Co-op Gardens Commission - 2020 COVID19 Response - Sign-up Form
PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW IF YOU:

HAVE RESOURCES TO HELP PEOPLE GROW FOOD
or
NEED RESOURCES TO START GROWING FOOD.

THANK YOU!

[UPDATE, 3/23/20: Since initiating this effort on March 18th, 2020, hundreds of people and organizations have begun organizing together to build a movement around this idea, and we are incredibly grateful for their participation because the response has been absolutely overwhelming. In less than a week, over 1,000 people have filled out this form, we've officially changed our name from "Corona Victory Gardens" to the "Cooperative Gardens Commission", and over 400 amazing volunteer organizers have come together. Mainly working from behind computer screens in our self-quarantines, we have formed 14 working groups — Tech/Logistics, Outreach, Education, Fundraising, Media Relations, Policy, Work & Livelihoods, etc. — to build this into a broad-based, inclusive, and lasting movement. You will hear from us soon about joining our efforts — and about how to find resources for growing food and how to share resources within your community .]

As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc around the world, economies are tanking, supply chains are being disrupted, and shortages of critical supplies and food items are already commonplace. Given the likelihood of skilled farmworker shortages due to restrictions at the US-Mexico border, along with the possibility of farmers and truck drivers and other key people in the supply chain choosing to stay home during this pandemic, further shocks to the food system over the coming months are now a distinct possibility. Many believe they are inevitable, and that fear has fueled a rush to buy seeds from companies and non-profits like ours.

In response to this crisis, Experimental Farm Network (EFN) is urging all people who can to establish "Cooperative Gardens" to grow as much food this year as they possibly can. We hope this effort will help people across the country (and potentially in other countries as well) to provide themselves and their communities with healthy fresh food, reduce our reliance on the faltering industrial food system (which is terrible for the environment and human health even when fully functioning), and make it easier for folks to stay in their communities and avoid further transmission of the virus.

We hope people in cities will take over defunct community gardens and vacant lots and fill them with life once more. We hope people in towns and suburbs who normally work hard to keep their lawns green will instead rip up grass and plant vegetable gardens. And we hope rural farmers who normally grow big fields of commodity crops — folks who know how to farm and have a great capacity to produce lots of food — will set aside at least a portion of their land and labor to grow fruits and vegetables for their neighbors and for those in need in nearby communities (especially in cities, where people are likely to suffer greatly in the event of major supply chain disruptions).

This is a time for social solidarity on a scale not seen since wartime — though such solidarity would inarguably be welcome in peacetime too, given how many people already lack food sovereignty, particularly in historically oppressed communities. During World War I, a National War Garden Commission was established by concerned individuals outside of government before the US even entered the war. Girl Scouts tended a quarter-acre garden in Boston Common. The Army's Camp Dix here in New Jersey hosted a 400-acre "war garden" tended by soldiers (with 140 acres of potatoes alone). Schools and Universities grew food on their campuses. And people of all ages came to consider gardening to be their civic duty. We must do the same today.

Please fill out this survey if you have food production resources to share (seeds, tools, land, volunteer labor, soil/compost, tillage equipment, knowledge, etc), or are interested in starting a farm or garden in your community, particularly if you don't have access to all of the resources you need. We are working around the clock with a growing coalition of individuals and organizations able to help and will do our best to match those in need with those who have (likely through a different platform than this one, which we will ask you to migrate over to at some point very soon). If you would like to donate funds to support our organizing efforts, please visit www.ExperimentalFarmNetwork.org and click the "Donate" button at the bottom of the page.

In these deeply uncertain times, one thing is certain: we can only get through this together.

Let's get growing!

Nate Kleinman
Expermental Farm Network
Co-founder/Co-director
Philadelphia, PA

FOR ORGANIZERS AND INSTITUTIONS: If you'd like to join the team coordinating this effort, we are holding bi-weekly conference calls on Mondays at 8pm EST/5pm PST and Thursdays at 4pm EST/5pm PST. You must register for the call at the link below, but you will only need a phone to actually join the call once you've registered. Please do not share your unique call-in number and PIN which enable us to have productive, interactive, participatory meetings even when people show up in the hundreds, as happened during our first two calls. Please only share this link and ask your friends to register themselves so they can participate fully and stay in touch with us:

https://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/WRBVQV8OURPMFVCE

Current Working Groups:

1. Tech/Logistics: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/cg-techlogistics-working-group
2. Outreach: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/cg-outreach-working-group
3. Media Relations: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/cg-media-relations-working-group
4. Design/Messaging: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/cg-designmessaging-working-group
5. Education: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/cg-education-working-group
6. Fundraising: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/cg-fundraising-working-group
7. Herbalism: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/cg-herbalism-working-group
8. Policy: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/cg-policy-working-group
9. Seed Distribution: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/cg-seed-distro-working-group
10. Work & Livelihoods: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/cg-work--livelihoods-working-group
11. Accessibility/Inclusion: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/cg-accessibility--inclusion-working-group
12. Health & Safety: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/cg-health--safety-working-group
13. Facilitation/Admin: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/cg-facilitationadmin-working-group

For assistance, please email nathankleinman@gmail.com
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Name *
Organizational Affiliation (& Role), if any
Email *
Location (at least Town, State/Province) *
Postal Code *
Your USDA Zone (if you know it) *
Phone number
Do you have a garden or farm already?
Clear selection
Do you have experience gardening or farming?
Clear selection
Do you produce a surplus of food already? If yes, please explain what you do with it in "Other" field.
Do you need help to create a Cooperative Garden in your community?
Clear selection
What kind of resources do you need? (Please only check those you cannot afford yourself)
What resources do you have to offer?
How much ground do you plan to put into food production?
Clear selection
Are you interested in helping to coordinate this effort? (If yes, please provide brief information on experience, skillset, and any other relevant information in "Other")
Anything else we should know?
Comments or Questions?
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