350 Garden Challenge: Halt Climate Change with Gardens

350 Challenge - Group Involvement.qxdAs the edible gardening craze continues, local nonprofits are taking advantage of the momentum to try to install 350 gardens in Sonoma County, California in one weekend (May 15-16). There are now 430 gardens signed up!  iGROW Sonoma is leading the effort with partnering organizations that include:

Daily Acts, GoLocal, Living Mandala, School Garden Network, Transition Sebastopol, Transition Cotati, Green Sangha, Sonoma Ecology Center, Petaluma Bounty, Farm to Pantry, Nuestra Voz, Unitarian Universalists of Petaluma, Laguna Foundation, Santa Rosa JC Sustainable Neighborhood Association, and the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy.

I have been helping to organize the effort and have also signed up the Bounty Farm plot to be a site, as I’m increasing production of food there and will be donating some to COTS homeless shelter in Petaluma. If you are looking for a fun way to build community, learn a lot, and get your hands in the soil, this might be the event for you. Contact me for more information at 707-238-5110.

Why 350?

Two years ago, after leading climatologists observed rapid ice melt in the Arctic and other frightening signs of climate change, they issued a series of studies showing that the planet faced both human and natural disaster if atmospheric concentrations of CO2 remained above 350 parts per million. The carbon emissions associated with the food we eat are substantial, so the connection between growing your own food and climate change is very real. What better way to fight global warming than to plant your own edible garden? Many kinds of gardens will be installed on this weekend including container gardens, raised beds, in-ground gardens, and permaculture gardens.  There will also be a special focus on mulching lawns, installing greywater and water catchment systems for water conservation, as pumping water accounts for 20% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions.

International nonprofit 350.org organized an event last October around 350 to raise awareness about this crucial number.  There were actions all over the world to demonstrate support for climate change policy to bring stabilize the planet at 350 parts per million.  Petalumans took it as an opportunity to save water and grow food by replacing 25,000 square feet of lawn with mulch, permaculture gardens, and raised beds, saving the city about $30,000 per year in water bills and $60,000 in labor costs by using volunteers.  While 350 gardens in one day may seem a little far fetched, so did the October event until we did it and were successful.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 at 11:04 am and is filed under Climate Change, Container Gardening, Greywater Systems, mulching, Permaculture, Raised Beds, Sustainable Local Food Systems, Water Catchment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.