When we cooperate we all have more, this inalieable truth is the manifestation of this great country.
E Pluribus Unium, "Out of many, One" is the motto of our founders when they established the country out of a diversity of immigrants with different ideas. When we come together as many we can create one thing that is great.
Valuing our diverse communities and integrating them into a whole is also Permaculture thinking. Permaculture is a design science for creating human habitats that can take care of themselves and be sustainable.
In an act of expression this truth, a group of Permaculturist and New Port Richey citizens (Coordinated by the Suncoast Co-op www.suncoastco-op.com ) have been using a idea called Permablitz: An informal gathering involving a day on which a group of at least two people come together to achieve the following:
* create or add to edible gardens where someone lives
* share skills related to permaculture and sustainable living
* build community networks
* have fun
Permablitzes are free events, open to the public, where you learn a lot, share food, get some exercise and have a wonderful time. If you come to three or so permablitzes we can help organize one at your house. That's right. Permablitz is based on reciprocal volunteer support. Once you've been to a few we can help connect you to a volunteer or professional permaculture designer, help you plan your blitz, promote it, and co-ordinate it on the day. For free.
The idea of bringing together a diverse mix of people to share their time to build one thing that day is empowering.
Over 6 months ago, we hosted our first blitz on the Peace Hall garden (located in front of Peace Hall at Sims lane and Grand) to add soil to the garden. Now the garden's soil is magnicently decomposed and ready to be planted for the fall season. A group of a dozen volunteers came out to partipate in the garden sharing ideas, knowledge, and their time.
But what is the purpose of this garden? The purpose is to demonstrate that we can together bring about abundance in the city of New Port Richey.
A personal note; I'm young and often have been told by elders that I'm naive in thinking that New Port Richey can turn around. That I am fighting inertia that the outcome looks bleak. But I know in my heart that when people come together with new ideas that work for all of us and are sound in principal we can suceed in shifting the status quo. For the 12 years that I've lived in West Pasco the elders have looked down on this area.
The negative thinking has rubbed off on my generation who constantly calls New Port Richey - New Port Nowhere, New Port Blackhole, New Prescription Pill Richey etc. etc. Many young people are actively searching to leave this city and area as quickly as they can. The problems we face as a society, whether they are drugs, addiction, depression, the economy, the politics of the city, the debt, and millions of other issues that effect all citizens will never be fixed by complaints or negative thinking. They will only be solved when we come together and integrate our positive solutions.
"Positive solution based thinking is a mental attitude that admits into the mind thoughts, words and images that are conductive to growth, expansion and sucess. It is a mental attitude that expects good and favorable results. A positive mind antipates happines, joy, health and a sucessful outcome of every situation and action. Whatever the Mind expects, it finds. " The power of positive thinking
We need to look at New Port Richey anew. With a new way of thinking based in reality, but with all of us coming together positively to solve our problems with real tangible solutions. Gardening to me is a real tangible solution that teaches people long term thinking and planning (a obvious shortcoming in many of us!). In permaculture we use polycultures (many cultures of plants working together mutuallistically), in our politics we should not consider a idea based upon where it came from, but does this idea benefit all of us and is it logically sound?
We should accept and listen to as many sources of ideas as we can in a polyculture way integrating many ideas to form one central idea. This can be expressed in a garden as well, instead of planting 400 brocolli, diversify and plant 10 of this and 10 of that and 10 of this thus giving you a broad polyculture that can give you many types of food to eat from your garden.
If we could envision New Port Richey as a edible city how would that look?
New Port Richey could start to take any vacant lots that it might have and get citizens to cooperatly taking them over to grow food.
This food could be either given away for free or sold by the gardeners to generate profits to further the growth of more gardens. These gardens could be established using free resource; the city mulch program and seaweed from the sea in right mixes makes an excellent soil after 3-6 months of decomposition.
Over time, these gardens could creep along New Port Richey in people's front yards, side yards, backyards, community gardens, commercial market gardens, roof top gardens, aquaponic gardens, hydroponic gardens, etc. etc. the diversity of growing food would generate economic velocity. Restaurants would shift from purchasing their food from 1,500 miles to local or even grow their own on property.
Fresh food would be the rallying cry for more and more citizens rather then Fast food. Spending quality time together a family over food made by hand rather then fast food for dinner. The slowing down of the economy gives us more time to spend on quality food and enriching our lives, why must we spend every waking moment looking for money to survive instead of enjoying life? An economy should be economized to allow life to occur rather then only work, living means eating and spending time building relationships with people who you care about. The more we spend on local food the more our money stays in our local economy and gets cycled to local businesses. The relocalization of our food supply will also create economic resilience if the cost of oil or food rises domestically then the cost of growing food locally will grow in value.
What would we gain by doing this? A more beautiful city, citizens from all over the West Pasco area working together in community, local entreprenuial people creating businesses running gardens and producing value added products providing for the community, Healthy fresh food that will encourage a drop in depression, diabetes, obesity and addictions.
Growing food is a powerful and revolutionary act. You are taking responsibility for what you put into your body and thus what will eventually become you. For to long our society has emphasised fast food and monoculture of ideas where there is a fast food joint on every cornor who's sole focus is on creating a fast buck. What if our society emphasised something more perennial- more permanent? Fresh food grown by our local citizens who care deeply about the community they live within and recycle their dollars back into the local community.
My positive vision for New Port Richey is that one day there is more fresh food then fast food. I hope we all can come together as a diverse many to see that one idea get moved out of just an idea and into Reality!
Some further ideas: How will we know we have this reality as true? We can gauge it by how many 16-year-olds know how to cook and know how to grow more then 5 vegetables. That should be our goal is to have 10% of them knowning this meaningful skill then bring that up to over 90% over the course of a few years. When my generation of millinieals begins to learn meaningful skills we will implement them throughout our lifetimes bringing about the change from fast food to fresh food!
Thank you all for those who help make the positive vision a reality!