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Friday, July 31, 2009

Love Community Garden makes the front page.

Love Community Garden makes the front page.

The Muskegon Chronicle has printed a feature story and a related story about our Love Community Garden. The story is nice and shows how a garden, church and neighbors can make something work.

-----link to cover------
And the related article

The headline for the under story should of read; “Love Garden a success in spite of County Health Dept.” How Jill Montgomery had the nerve to be quoted for the article and not Vicki Webster is beyond me.

For me the real story as I’ve blogged about in the past was that when Pastor Phillips, Morning and I when told we had up to $12,000 to spend on our garden; we rejected the amount as foolishly high and that we didn’t want or need that much. We originally settled for $1500 for the lumber and dirt. As Paul Harvey would say; “now for the rest of the story”.

The $12,000 has now shrunk to $8,000, why exactly is still a mystery. Meanwhile Pastor Phillips and Morning Bear, with and through the Health Department have managed to spend another $2500 or so leaving $4,000 roughly. We did have a well put in to cut down the cost to the church for the water they were supplying us. The well was around $1500. I busily stuck my head in the work and was a guilty party by omission.

This balance of $4000 will get eaten up I have a feeling shortly. Pastor is talking about rain gutters on the church to collect the water, using the very bestest of Politically Correctness; “to be eco-friendly”.

Funny thing the Health Dept. originally told us we could not use the well water we were using last year from across the street because it wasn’t drinkable. Now with the magic, nearly religious incantation of “Eco-Friendly” we not only can use our new Non-potable water from our well, but we can use water from the acid rain that gets to run over all the bird dropping on the roof and down through the gutters. I guess when push comes to shove the Health Dept. is more worried about “Eco-Friendly” than “Health Friendly”. If you know anything about grant writing, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why.

I started working and helping out last year before there was any talk of grant money. I did it to show that people are still capable of doing things on their own, even in the neighborhood where I live. I was happy to help Morning Bear out with what I could time and a little money wise. Government intervention isn’t mandatory. Gardening isn’t mandatory for anyone who wants to unless they don't want it bad enough to work for it. Then the whole Jill Montgomery grant writing, we’re going to save the world thing happened. I compromised and took the British Conservative model that said well if we are stuck with government programs, let’s make what we have more efficient. To make it more American I also said if we pare it down to the bare necessities, (the $1,500) then I could live with that.

It’s all understandable, the thing that isn’t is that I’m still volunteering my time and effort to help the Health Dept get rid of the rest of the money. I’m even putting my own money out there to buy stuff then doing the job of putting the stuff up for free. Hey I wasn’t born stupid but I seem to pick it up without trying. I’ll finish the electrical thing and hope I get my money back, then let the “Garden Entity” hire what it needs. I have a plot that is mine; I’ll call it good to keep care of that.

When asked who that White guy is, they’re told I’m a Republican. So the word for better or worse is getting out there; but to paraphrase what I hear from the politicians around my neighborhood, “I wish they looked more like me.” Now I’m going to have to start fighting for some, what Aretha would call “r e s p e c t”.

The one good thing is that people are enjoying gardening and learning about it. The food is getting to the people that need it. The Park and Rec kids had a good experience. The cost however is getting too high in my book; and the idea of self sufficiency and not government aid has been lost.

But ---- The seed has been planted.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative.

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