Sustainable Tarpon Springs - Growing Gratitude

An invitation to be part of a ‘Conversation and Action Network’ of friendly folks with a vision to see a ‘greener’ and more Sustainable Tarpon Springs.

I have a personal Facebook page (which isn’t unusual for people of all ages anymore, although it initially appealed to Generation X who had been well-versed in ‘social networking through LiveJournal, myspace, and other avenues of artificial connection before the rest of us opted in.)  Facebook is definitely a convenient way to instantly reach out to a majority of one’s friends - sharing news, views, pictures, and even ‘tweetable moments’ throughout the day.  I seem to have more opinions than ‘friends’ (which probably follows a logical inverse connection), but even if I indulge the luxury of my own ‘consciousness soapbox’ - I try to share items I consider most edifying to ALL of my contacts with the hope of inspiring collective change.


This month several people, including my daughter, have taken on the challenge of ’30 Days of Thanks’ and have daily been posting thoughts on Facebook about everything from simple pleasures to major sources of gratitude.  Good energy is such a contagious experience that, even though I’m not formally participating, I get a vicarious ‘shot in the arm’ when I read what makes someone else feel grateful.  I’m grateful we have one another on this teeter-totter of life because when I’m ‘down’, I hear from people who are ‘up’ - and we all balance one another out in the end.  Hopefully, as we live and learn in the ‘human drama’, the lows become more manageable, and the highs, more sustainable!


In that spirit, I am infinitely grateful for people I meet in the ‘local growers circles’ of North Pinellas and South Pasco counties, people who are deeply inspired, maybe even ‘guided’ into a new realm of the nature experience - turning lawns into FOOD.  Who could ask for a more practical endeavor in these times where we constantly are hammered by the media with talk about shortages and ‘gloom and doom’ thereafter?  


Growing food, no matter where you live, is a sign of hope for the future.  Even if stories of Johnny Appleseed have expanded into ‘tall tales’ over time, perhaps we know this is heroic behavior we should all aspire to.  Growing food wherever there is space and sunshine is the beginning of Paradise!  Imagine a community where fruit trees are planted in all public easement strips for anyone to pick from and eat!  This is a happy, healthy, holistic community ideal for all of us to embrace.


Tarpon Springs is a community that loves and values trees enough to protect them from being randomly chopped down - even on private property.  So, perhaps in the spirit of Johnny Appleseed, we should think of the possibilities within our community, find an empty space to nurture and plant a fruit or moringa tree!  The concept of ‘guerrilla gardening’ has really taken root in cities all over the world, with the intention to grow as much food as close to humans as possible.  All landscape should be edible landscape!  The concept of lawns and ornamental gardens has expired!


Before we cultivate guerrilla gardens, or work in our personal gardens, the best recipe for success is to ‘grow gratitude’ within ourselves!  The energy with which we DO our work on this Earth determines everything!  In that spirit, I’m grateful for YOU, whoever you are, reading this heartfelt blog - and I hope that in ‘growing gratitude’ individually our paths will eventually merge!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Denise Mannino November 14, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Until we get organized and determine maybe a monthly meeting is sufficient, plan on the 2nd and 4th Mondays. Thanks for joining us!
Adelle M Blackman November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM
I may be interested in your group, although Mondays are bad for me, especially the 2nd Mon. I love the idea of raising something but I would need help as my back yard is unfinished as of now, due to an injury I had over 4 years ago and have never recovered. Little by little I have been trying to build up my yard first and I need pavers put in, on one side of my pool to my faucet as it is too hard for walking over there. I have bananas that every year I have a crop. But this year due to the cold I only have one, and not my usual 3. Also I have given some away. I have lots of plants to share for help in my yard. I live at the top of the Tarpon Springs area. I have long been a xeriscape person, hence my e-mail...xeriscapelady @ tampabay.rr.com. I redid and got rid of ALL the high maintainance grass years ago before my accident. I save on water, fertilizer, run off and all that gas and time wasting to maintain a yard. I sweep my gutters and hand water when necessary. But I do want some food. I bought a tomato hanger and a strawberry hanger, but can't put them up myself. Please someone come help me with getting this all finished and you will be rewarded with plants, etc. I have such a green thumb I look like a plant hoarder and yet have gotten homes for hundreds of plants already. I so miss being able to bend and dig , and cut, etc... My yard is a passion I can't now do what I dream. My past yard in Clearwater was perfect & all done. When I moved here I started over.
Denise Mannino November 14, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Thanks for your response, Adelle! Maybe you can come to Loretta's this Friday night for the Time Bank / Permie Mash-up event. If you can't make it to the Monday night meet-up, it's not necessary. The concept of the Time Bank could be very helpful, as it is all about trading what each of us is able to volunteer. We just moved here in August, so we're just getting our layers of mulch, clean goat manure, and compost going right now too. We have a big blank slate, so it sounds like you are further ahead than us, in spite of your set back. There is also a great opportunity to meet Suncoast Co-op members every Saturday morning at Habitat for Humanity in New Port Richey, or at the Tarpon Sunday Market from 10-3 on Sundays. I will be at this Friday's event, and at the Tarpon Sunday Market - (playing music from 10-11, so you can find me!) - and we can meet to see how you can get some assistance with your project too! The key to this whole process of networking and supporting each other in our urban farming process is patience! Thanks for making contact through the blog. I look forward to meeting you face to face!
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Loretta Buckner November 15, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Hello Adelle--I second Denise's reply(!)--the time bank would be the perfect way for you to get some help, and the markets are another great way to meet other 'like-minded' locals! If you;d like the address for the 'mashup' please email me: lolayoga3@gmail.com ;^)


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