If we want to be a community ready for transformative change, we can begin making it happen by listening to what people actually need, and then responding.
Sonoma County–based Daily Acts and The Botanical Bus: Bilingual Mobile Herb Clinic are doing just that. They have distributed over 1,000 garden kits in the past weeks to Latinx community members experiencing food insecurity in Sonoma County.
“Mother Earth feeds us with her fruits and vegetables and heals us with her plants,” says Maria de Lourdes Pérez Centurión, Promatora with The Botanical Bus. “It is impossible to live without them.”
Partnering with Graton Day Labor Center, La Luz Center and CAP Sonoma at their existing resource distribution sites, The Botanical Bus, Daily Acts and the United Farm Workers delivered the garden kits with essentials for growing food anywhere. Kits include potting soil from West Marin Compost and Grab N’ Grow Soil Products; seeds from Mercy Wellness and Sonoma County Climate Activist Network; plant starts of various edible and medicinal plants culturally relevant to the Latinx community from Shone Farm, Petaluma Bounty, The California School of Herbal Studies and Occidental Arts & Ecology; GeoPot Fabric Pot planters from Left Coast Wholesale, medicinal teas from Traditional Medicinals and Tadin and a packet of bilingual educational gardening resources. Starts include organic corn, tomatoes, tomatillos, chile, squash and medicinal herbs.
Additionally, the organizations are coordinating with Santa Rosa Garden company Avalow to build, fill and plant two raised beds for community gardening at La Plaza, a Latinx Cultural and Wellness Center in Santa Rosa.
“We believe the Covid-19 gardening movement is rooted in a deep human instinct to nourish ourselves through connecting to earth,” Joceyln Boreta, co-founder of The Botanical Bus, says. “As we touch soil, tend plants and grow food we reclaim our power to nourish ourselves and our communities.”
The distributions are part of Daily Acts’ Be the Change campaign in which citizens take personal action to build community resilience. At Daily Acts’ website, people can pledge their actions to Grow a Garden, Practice Self-Care, Save Resources and/or Build Community. Daily Acts offers instructive resources, video content and webinars to support these actions. Along with partners from Petaluma, Cotati and Windsor, Daily Acts tracks the overall impact from this campaign, with a goal of 5,000 actions pledged to demonstrate that our community is ready for transformative change and is making it happen.To pledge your actions, visit https://dailyacts.org/bethechange. To fund a garden kit for a community member, visit: https://thebotanicalbus.org.