Companion Planting Program: Cultivating Community Growth Between the Housed and Houseless
H2H (Housed to Houseless) Companion Planting Program AVAIL FarmsCultivating Community Growth Between the Housed and Houseless
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Companion Planting Companion Planting is a form of organic gardening that has been practice for centuries. The idea behind this technique of gardening is that certain crops haveother crops that they grow better alongside of. There is symbiotic nature that some plants have when planted with such companions. The benefits of companiongardening include but are not limited to protection from pests, fungi, and bacteria, improved space to grow, richer soil, and protection from weather and physical elements. In a sense these companion crops assist each other in growing to theirfullest potential. As much as possible we strive to plant and garden in this manner.On a later page you will find a chart of plants that act as companions in each other’s growth. We at AVAIL believe that if the theory and method of companion planting is beneficial enough for our different crops, than it should be just as beneficial whenapplied to different communities. Thus, not only do we practice companion planting, but we also strive to practice companion living. This is the inspiration for our H2H farming program. It is our hope that just as our crops benefit from other companion crops thoseindividuals in both the housed and houseless communities would benefit from living in companionship with the other. For AVAIL not only do we live this out in our organizational day-to-day life, but specifically we are able to practice companion living in the neutral space of AVAIL Farms through the H2H farming program.If you will refer to the “How to Interact and Give” section, you will find examples of how to practice companion living with the houseless individual that you have been paired with.
Farming with the Houseless As you know and are well aware of, when you agreed to cultivate a box for ayear you also agreed to interact and engage with an individual of the houselesscommunity. In striving to alleviate the season of houselessness for these individuals,we not only want to provide them with food and work, but even more so a space inwhich barriers, stereotypes and perspectives might be shifted. We desire for AVAILFarms to be a space of interaction in and amongst different communities. Bringingtogether these communities, in the West End of Birmingham, we believe that a shiftin Birmingham can occur and healing can truly begin within each community. Whileour main goal is to be effective in the houseless community we also seek to alleviatewhichever season all of us are in by creating community. As you interact with houseless individuals, those who live in the west end, andother individuals who are participating with AVAIL we hope that you enter into aseason of growth. A season of new friendships. A season of farming. For those of you who might not have previously interacted with the houselesscommunity, I guarantee you will be able to find several points of commonality.Regardless of why these individuals find themselves in a season of houselessness,they each deserve the opportunity of friendship, growth, and a space in which toreach their fullest potential and realize their worth. A large reason for houselessness is the lack of consistency or a negativeconsistency in one’s life. Counteractively, we at AVAIL (and we ask you too) strive tobe a positive consistency in each individual’s life. While there are realistic risks wheninteracting with the houseless community, we have been building relationships withthe men and women that will be involved for almost two years and hope that you findthem just as warm and inviting as we do. We know these individuals well and havepreapproved their involvement in this program. The individual you have been paired with has a story, we encourage you tolisten to, enter into it, and merge your stories. We promise that if you listenattentively and give these individuals a chance you might learn a thing or two. Thank you for your willingness to participate and support AVAIL through thisventure. We hope that this season might be fruitful for you as well! Hunter Davis and Austin Richardson Co-Founders of AVAIL: Friends of the Houseless
How to Help and Interact with Houseless IndividualsHow to Interact: -While the only conversation you may have had with an individual who lives onthe streets is one that involves panhandling, the individual you will be paired up withis worth more than just your stereotypical thought and shrug. Attempt to interactand communicate with the individual that you have been paired with. While webelieve that you all are very capable of interacting with individuals from differentcommunities, you wouldn’t believe how many people ask for assistance in this area.So below, we have listed different topics of conversation that should serve useful ingetting to know your farming companion. -Topics of Conversation* - Where are you from? Discuss their story. - Discuss possible family members, jobs, school, traveling, and military experience. - How long have you been houseless? - What does a typical day look like for you? - Of course the famous Auburn or Alabama question! Sports are usually a great convo piece. - How long have you known AVAIL (Hunter and Austin)? - What is the hardest part about being houseless? - What is the best way to help? *Use discretion on when to ask these questions. Some are too personal and will need to wait for further interaction. -The most important thing to remember is to be genuine and authentic inyour approach. People know when you are being fake. One way to do this effectivelyis not only asking them questions, but to answer them yourself. They will only sharetheir story once you have shared some of your own.How to Help: - The main rule of thumb as we all know is not to give cash money, but to givespecifically instead. While this is a useful tip, one cannot know how to givespecifically and effectively unless they are listening to the needs of the individual. Asyou get to know their story, you will better know the needs of the individual that youare partnered with. Listed below are items that are always thankfully accepted:! ! ! - Food - Hygiene Products - Clothing - Blankets - Tobacco - Conversation - Socks/Shoes - Bus Passes*Because!you!are!already!giving!to!the!houseless!community!through!AVAIL!we!hope!you!never!feel!pressured!to!give!further.!However,!when!serving!a!needy!population!the!desire!to!give!will!most!likely!arise!or!be!asked!of!you.!While!the!above!may!serve!as!guidelines,!please!use!your!discernment!in!each!situation.!
