, MT
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Hi Lisa - wow the ideas and enthusiasm are just POURING out of you!! I hope you can keep that energy and excitement well-fed and infectious to others!

I added this thread to the midwest usa regional forum, and I'll add it to education next. Any other forums where it might fit?

In this day and age, it seems to me that digital communication gets the word out faster and to more people than flyers or more manual methods. If you ever need a way to share information privately, the permies.com forums has an easy way to set up a private forum. Let me or another moderator know if we can help with that.

Otherwise, a public permies.com forum works, too - in fact, see Brandon Gross' high school ag class school garden thread as an epic example!

Of course, there is also always an e-mail list or text message group (or, heaven-forbid a Facebook group!), a group Google calendar, or there are a gazillion other apps/site/etc. Just my humble effort to get you more bang for your buck than flyers.
 
When I was younger I felt like a man trapped inside a woman’s body. Then I was born. My twin is a tiny ad:
Garden Myths: The Good, The Bad and The Unbelievable by Robert Kourik
https://permies.com/wiki/65074/Garden-Myths-Good-Bad-Unbelievable
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