companion planting program: cultivating community growth between the housed and houseless

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Companion Planting Program: Cultivating Community Growth Between the Housed and Houseless


  • 1. H2H (Housed to Houseless) Companion Planting Program AVAIL FarmsCultivating Community Growth Between the Housed and Houseless
  • 2. Thank&You&for&! Farming&with&& &&the&& Houseless&& & AVAIL is a local n order to o alleviate n-profit corp th house le at w as e s s ne s s s O ne w a commu within th tablished in y t ha t A e Birmin through VAIL all nity. gha m Urban F eviates arming. ho f ood f or This pro uselessness is t he hou vides bo se l e ss c t h j obs a B e c a us ommun nd e y ou ha ity. only wil v e a gr e e l y ou r e d to wate r, a ceive e d join us in this v raise d b u enture, ox, soil, cational materi n will also be paire an d a se als, tool ot d with a lection o s, house le f s e e ds The ind ss indiv you ividual t idual. the cult ha t y ou ivating a are part nd labo nered w re sult o ring of t ith will s f y our c he crop hare in ombine and also d efforts t he Tha nk s .....PROD f or y our UCE!!! commitm helping e nt t o s to allevi e lf-suffi a t e hou c -AVAIL: sele ssn iency and Friends e ss! of t he H ouseles s ! &!
  • 3. Companion Planting Companion Planting is a form of organic gardening that has been practice for centuries. The idea behind this technique of gardening is that certain crops haveother crops that they grow better alongside of. There is symbiotic nature that some plants have when planted with such companions. The benefits of companiongardening include but are not limited to protection from pests, fungi, and bacteria, improved space to grow, richer soil, and protection from weather and physical elements. In a sense these companion crops assist each other in growing to theirfullest potential. As much as possible we strive to plant and garden in this manner.On a later page you will find a chart of plants that act as companions in each others growth. We at AVAIL believe that if the theory and method of companion planting is beneficial enough for our different crops, than it should be just as beneficial whenapplied to different communities. Thus, not only do we practice companion planting, but we also strive to practice companion living. This is the inspiration for our H2H farming program. It is our hope that just as our crops benefit from other companion crops thoseindividuals in both the housed and houseless communities would benefit from living in companionship with the other. For AVAIL not only do we live this out in our organizational day-to-day life, but specifically we are able to practice companion living in the neutral space of AVAIL Farms through the H2H farming program.If you will refer to the How to Interact and Give section, you will find examples of how to practice companion living with the houseless individual that you have been paired with.
  • 4. Farming with the Houseless As you know and are well aware of, when you agreed to cultivate a box for ayear you also agreed to interact and engage with an individual of the houselesscommunity. In striving to alleviate the season of houselessness for these individuals,we not only want to provide them with food and work, but even more so a space inwhich barriers, stereotypes and perspectives might be shifted. We desire for AVAILFarms to be a space of interaction in and amongst different communities. Bringingtogether these communities, in the West End of Birmingham, we believe that a shiftin Birmingham can occur and healing can truly begin within each community. Whileour main goal is to be effective in the houseless community we also seek to alleviatewhichever season all of us are in by creating community. As you interact with houseless individuals, those who live in the west end, andother individuals who are participating with AVAIL we hope that you enter into aseason of growth. A season of new friendships. A season of farming. For those of you who might not have previously interacted with the houselesscommunity, I guarantee you will be able to find several points of commonality.Regardless of why these individuals find themselves in a season of houselessness,they each deserve the opportunity of friendship, growth, and a space in which toreach their fullest potential and realize their worth. A large reason for houselessness is the lack of consistency or a negativeconsistency in ones life. Counteractively, we at AVAIL (and we ask you too) strive tobe a positive consistency in each individuals life. While there are realistic risks wheninteracting with the houseless community, we have been building relationships withthe men and women that will be involved for almost two years and hope that you findthem just as warm and inviting as we do. We know these individuals well and havepreapproved their involvement in this program. The individual you have been paired with has a story, we encourage you tolisten to, enter into it, and merge your stories. We promise that if you listenattentively and give these individuals a chance you might learn a thing or two. Thank you for your willingness to participate and support AVAIL through thisventure. We hope that this season might be fruitful for you as well! Hunter Davis and Austin Richardson Co-Founders of AVAIL: Friends of the Houseless
  • 5. How to Help and Interact with Houseless IndividualsHow to Interact: -While the only conversation you may have had with an individual who lives onthe streets is one that involves panhandling, the individual you will be paired up withis worth more than just your stereotypical thought and shrug. Attempt to interactand communicate with the individual that you have been paired with. While webelieve that you all are very capable of interacting with individuals from differentcommunities, you wouldnt believe how many people ask for assistance in this area.So below, we have listed different topics of conversation that should serve useful ingetting to know your farming companion. -Topics of Conversation* - Where are you from? Discuss their story. - Discuss possible family members, jobs, school, traveling, and military experience. - How long have you been houseless? - What does a typical day look like for you? - Of course the famous Auburn or Alabama question! Sports are usually a great convo piece. - How long have you known AVAIL (Hunter and Austin)? - What is the hardest part about being houseless? - What is the best way to help? *Use discretion on when to ask these questions. Some are too personal and will need to wait for further interaction. -The most important thing to remember is to be genuine