Guidelines and Info for Farming with AVAIL: Friends of the HouselessOrganic Farming: Here at AVAIL we seek to be as organic aspossible in our methods of farming. This method is included inour water usage, solar power, soil, and seed. We ask that as youfarm along side of us, you too practice organic agriculturalmethods. How? -Only use the soil that we provide and/or the compost that is found in the bins next to the shed. If you decide to produce your own compost please follow the guidelines found in the latter portions of this notebook. -Do not use any fertilizers on your plants that is not produced and/or provided by AVAIL. This will ensure an organic crop for all to enjoy. Even fertilizer in your box could affect other individual boxes. -If there is a sufficient amount of rainwater available in the rain barrels we would prefer to use this water before using Birmingham water for our plants. -Only use organic seeds that we have approved or provided.Watering: For the present time, Austin and Hunter (Co-Foundersof AVAIL) will perform all watering of the crops. When we havea sufficient form of irrigation in which to water our crops wewill ask that individuals sign up for opportunities to water thefarm. We will not implement a timed irrigation system for thesimple reason of having a consistent presence in theneighborhood.Interaction with the Neighborhood: While our main focus ison the houseless community we also intend to be a positiveinfluence for the West End Community. They have been verygracious in allowing us the use of this land, lets make them feeljust as welcomed!
mpos ting Co Guidelines and Info for Farming with AVAIL: Friends of the HouselessWhat is Compost? -Compost is a beneficial, soil-like substance. It is amixture of decayed and decaying organic matter that improvessoil structure and provides nutrients for plants. Easily put -compost is a mixture of paper, food, and plant waste thatdecomposes into an organic soil. How to Compost? -Composting can become as easy of a habit as recyclingand taking out the garbage. Just watch and remember for thosewaste products that can be composted and put those in a separatebin. Usually individuals will collect a couple of days or a weekworth of compost and then dump it into a larger bin (aka: our binsat the farm). If you allow the waste to decompose over a longperiod of time and turn the pile occasionally during that period,in a few months you will have organic composted soil. In orderto compost efficiently and effectively compost must be exposedto heat and air. These two elements help the bacteria that breakdown the waste work quicker. What to Compost? The typical rule is “anything that is plant-based shouldbe composted, while anything that is animal-based should not.Below is a list of things that are compostable. -Office Paper -Fireplace Ash -Eggshells -Dryer Lint -Tea Bags -Hair and Fur -Paper Towel Rolls -Shredded Newspaper -Plant Trimmings –Coffee grounds/filters -Yard Clippings (remove weeds) -Discarded Vegetables (remove seeds) In any compost pile, make sure to chop up the waste, thesmaller the item the quicker the decomposition. Also, keep a fairbalance between wet (food) and dry (paper, grass) compost.
