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Welcome to Tahlequah Community Garden

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  • juliegahn
    Hello, I just wanted to send this FIRST email to our new group. We have grown by 6 in about 24 hours! I think I ve just become a believer in the ability of
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 9, 2008
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      Hello,

      I just wanted to send this FIRST email to our new group. We have
      grown by 6 in about 24 hours! I think I've just become a believer in
      the ability of Yahoo Groups to connect people.

      I thought it would be good to give you all a bit more background on
      how the idea for the Tahlequah Community Garden came about. It's
      really a tie between two interests in my life. I've had a long
      standing interest in organic gardening & am also interested in how
      similar techniques might be used in larger scale farming. The key to
      making a profit at farming using organic, or sustainable practices
      seems to be direct-marketing, so the farmer can be connected directly
      to the consumer and receive the retail price instead of only 10 cents
      of the retail dollar under the conventional system. Secondly, I've
      been aware of the need for good jobs in Tahlequah, just by being a
      citizen and also by doing some outreach work with our church. When
      we asked our neighbors, "how can we serve you as our neighbor", more
      than once the response was, "provide job skills [training]".
      Unfortunately, in our congregation, we don't have anyone who can give
      training in areas such as plumbing or electrical, but I was intrigued
      by the claims that SPIN Farming can allow a person to earn a middle
      class income.

      So, we proposed the idea to our congregation that we sponsor a
      Community Garden to give folks the opportunity to learn to garden;
      either to feed themselves, or to earn extra income. Either way,
      anyone who participates will have access to highly nutritional food,
      will save money at the grocery store & be able to pursue extra income
      if desired. Our church agreed, and First Lutheran Church is
      sponsoring the establishment of the Community Garden.

      Initially, six people responded to the flyers that I left around
      town. At our first meetings, those six people indicated that they
      were all interested in learning the SPIN farming method, so we agreed
      to garden cooperatively. We are planning to set up one SPIN garden
      and tend it together so that no one gets overworked.

      We are developing written guidelines to help us remain consistent in
      our decision-making. I'm editing those a bit & will distribute them
      at our next meeting.

      We chose our gardening site yesterday. (We've been scrambling to
      choose a site after loosing access to the site I'd been planning on
      since last fall.)

      I have purchased the first seven SPIN Farming guides
      (www.spinfarming.com). Our initial agreement with the authors
      allowed me to give 5 copies to active participants in the community
      garden. I have one copy left to give out. I will contact the SPIN
      Farming folks to see if I can give out additional copies now that our
      group is growing.

      We've received a box of free seeds.

      I will be working to get soil samples analyzed this week & an initial
      plowing of the ground. Then we'll go from there.

      If you don't want to garden in the Community Garden, you are still
      welcome to remain a part of this group & use it as a way to share
      gardening tips.

      I will send a separate message with a proposal for our next meeting
      time. I realize that we are behind schedule with regard to soil
      testing & ground breaking, & it is making me crazy. However, I'm
      going to keep reminding myself that we are all volunteers and we have
      many other life responsibilities. We'll do the best we can this year
      & learn from it & do better next year.

      I'm sorry this is so long, just wanted to bring new folks up to date.

      Sincerely,
      Julie Gahn
      Tahlequah Community Garden Coordinator
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