One of the small but unique things we do as part of our "Food from Home = Food for Home" urban agricultural project is to put up signs identifying the names of all our growers in their growing spaces. Our goal is to build a real collective; a genuine sense of community. But, not everyone is able to be there at the same time so we need other ways of "getting to know one another." Sharing email contact information is one way, but whose email name goes with which body? which face? Moreover, not everyone has a computer and-or consistent access to internet. Not everyone is agile on a computer, especially in another language. Sometimes we don’t even notice that someone in the “email list” is not responding; and when they don’t, we sometimes put it down to a lack of interest in the group or the project when in reality it might be that they are not getting or understanding the messages. These are the folks we have to think of first when we talk about “building community.” Putting all our names in writing, in handwriting, on small signs, in English and in their own language, in the actual places where we actually work growing food, is a way to do that. It turns out to be an amazingly simple, easy way to knit all the pieces into a whole. We all know the names of all the others who are growing food and flowers there, and we know exactly where they are growing food, flowers, herbs.
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