Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What is this if it’s not an organization?

There seems to be some thinking that this “Calgary Urban Agriculture” might form into a new organization. To be clear, the intent that Rachel and I had in calling the first meetup was to avoid that — there are already plenty of groups and organizations in the city.

From a recent discussion about this:
We are here as a space to link and network people and projects. We are focused on supporting projects, education and dialogue to foster the broad range of things that can make up urban agriculture.
If we have a ‘mandate’ it’s to get people connected on these issues. There is no formal membership, no central hub, no rules for participation, no one is ‘in’ or ‘out’. We just want to get the work done so that there can be a much healthier urban environment and greater food security for everyone.


  1. there is no monopoly on direction, sentiment or process. trying to control the evolution of a group so it remains within the confines of a strictly delineated path and vision is like growing broccoli in a beer bottle. the members are independent. creating a perception that the collection of participants is loosy goosy and not savvy to the challenges of modern food systems is a real disservice to those who look beyond the hobby component of urban ag.

  2. I think its ridiculous that there has to be friction over this. Having "Meetups" or forming "an organization" are not mutually exclusive. No one can start a formal organization without having gone through the capacity-building, networking, etc that comes with time and communication. We have technically just "met up" once. Gardens grow slowly, movements can grow at a incredible of speeds, but movements based on gardening probably come up the middle!
    cheers and solidarity

  3. I think what Grant is trying to address is the fact that neither he nor I intend to turn these Urban Agriculture Meetups into a specific group. We have no desire to control the members actions, and instead we encourage those who come to become involved in the existing scene, or to use these meetups as a platform to start their own projects. We would like to see these meetups continue as a means of connecting people and helping them to get involved.
    Peace and solidarity. yes please.