Case Study / Research day 1

This is the start of a book report. It is similar to the reports we all had to do in elementary school. This report is an over-winter case study / research experiment manifest in blog format. I am going to read a couple of books about gardening, with the intention of learning and bringing something back to the table as OTR Homegrown prepares for the 2011 growing season. This is a busy winter for the group in that we have a lot of planning to do. We need to work out our business plans, decide upon our crop lists, draw up our crop location plans, design and build several much needed structures for our site, develop a marketing plan, and many other plans. As we go through this process, we are going to post as often as possible.

Start – Tuesday November 30th 2010
Books from the Cincinnati Public Library

Two selected books for further study

“Garden Anywhere” by Alys Fowler
“Guerrilla Gardening: a Manualfesto” by David Tracey

Initial reaction to Garden Anywhere

Fowler, Alys. "Garden Anywhere"

Fowler’s book is beautiful, it has a large percentage of huge color photos as compared to text. The photos initially stirred up memories of the OTR Homegrown plots on Pleasant Street as they depict gardens which are sandwiched in-between century old brick buildings with scrap wood and recycled benches transforming a bit of land into an oasis within the city. I am a visual person therefore these photos decided for me that I need to check out this book.
Quick browsing has shown many inspirational words which speak to gardening as well as to the state that my life is in now. A couple key statements from the intro entitled “The Slow Track” speak to the notion that, “Once I stopped separating my work from my identity, it all fell into place…. Slow gardening, like slow food, is taking time to savor. It’s the process not the sudden transformation, that matters.” (6, Fowler) In a society such as ours, controlled by the idea of instant gratification, which I know I seek, these words are something to be taken to heart. As anyone who has followed OTR Homegrown knows, we have stumbled at times into the trap of yearning for instant gratification. We had two, first years. One occurred at our Walnut Street site, while the other is at the two Pleasant Street sites. Both years we expected everything to be perfect right away. Little by little we are learning from our mistakes. It is only now as we prepare for year three, that we are learning not to bite off more than we can chew. We are learning to savor each and every nibble.

Quentin Koopman – 11 30 10

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