What Is The Eden Project?

AppleEcho Eden has teamed up with community partners San Diego Loves Green, Live Fit Films, Regenerative Homes and The Heartland Coalition to spearhead a community garden movement.

We are launching our first phase of The Eden Project, a Food Forest, an artistically design showcase to provide wholesome nutritious food for the San Diego community. We are modeling this on a food forest created by the City of Seattle on seven acres.

Please read our press release for more details and to learn how you can participate.

Here is the full description of the entire Eden Project of San Diego:

The Eden Project is an initiative to support local communities in creating community gardens. All Eden Gardens will sustainably produce safe natural food and ensure a reliable local supply, as well as produce community benefits such as job development.

First of all, each Eden Garden is set up as a democratic workers cooperative. This model is defined by democratic self-regulation, equal access to work membership, and community focus:

Free and voluntary membership in each Eden Garden cooperative encourages people in that neighborhood to join and contribute their personal work and economic resources to growing organic produce and the success of their community food network enterprise.
Members do the work of establishing, tending and operating their Eden Garden; as a general practice, most workers in each Eden Garden are members, and vice versa.
The relationship of worker-members with their Eden Garden cooperative is different from conventional wage-based labor or individual work.
Internal regulation of each Eden Garden cooperative’s management and work processes is through democratic agreement and formal acceptance by the worker-members.
Each Eden Garden cooperative has autonomous and independent status before the State and third parties, in their labor relations and management, and in their usage and management of their means of production.
Objectives of each Eden Garden cooperative are to create and maintain local green jobs, share and improve members’ work skills as well as quality of life, dignify human work, allow workers democratic self-management, generate wealth through food cost savings and distribution, and promote community-based health and sustainability networks.

A key mission of every Eden Garden is to enable community-based access and control of fresh, organic, healthy food, the cornerstone of life. Proliferation of GMO foods, and global warming increasing droughts and water shortages, make it imperative that our communities have robust local networks of natural food production, so neighborhoods can be interdependently sustainable while minimizing toxins, carbon emissions from long-distance transport of food, and water use.

Community gardens have been shown to be a natural driver of increasing economic development within a neighborhood. Each creates a hub of beauty and activity that brings neighbors together. This attractive connection has domino effects, spreading a sense of pride and real improvements. Local businesses begin to spring up around them and properties start transforming in response to a thriving community base. Community engagement has lasting personal and tangible benefits.

Engagement with Eden Gardens will directly benefit two historically underserved populations within our communities: U.S. Veterans and the homeless. Following the example of Archie’s Farm in Oceanside, CA, all Eden Gardens offer returning veterans a sanctuary to heal from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), by working with life and growth after the death and destruction of war. At the same time, they will be engaged in a skill-sharing cooperative that gives them valuable skills in permaculture and organic gardening. This also applies for the homeless: they will be offered a place where they can once again engage with the community, gain a renewed sense of dignity, and have an opportunity to make a living and afford a home off the streets.

The Eden Garden Project is about “returning to community” with neighbors working together to bring healthy, fresh, locally produced organic food into the regional food system; a robust source of economic development; enabling Veterans and the homeless to engage with meaning in the community; and a renewed way of living for citizens that is holistic, healthy and connected.

California Governor Jerry Brown’s recent Cottage Industry Bill lifted bureaucratic red tape, permitting individuals to make pastries and other food goods and sell to the market without licensing and commercial kitchen requirements. Eden Gardens can be hubs for selling these goods, as well as a place for the community to buy fresh juices, smoothies and teas, along with the day’s best vegetables and fruits of each garden. The produce from each Eden Gardens can be sold to local restaurants, school districts and at farmer’s markets, too –all providing resources for a cooperative to fund needed programs in their community: arts and music, libraries, additional teachers to reduce class sizes, or a myriad of options they are mutually empowered to support.

Excess food from the Eden Gardens will be distributed to food banks, so the broader community can feed those in the community that are hungry. A city in Brazil, Belo Horizonte (with a population comparable to San Diego) has eradicated hunger in their entire city with a community garden and food network program. Their greatest lesson is: that it is easy to end hunger if we trust our hard-wired fellow feeling and act, no longer as mere voters or protesters, for or against government, but as problem-solving partners with government accountable to us. Here is their story, which we can repeat with our Eden Gardens: http://www.dailygood.org/view.php?sid=351&fb_action_ids=10200294628272987&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=246965925417366

Eden Gardens beautification of entire neighborhoods, both urban and suburban, will uplift us through unique and artistic designs that intentionally create community gardens for all to enjoy. Gardens and their latest format, growing green walls, are worldwide tourist attractions. Places of joy, they are popular hubs for the community to connect with each other and nature.

Proceeds from San Diego’s Eden Festival will go to providing experts, materials, seeds, trees and seed funding to start more community gardens. The larger fundraising initiative organized by Echo Eden through the worldwide Earth Day broadcast on April 20, 2013 will create a Global Eden Project fund that will be administered under the Uncom.com nonprofit umbrella and will serve to provide funding and support for community gardens and related holistic programs throughout the world. We intend to create a community garden revolution, and put the power of the food supply back into local communities’ hands.

Excellent Resource: Ted Talk http://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerilla_gardener_in_south_central_la.html

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