RESTORATIVE ECONOMICS: FLOWER HOUSE DETROIT + DETROIT BLACK FARMER LAND FUND
Having just completed Black History Month and just entered Women’s History Month, today - International Women's Day seemed like the perfect - floral and restoration - tale to share forward.
This is the story of that time when Flower House Detroit decided its next chapter was in the embrace of the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund, where it would grow up into a Children’s Sensory Garden for the community.
Lisa Waud is a collaborative, large scale floral and installation artist who likes to invite people in to enjoy flowers, and from there into conversation about the world, she was the artist behind the 2015 Flower House Detroit – a floral phenomena in downtown Detroit. Erin Preston-Johnson Bevel is an unschooling mom, a full-time lecturer at Howard University, and a “recovering lawyer” putting her legal experience to work advocating within her Detroit community. She serves on the board of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, which came together with two other longstanding food advocacy groups - Keep Growing Detroit and Oakland Avenue Urban Farm - to create the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund.
The DBFLF was co-founded by Erin, Jerry Hebron, Tepfirah Russian, and Dr. Shakara Tyler; the Fund officially launched on Juneteenth 2020.
Both Lisa and Erin are advocates and voices for community, integrity, and a healthy regrowing and interweaving of community and land, of growing thoughtfully and intergenerationally into our collective futures. Enjoy. Photos Courtesy of Flower House Detroit and Detroit Black Farmer Fund:
Please follow the work of Erin Preston-Johnson Bevel and the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund online at www.detroitblackfarmer.com/ and on Instagram at: @detroitblackfarmerlandfund/
Please follow the work of Lisa Waud online at www.lisawaud.com/ and on Instagram at: @lisawaudbotanicalartist/ .
The Flower House Detroit Instagram feed is now dedicated to uplifting and showcasing the work of Black floral folk. Check it out: @flowerhousedetroit/
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JOIN US again next week, when we head to Denver Colorado where we are in conversation with Areti Athanasopoulus, a landscape architect working with the International Rescue Committee and Denver Urban Gardens to ccreate a Denver base for the IRC’s New Roots program, which since 2008 has allowed international refugees spaces to garden, to become food secure and to root successfully in their new homes and communities. Listen in!
Cultivating Place is made possible in part by listeners like you and by generous support from the California Native Plant Society, on a mission to save California’s native plants and places using both head and heart. CNPS brings together science, education, conservation, and gardening to power the native plant movement. California is a biodiversity hotspot and CNPS is working to save the plants that make it so.
For more information on their programs and membership, please visit https://www.cnps.org/
For more information on SAGING THE WORLD: cnps.org/conservation/white-sage
Thinking out loud this week:
As we finish up Black History Month and head into Women’s history month, I am reminded of the importance of celebrating people and endeavors we believe in wherever and whenever we can.
Early in the conversation, I was moved by Lisa’s recognition of the importance of identifying when we need help, and asking for it, and of the truly transformative nature and narrative of any work of art or creation or heart when it moves from being MINE to being OURs. The load is so much lighter, the gifts so much more satisfying when shared. This is true on so many levels in our garden lives is it not? How we – working in collaboration with water and sunshine, with snow and wind, with night and day, with birds, pollinators, predators, with soil structure and life, with water and one another to help steward food, flowers, and habitat.
The other thing that struck me in this conversation with Erin and Lisa was the concept of invitation As Lisa was not invited to the Floral thing in Paris, but then turned her creative force and energy to work on a Floral Thing in Detroit and made sure to invite anyone and everyone she could think of to take part, to drop by. And when they came, she went on to say: "Hey let's talk about something...."
It makes me think about and question – what are or aren’t we as gardeners invited to? Invited to do? Who or what are we and aren’t we inviting into our gardens and garden lives? What solutions to what challenges in our individual and collective lives are we inviting our gardening to be part of? I think these are worthwhile meditations my garden friends. I really do.
We can't don't and don't want to do this life garden growing life alone – we are always receiving help and cycling it back out into the universe.
Keep growing friends.
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