Growing community, ability and food security!
A new kind of public facility where we socialize and learn while working together to provide food, community and enjoyment for all. Connected on-line and by mass transit, Our Heart Gardens (OH-G's) will create strong, multi-faceted cities with resilience that embrace All Our Relations, and Mother Earth.
To find out more: Contact us now!
Welcome to the Home page! On the other two pages of the website, The Elements and Contact Us, you will find the different bits involved the creation of Our Heart Gardens so far (nothing on the ground yet!), Comments, and a bio of the Originator, Shannon McArthur. You can also click over to the blog to see what's new!
The Concept and Four Families, Plus describe what is being proposed in two ways. When you've had a look, click over to the Contact Us page and tell us your answer to the question: How would access to an OH-G change your life?
Our Heart Gardens
First Peoples philosophies of abundance and respect are credited for their centuries of peace before colonization. Their experience can help us overcome the causes and effects of mainstream thinking. Living and striving only for oneself and one's family, in competition for a perceived shortage of resources, has resulted in hunger and poverty for multitudes, while the few with lots are disconnected from their communities. Illness and disease caused by lack of good food, health care, money, time or ability, drains the vitality of our civilization. And we can fix it, together...
Earth is going through changes, and Her changes require us to change. We need to protect our crops and grow them closer to us, but that's the least of the matter - mostly, we need to learn to live together and support each other so we don't lean so heavily on Our Mother. She's been given a hard go and deserves honour and respect!
The future is forming in which we can meet the intrinsic human needs of everyone for community, dignity and food security in in-door organic gardens in re-purposed buildings and malls in communities around the world. We can produce year-round fresh food, tended by people enjoying the company of others as they work together, surrounded by living walls of the plants that feed them. And while they work, they can be entertained and educated by a diversity of people, in person or connected online on big screens. Rather than money, meals, fresh produce to take home and/or bus tickets give value for value given. Mass transit linking Our Heart Gardens will have higher ridership, frequency, dependability and improved security. Creating a kaleidoscope of diversity; visiting OH-Gs will become a day-trip excursion, and a tourist attraction.
A special benefit of enclosing the smell of fertile earth within a building - not only enjoyable, it has medicine in it… 15 minutes breathing the rich smell of fertile earth can relieve symptoms of Anxiety and Clinical Depression all day. It's never the wrong medicine, has no adverse side-effects and no overdoses! We can all enjoy and benefit from it - drop in before you catch the bus and take the happy to work...
In large or small forms, Our Heart Gardens will allow a unique mix. Large OH-Gs will include some of the following, depending on needs, location and involvement:
- a large area surrounded by living walls where people gather to work, share and play
- large parking lot with many stalls converted to growing space with movable planters
- a food hub, kitchen(s) and restaurant(s)
- artisan studios, so students and mentors can find each other
- child, elder and challenged engagement
- government services access
- rehearsal space
- a Sweat Lodge, sauna, Red Tent/Moon Room, bathing facilities
- laundry and sewing room
- nurse and midwife consultations
- clinic space for scheduled visits by specialists and doctors (psychologist, podiatrist, nutritionist, etc.)
- alternative health practitioners and aestheticians whose free/cost-only services help those in need while they attract new clients, or to begin their practice before moving into their own businesses
- composting, soil mixing, and workshops
- exercise machines to convert our daily exercise into power (POP = Power of People!!)
- offices for planning and administration
Dedicated OH-Gs will be gardens, POP facilities, retail outlets for produce or products created in the Gardens, family baths and meeting places in Seniors’ Homes, clothing alterations or re-purposing, and composting facilities. This level also provides an opportunity for like-minded establishments to have an affiliation with the OH-Gs network.
Management, internal and external, is to be provided by an internal council elected and informed by Sharing Circles, another valuable part of First Peoples' culture that lets all participants be fully heard with consideration and respect. OH-Gs are places where we can form and learn a new culture and new ways of thinking and interacting, from an abundant point of view; we need to deeply experience and practice these new ways and learn to get along!
Connections broken by colonization and today's society can be rewoven with the help of elders and participants with the strength to be vulnerable and open while they share skills and resources, ritual, storytelling, ceremony, or simply talking and sharing a meal. Our Heart Gardens provide a place where believing, and acting from the belief, that love is the most powerful force in the universe can be honoured, savoured, and then spread throughout our society.
Designed to be open all day, every day, large OH-Gs will improve accessibility to help for the vulnerable and give shift-workers, insomniacs and people in recovery a good place to go. Elders can be part of things without being vulnerable. New moms who need child-care and people who are hungry or homeless or need a bath can get what they need, as would the lost and the lonely. Bread-winners come to exercise, eat a meal and share some time with others before going home to, or with, their families. Our Heart Gardens is a place to hear the wisdom of our Elders, and to allow the joy of children to infect all our lives. I look forward to saying, "I'll meet you at the OH-G!"