GtC with the Community

Thursday is what Ruby and I called the GtC meeting marathon. It was great. Ruby, Kathy, and Ippy all went to a meeting down at the Main Library on State Street in the morning while I was in my philosophy class and met with a bunch of different community groups like, WIC, The Food Bank, Nuestras Raices, and a bunch more. From what Ruby told me they all discussed and brainstormed on how to make fresh food more available in Springfield. Ruby will have to post something on that meeting.

But, after I got out of class I ran to Dunkin’ Donuts and picked up Ruby and I a couple of iced coffees and went to the New North Citzens Council on Main Street in the North End of Springfield. We were put into contact with Vanessa Otero of the North End Campus Coalition by Aron Goldman of The Springfield Institute almost by chance. Vanessa gathered around 10 people from the community who are either working closely with the people of the North End or have experience with Urban Agriculture to discuss the prospects of really creating a fresh foods initiative in the North End. She discribed the North End as a “food desert” where there is virtually no acess to fresh food in the North End due to no grocery stores, no farmers markets, and only a couple small community gardens. Vanessa has an awesome dream of creating large community run gardens, a weekly farmers market, a food truck, and much more.

This was my first “community organizing” meeting and, man, I was really blown away. The ideas that were shared and bounced off one another, the expertise and the knowledge of the individuals sitting around that table, and so much more was really really amazing. GtC offered any help that we could give to help Vanessa and the North End start up these programs and the end the drought of fresh food in the North End.

The day wasn’t finished after that meeting, though. Ruby and I then jumped in our cars raced home to eat a quick lunch, change, and head to the garden on Central Street where the youth were going to be working on their individual plots. These plots are for the youth to really use their own creativity in designing their own gardens and ontop of that everything they grow will be their own to bring home to their families. I also decided to take up a plot and turn it into the “Staff plot” so that we aren’t left out of the free fresh veggies. To say the least, it was just another great day at the garden.

Today, Ippy, Hadjira, and I did a little weeding and planting on Hancock Street in the morning on our own. There isn’t anything better to start off your day than having your hands in the dirt. I also met with Kathy of 3hrees Cafe on Belmont Ave.(who we will be selling some of our vegitables to this summer) today about selling some sandwhiches and wraps at the Mason Square Farmers Market this summer! So, we’ll have some great premade locally grown and organic sandwiches to grab this summer at the market.

On Monday I’ll be meeting with Aron Goldman and the four interns working for The Springfield Institute to discuss what they can do to help make GtC more sucessful as well as how to promote healthy and sustainable life choices in Springfield.

Thats all I’ve got for now…

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