We need volunteers to help clean out and raise the cistern in preparation for a water refill, mend the wooden perimeter fence, till the soil for flower seed planting, assemble additional raised beds and weed the existing raised beds.
The Wexner Medical Center Mobile Education Kitchen will be present! Healthy snacks and beverages will be provided.
The Growing and Growth Collective (GGC) was founded in June 2020 by a small group of Columbus, Ohio residents who care deeply about the Near East Side, which is a neighborhood of concentrated poverty and food insecurity. The initial goal was to leverage one community garden on Greenway Avenue to help amplify the number of local Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) in urban agriculture, but quickly after forming, GGC transformed into a network of five greenspaces and a team of volunteers, and is now an initiative of PACT.
The 43203 zip code, and the Near East Side as a whole, is what some refer to as a food desert. Since deserts are naturally occuring ecosystems -- and in contrast, lack of access to fresh, healthy food is not naturally occuring -- GGC recognizes this community as one that is experiencing a food apartheid.
Food apartheid is the "systematic destruction of black self-determination to control one’s food, hyper-saturation of destructive foods and predatory marketing, and blatantly discriminatory corporate controlled food system that results in [communities of color] suffering from some of the highest rates of heart disease and diabetes of all time," according to food justice advocate Dara Cooper.
One way to remedy this history of destruction is to educate people on ways to engage independently and communally in urban agriculture, but first, it is important to recognize the legacy of trauma that exists between Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and the land. The U.S. has a long history of violent land theft, slavery, exploitive labor practices like sharecropping, and many other forms of structural oppression. GGC believes that it is both possible and necessary to build a healthy relationship between BIPOC and the land. We are committed to fostering an empowering narrative around BIPOC engagement in agriculture and we are confident that agriculture can become a multigenerational way of life again for BIPOC, but in a manner that honors heritage and promotes dignity.
As a collective, we bring together novices, experts and anyone in between who wishes to build and strengthen land-based skills, learn about the benefits of specific foods for good health, and help make fresh produce available to community members in a convenient and affordable way. To get involved or to learn more, visit: https://linktr.ee/growingandgrowthcollective.
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