Summer of Solutions Worcester: It’s Artgarden Weather!

So there’s this giant community garden, right? And part of it is a huge plot filled with stalks of corn, but each ear is a can of spraypaint or a giant crayon or some sort of crazy crafty thing. The rest of the garden is full of regular plants, and there are people busily moving around, picking art and planting art and picking food and planting food. You look at it and you think to yourself “Wow, that’s some sort of amazing artgarden that spews fruit and beauty into the world. I want in on that!”

That’s how the SoS team envisions Worcester. It might not even be far from the truth. Worcester has quite a few hugely active community groups, whether they’re active in one neighborhood, the whole city, or throughout central Massachusetts. Last year, Summer of Solutions was one of those, working with gardens, spreading information on green job creation, and creating a Weatherization group that lives on to this day.

This summer, SoS 2010 is going to build on our old projects and pick up new ones. We will be continuing to partner with the existing Worcester groups interested in Community Gardening, we’ll expand our plots from last year, and we will create new plots and help foster communities of action around each of these gardens. We hope to work with the Regional Environmental Council – a group who does fantastic work within and around Worcester, especially with regards to community gardening – to make this set of projects run smoothly and integrate with extant projects.

Courageous climate-saving superheros?

Last Wednesday night, a group of about 15 Worcester Solutionaries sat around a community fire hosted by our local librarian, advisor, and spiritual teacher Rachael Shea, checking-in for the week after one of our delicious, abundant potlucks. Rachael and her fellow friend, shaman, and healer Dan Sprinkles, who was a special guest visiting us, posed the questions, “What motivates you to do this work for Summer of Solutions?” “What brings you together as a community in ways that seem so natural to you but yet take time and practice from so many others?” and “What gives you the courage to do what you’re doing?”, not necessarily expecting an answer, but just hoping to understand how and why we’re doing what we’re doing this summer. The last question struck me as particularly interesting and maybe misdirected because I did not consider what we were doing “courageous” per se; to me that sounded too gratifying or pedestal-deserving than what we were actually doing. After talking to Dan about it more and asking what he meant by that question, he told me that “courage” actually comes from root definitions meaning “action from the heart”. All of a sudden it made more sense to me, and I do see our work this summer as full of courage; not in a medal-deserving way, but in a way that we maybe don’t know exactly why we’re doing what we’re doing, but it feels right, important, and coming from a natural pull from our hearts to action.