An Open Letter of Thanks
From Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project
Building Resilience: Building Community Power
@ Tassafaronga Community Garden & Youth Urban Farm 12/3/11
There are times, when I feel that the job is too big, our goals are too lofty, Kelly, your vision is too broad. Uncertainty plagues me, keeps me awake at nights. My friend and one of ANV's Advisory Board Member cautions " Don't become a victim of your passion." For me, this work is visceral. I think: No one else can possibly understand what this work means to me.
And then December 3rd, 2011 happened.
Through the hard work of Nile Malloy of Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) and the organizations he brought together, (he will say "Helped" bring together but from where I stand he was the linchpin) a massive, powerful force descended upon Tassafaronga Community Garden and Youth Urban Farm this past Saturday. In solidarity with the people fighting climate change in Durban South Africa, a huge number of amazing individuals and organizations gathered to assist us in completing the build out of our farm.
Ten new raised beds were sheet mulched, built and filled with compost by children as young as 3 and elders as advanced as... well, they were elders. It was truly a sight to behold! All of these people came out in high spirits and a sense of community to help us! You all have Acta Non Verba's utmost thanks, appreciations and gratitude's.
I don't know all of the names of the organizations and individuals who helped put this together and came out, but I know I want to give the youth and adults of the East Oakland community that came out a huge thank you! CBE Northern California deserves "big ups" as well as Movement Generation, Bay Localize, the Castlemont Green Pioneers, the California Food and Justice Coalition (Click the group photo above to see the fantastic slide show they made of the day) and of course International Development Exchange, who inspired us with their blog and photos from Durban, South Africa.
You all are the embodiment of community.
We welcome any and all of you to come to our farm anytime for a break from the hub-bub or to get your hands dirty and see (again) the result of a days work well done.
We would also like to thank the following companies for supporting our community efforts as well, Waste Management San Leandro for their beyond generous donation of EarthCare Homegrown Compost; Longview Fibre for donating the cardboard we used for sheet mulching; Economy Lumber High Street for the deep discounts they continuously provide our project. Peter Collier of the City Of Oakland Parks and Recreation Community Garden Program for obtaining the mulch we need for between the beds and hooking us up with Longview Fibre! Thank you all so much for your generous donations of materials, we couldn't't have done the work without it!
To finish my prose, during that event, my nerves were soothed, my anxieties quelled and my fears quieted. This was meant to happen. I think of Tassafaronga Community Garden & Youth Urban Farm as a place for fellowship, peace and camaraderie. A Bastion of Civility in an often uncivil world. You all made that happen and deserve praise and thanks.
Kelly D. Carlisle
Founder/ Executive Director
Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project