#TithingTuesday is all about inspiration in action, nourishing my vision for community of health, resiliency, prosperity, peace and fun for all. Personally, I am inspired by organizations that take a systems approach to social change. It no longer makes sense, if it ever did, to try to solve any problem or relieve any pain without looking at the whole system from which that problem or pain arises. Another cool aspect of taking a systems approach is that a group needn’t be large to have a meaningful impact on the system.
I’m delighted to feature Bountiful Cities in this week’s #TithingTuesday post because this is a group that really demonstrates the power of a small group taking a systems approach and having a meaningful positive impact.
Bountiful Cities is the urban agriculture resource in Asheville. We share agricultural skills and resources to promote social justice and economic viability. We envision abundance and food sovereign communities.
If you appreciate the movements toward community gardens, food security, and urban agriculture in Asheville, you have Bountiful Cities to thank.
Urban Agriculture for resilient community
As anyone who knows me through Facebook or in real life is aware, I am super enthusiastic about urban agriculture and permaculture as systems-level solutions for creating resilient community and transitioning beyond the fossil fuel economy. As a land-partner in Patchwork Urban Farms, (watch the video on the sidebar >>>), I’m also in partnership with Bountiful Cities, which incubated Patchwork and Grass to Greens, Asheville’s premier edible landscaper.
Establishing Community Gardens in the early days
In their first three years, starting in 2000, Bountiful Cities partnered with the mostly African-American residents of their neighborhoods to establish Pearson Garden in Montford, Burton St. Community Garden in West Asheville and Shiloh Community Garden in Shiloh.
Bountiful Cities collaborated with residents in establishing gardens in Pisgah View and Hillcrest neighborhoods. From these gardens grew not only fresh food and healthy soil, but also innovative social enterprises, Gardens United and Ujamaa Freedom Market. In the Southside neighborhood they’ve partnered with Green Opportunities Kitchen Ready program to establish a garden at the Eddington Center.
Gardens established at Claxton, Hall Fletcher and Vance elementary schools are providing rich learning opportunities, and have led to more green and sustainable initiatives at these schools.
Advocating for ethical food systems
But wait! There’s more! Bountiful Cities also participates with local, state and national organizations in advocating for practices and values that allow sustainability to emerge through integrated food systems, food security, food production and job creation. They’ve been a leading voice in the Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council since it’s inception.
For over 13 years Bountiful Cities has been working with communities teaching urban agricultural skills from seed to seed, and advocating for healthy food systems that are accessible to all. This is group that nourishes me spiritually by their inspiring commitment to values of justice, community and education.
I encourage you to uplift yourself by making a donation to Bountiful Cities here
And join me at Bountiful Cities Celebration, December 5, 2015 at Ol’ Shakey’s Bar on Riverside Dr.