Thursday, October 16, 2014

Starting Book Club

Hi! My name is Gaya, and I recently joined Poki and Dominique on the farm as an intern. 

I am writing to you today to invite you to be a part of a "Gaia Gardens Book Club"! 

The group would be designed for those interested in learning, thinking more about, and discussing with others the big questions which growing food for an urban community puts on our plates. The idea came to me from the following brief meditation on my first few weeks working with the veggies:

A garden is a place to experience transformation. With each new morning we return to the arroyo to find the scarlet-runner beans have lengthened an inch overnight, that a baby cucumber has swelled to a glistening, crescent gourd, or that clusters of tomatoes have plumped and ripened in their beds. This is the magic that drives us from one row of kale, to chard, to kohlrabi to carrots to the next, and that sometimes makes me think of my job as treasure hunting. But there are other changes that don't just appear, that are not as dramatically perceived in our daily surroundings, and that we must cultivate with as much care, and imagination, as when waiting for the first seeds to sprout….

I am interested in reading not only to put my daily work as farm volunteer into perspective, but also the choices I make as a consumer, omnivore, and constituent in a highly stratified foodscape. We could read works of history, philosophy, anthropology, poetry, and folklore touching on topics such as biodynamic farming, the urban agriculture movement, community land trusts, and climate change.

The Book Club would meet in the evening once every other week for informal discussion, tea and munchies. The exact time and location will be determined once we know who is interested, and when they are available. Poki has suggested meeting at Annapurna restaurant during their Chai Happy Hour! The final reading list will be put together collaboratively, but just to start the conversation, here are a few suggestions. Online sources such as blogs, articles and films could also be great to share and talk about as well.

Steiner, Rudolf. Agriculture: Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture
George, Henry. Progress and Poverty
Davis, John Emmeus, ed. The Community Land Trust Reader
Boggs, Grace Li. The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century
Petryna, Adriana. What is a Horizon?: Toward an Anthropology of the Environment and Climate Change
Holmes, Seth. Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States

Please contact me if you are interested!