Austin's Green Corn Project
When thinking about Austin’s Green Corn Project, the first word that comes to mind is inspired. After several visits to their website (greencornproject.org) and a couple of hours catching up with them in person at Boggy Creek Farm’s Fall Festival, it’s hard to come up with a different word to use to describe the movement. The folks at the Green Corn Project are in the business of inspiration, what they’re doing for our community is pretty special.
Being an all-volunteer organization with ten years of installing organic home vegetable gardens for low-income and disabled Austinites is just the tip of the iceberg for the Green Corn Project (GCP). It’s one thing to go into someone’s backyard, turn the soil, build a garden and go away, but the Green Corn Project surprises in the fact that they stick around afterwards. Volunteers check in on the gardens they created for four seasons (2 years), refurbishing the soil and planting new seeds. This relationship between GCP and the new gardener is where the roots for success in the garden begin.
With a coordinated effort and main goal of sustainability, the GCP succeeds in helping people feed themselves in ways that conserve natural resources, promote self-reliance, and strengthen local communities. When it’s all said and done, GCP helps those who would otherwise lack access to healthy, affordable food grow their own organic produce.
The folks at the Green Corn Project really do like getting their hands dirty. But it’s not just about digging with them, as GCP has helped publish a curriculum that teachers can use to supplement school gardening programs. They also hold informational sessions that include Seeds-to-Starts workshops, where participants learn about soil preparation and planting techniques.
On October 24th, the Green Corn Project held the 12th Annual Fall Festival at Boggy Creek Farm in East Austin. The event was a total success and will help fund a years worth of garden installations. The amount of enthusiasm and support from local chefs -- through both their food and collective attitude – was striking. Area restaurants provided small plates of food for attendees to sample, and highlights included the “BBQ” Beet Tartlets by Jeffrey’s, Tacos from Café Josie, Vanilla Gelato from Teo, and some very tasty “Southern Falafel” (made with black eyed peas) from Lake Austin Spa. Ultimately, the event reassures that delicious and organic local food is not just attainable in Austin, it’s prevalent.
The Green Corn Project is an organization that Austinites, in particular, can be proud of. Their efforts, in addition to enriching the soil in Austin gardens, are enriching the lives of everybody involved. The seeds they’re planting are, in essence, very small ideas that will someday grow into something much larger, and we’ll all harvest it together. May it be an idea of sustainability or one of community service, what the Green Corn Project is doing is nothing short of remarkable.
Written By: Aubrey Gill
For More Information Visit www.GreenCornProject.org