Something to lift your spirits

We recently finished rebuilding the Verdese Carter Community Garden in Oakland, CA, and are now working with community groups to maintain and eat from it. All across the country, there are people doing this, and one of those organizations, Appetite for Change in Minneapolis, recently released this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqgU3co4vcI&feature=player_embedded

I hope to see Oakland’s response in 2017!

Mourning my America

I have felt numb, too shocked to speak since watching last night’s election results unfold. Many of you are like me, stranded in a period of mourning, shaken from the loss of what we thought America was. I thought today’s United States of America would choose progress, not bigotry, and seeing that idea of the US die has left me with shock and grief. I encourage all of you to take as much time as you need, to treat this like a real mourning period and to honor your grief, because when you emerge from it, there is a lot of work to be done.

We had hoped that we would get an elected official who would protect our environment for us, who would push social change for us, who would protect women’s rights for us. This is not going to be the case. This is not the end of the struggle though, it just means that our job is much harder.

We will have to change our strategies to include more direct action. We will have to put our money where our heart is, and vote with our dollar for the kind of products/means of production/ethics that we believe in. We will have to engage the half of Americans that actually like what Trump stands for, and we will have to invoke our compassion and educate them.

Things have just gotten much more difficult, but we who care about the earth, religious freedom, women’s health and equal rights for all of mankind CANNOT AFFORD TO GIVE UP. We must work even harder, be more effective activists because we have no other options.

To close, we of Compass Green want to give unequivocal assurance of the following:

African Americans, we stand with you.

Latinos, we stand with you.

LGBTQ community, we stand with you.

Muslims, we stand with you.

Women, we stand with you.

Refugees, we stand with you.

Immigrants, we stand with you.

First Nations, we stand with you.

Minorities, we stand with you.

Mother Earth, we stand with you.

This list goes on and on, and so does our commitment to fight injustice, plant hope, and grow a healthy future.

When your period of grieving is over, come meet us on the front lines.

Sincerely,

Justin Cutter

Director of Compass Greensunrise-in-iowa

Oakland Community Gardens on the rise!

For last few months Compass Green has been actively working with the City of Oakland to revamp their community gardens program. We’ve been focusing on Verdese Carter garden in east Oakland, but have also been working on the Lake Merritt and Golden Gate community gardens. Right now we’re just rebuilding so that the gardens can be put to use, but soon we will be putting our attention on getting local schools and community groups involved in the gardens.

Contact Oakland community gardens at (510) 238-2197 to find out about getting your own garden plot!img_20160917_1148336711 img_20161026_0931476211 img_20160913_0937588821

Spring Is Here And CG Is Rolling Out!

but we’re not rolling far… For the first time since we started in Brooklyn 5 years ago, Compass Green is doing a hometown tour! Over the last 5 years we’ve been all over the country, nominally calling Iowa home, but now we are officially establishing our home base in Oakland California, and to fix our roots here properly (you know I love the garden metaphors) this spring we are going to be teaching in Oakland schools, working with the City of Oakland, and connecting with other like-minded local folks in order to reach those who are not like-minded at all.

Wonder what we’ve planted? Well we’re planting similar to what we had on that first tour on the east coast, a healthy bunch of brassicas and salad greens, lots of diverse basil varieties, hot peppers, and instead of amaranth for our compost crop, we’re growing south eastern Iowa’s very own Chief Appanoose heirloom popcorn, so that we don’t completely forget where we come from.

If you haven’t yet planted, it’s not (completely) too late! Get those greens in the ground, and if you haven’t tried it before, Biointensive farming will increase your yields sustainably! Check out this informative (polite term) YouTube series to learn how it’s done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPeAvYrfKkUIMG_20160406_113009319 IMG_20160411_100831475 IMG_20160411_100854177 IMG_20160412_165653023 IMG_20160413_164644331 IMG_20160404_135008350 IMG_20160406_103902146

Happy Earth Month,

Justin