Project Infinity PeaceJam Community Vegetable Garden

A Peacemaking Project by Alex G.

What is the injustice we are solving?

Our area has suffered from food insecurity for many years and since the closing of the local General Mills plant the problem has become more intense. Our goal is to provide organic vegetables to neighborhood food pantries plus inspire people to grow their own veggies. At this time our goal is to have a year-round structure growing food 12 months a year both vertically and horizontally.

Our Compassionate Solution:

To solve this injustice of Hunger
we will address food insecurity
by establishing a vegetable garden with produce donated to the Neighborhood Food Pantries

Comments:

Adrian B. Peace First Staff
6 April 2018 10:27

Hi Alex,

Thanks so much for this update! It's great to hear about all the work you're doing. What kinds of plants are you growing?

Best,
Adrian  

Alex G.
6 April 2018 0:38

It’s April and Spring is here. Last month our PeaceJam group started working on our vegetable garden. We have set up the plant room and have seven trays of seeds--about 300 plants total so far--with many more to be planted. Virtually all of them have sprouted and grown their first set of permanent leaves. We also took advantage of a break in the weather and cleaned up the outside garden area, worked the compost area, and made needed repairs to some of the raised beds.  

Adrian B. Peace First Staff
5 April 2018 13:06

Hi Alex,


We wanted to let you know that we are extending the deadline for active projects to apply for a Mini-Grant during this Peace First Challenge to April 15th. You can apply for a mini-grant anytime, but meeting the Challenge deadlines will make you eligible for additional opportunities.

If you do not require a mini-grant to complete your project, you can remain eligible for the Accelerator by completing your project and Reflection before the May 31st deadline! If you submit your project plan by April 15th, we'll be sure to provide you with feedback by April 21st to support you with carrying out the plan.

If you are still in early stages of planning, you are also welcome to apply for a mini-grant at a later date -- although you may not be eligible for an Accelerator, the opportunity for funding and support is always there.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and if we can support your project in any way! :)

Best,
Adrian  

Fish S. Peace First Staff
26 March 2018 10:50

Hi Alex!

We're excited to hear more about your ideas to address this important injustice! I wanted to let you know about an opportunity -- if you are interested in getting some funding for materials that you need to carry out your project, you can apply for a mini-grant of up to $250.

The deadline to submit your Project Plan and Mini-Grant Application is March 31st if you want to remain eligible to apply to attend a Peace First Accelerator.

As you craft your plan, be sure to consider the feedback we gave you on your compassionate insight, and check out our project planning tools for help turning your insight into a concrete action plan: https://www.peacefirst.org/plan-your-project

Then, through your dashboard you can make any changes you want to make to your "compassionate insight," record your plan in "Make a plan" and then "Apply for a mini-grant" for the materials you need.

Let us know if you have questions or if we can help in any way. We're looking forward to supporting your project!
 

Adrian B. Peace First Staff
12 March 2018 11:31

Hi Alex,

Thanks so much for posting this project! As someone who has done lots of food justice and farming work, this project is close to my heart. I love this idea!

As part of the process of completing peacemaking projects, Peace First staff give formal feedback on important steps of your project. One of those steps is the compassionate insight.

Your insight looks pretty good--there are just a few things I'd suggest tweaking, just to make sure everyone can follow your reasoning. Right now, your insight is saying that the root cause of poverty is food insecurity. While food insecurity is definitely a cause of poverty, it is also a result. Were you thinking that food insecurity is the specific injustice you were trying to address? If that's the case, then I'd encourage you to think more deeply about what some of the root causes of food insecurity are. Here is a toolkit that can help with that process: https://www.peacefirst.org/understand-through-compassion

As part of this stage of planning, and working to deeply understand the root causes, we also like to encourage everyone to talk with people directly experiencing the injustice, people causing the injustice, and people who are also working to change the injustice. The link above has resources for talking to others about their ideas on this injustice. This can be a very rewarding process--let me know if you'd like help thinking about who in your community it makes sense to talk with!

It can also be helpful connect with outside reading and resources, as well as other projects in the Peace First community which are working on these issues. Comment on their page and start a conversation!

https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/project-food-thought
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/kans-kidss-zavala-elementary-food-pantry
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/millions-people-do-not-have-access-enough-food-eat
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/showing-compassion-towards-1-4-children-are-food-insecure
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/children-do-not-get-enough-food-eat-home
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/food-injustice-low-quality-food-being-served-youth-all-time
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/food-shortage-and-production-my-community
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/jee-foods
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/community-food-pantry

Some organizations that work on food justice:
https://foodforward.org/2016/04/what-is-food-justice/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0vmDrc2Z2QIVhq_ICh2IAgM3EAAYASAAEgIMRvD_BwE
https://civileats.com/category/food-and-policy/food-justice/
http://justfood.org/advocacy/what-is-food-justice
http://thefoodproject.org/about
http://thefoodtrust.org/uploads/media_items/access-to-healthy-food.original.pdf

I hope this is useful! Please let us know how we can support this important work. Thanks again, and I'm excited to see where this project goes!

Best,
Adrian
 

Fish S. Peace First Staff
1 March 2018 10:01

Hi Alex -- that's really exciting to see! Thanks for sharing about all your work so far and clarifying the role of youth leaders in this project. We're really excited to support them. I see you've submitted your compassionate insight -- someone else from our team will be along to give feedback on it soon -- and we look forward to seeing how we can support you. What can we do to help?  

Alex G.
27 February 2018 22:13

The project started last summer as part of the group's involvement in PeaceJam. The garden area is a reclaimed lot with construction material in the soil. Raised beds were built to ensure that produce grown would be healthy. This year the group has asked for and received a room that they are turning into a greenhouse. The group is documenting their experiences as a way to share their learnings. Based on information received from the Neighborhood Food Pantries the young people have picked the organic seeds to plant this year so that what is grown will be what the community will be eager to use. Our garden size has doubled this year and due to the high cost of plants, the group's goal is to start with seeds in order to get as many plants as possible.  

Fish S. Peace First Staff
30 January 2018 14:02

Hi Alex -- thanks for sharing! This sounds like important work on a significant problem! How are young people involved in leading this project?