FA Q’s Q uestio ns) Guidelines and Info for Farming with ed y As k AVAIL: Friends of the Houseless u en t l (F r eqHow do I know when to plant? If you will refer to your Annual Crop Plan, you will see when is theappropriate time to plant each crop. Graciously borrowed from our friendsat Jones Valley Urban Farm, this plan should provide a successful plantingtimeline.How do I know how to plant each crop? If you will refer to your Crop Planting Guide, you will see thespecifications for the width between each crop and how many seeds to plant.How often and when can I come out to the farm? You are welcome to come out to the farm at any time in order towork on your box or merely to enjoy the farm. We ask that you keep thecrowds to a minimum and of course keep in mind the surroundingcommunity.How do I get in touch with the houseless individual that I have paired with? If that individual has a cell phone they might have given you theirnumber, please try that first. If that does not succeed, contact either Hunteror Austin and they should be able to get in contact with that individual.How do I donate to AVAIL: Friends of the Houseless? You may donate to AVAIL through cash, check, or credit/debit card bycontacting either Hunter or Austin, going to the website, or sending it to theheadquarter address.Who do I contact in case of a question or concern? You may contact Hunter Davis or Austin Richardson (co-founders ofAVAIL)* @ Phone: 205.202.9729 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org *If an emergency please contact the appropriate authority and then Hunter or Austin
How to Read and Use the Crop Plan and Crop Planting GuideCrop Plan: - At the top of the chart is the Month, underneath you will see each week of the month (ex: 4.1-the 1st week of April, 4.2-the 2nd week of April, etc...) - On the left hand side of the chart you will find each crop listed that AVAIL will provide the seeds for during the appropriate season. AVAIL may also provide special crops not listed--please request their availability. - To utilize the crop plan effectively, one may plant a seed at any point during the green space of any given crop (ex: Okra 3.4-8.4—last week of March till the last week in August). - If there is a 1 next to the crop that you wish to grow, it must be transplanted. Meaning, it will be grown separately in a pod and then transplanted into the box at a later date. Transplanting must begin 2-4 weeks prior to the planting date shown in green.Crop Planting Guide: - Each crop has a specific amount of room that it needs in order for it to grow appropriately. Each crop needs about a foot of room for it to grow appropriately. Therefore, Listed on the Crop Planting Guide is how many seeds need to be placed per foot. For example: for each onion you plant to grow you need to plant 24 seeds every foot—You will dig a small hole about 3inches deep and plant 24 seeds in that hole. The next onion or other crop you plan to grow should be planted one foot from that point. - The company from whom we buy our seeds has given these measurements to us. www.johnnyseeds.com
AVAIL%Farms Annual%Crop%PlanMonth&&&&> Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov DecCrop 1.3 1.4 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 12.1 12.2Beans,ILimaBeans,ISnapBeetBroccoliI1CabbageI1ChineseICabbageCarrotCauliflowerI1ChardChivesChicoryCollardsI1CornsaladCorn,ISweetCress,IUplandCucumberEggplantI1EndiveFennelGarlicKaleKohlrabiLeekLettuce,IHeadI1Lettuce,ILeafMuskmelonMustardOkraOnionI1Onion,ISeedOnion,ISetsParsleyPeas,IGardenPeas,IBlack&eyePepperI1PotatoRadishRutabegaSpinachSpinach,INZSquash,ISummerSweetIPotatoTomatoI1TurnipWatermelon *Thanks%to%Jones%Valley%Urban%Farms
AVAIL:&Friends&of&the& AVAIL:&Friends&of&the& AVAIL:&Friends&of&the&Houseless&is a non-proﬁt Houseless&is a non-proﬁt Houseless&is a non-proﬁt corporation that was corporation that was corporation that was established in order to established in order to established in order toalleviate houselessness alleviate houselessness alleviate houselessness within the Birmingham within the Birmingham within the Birmingham community. Taking a community. Taking a community. Taking a relational approach to relational approach to relational approach toministry, AVAIL seeks to ministry, AVAIL seeks to ministry, AVAIL seeks to assist houseless assist houseless assist houseless individuals in reaching individuals in reaching individuals in reaching their fullest potential.! their fullest potential.! their fullest potential.! ! ! ! AVAIL’s Urban Farm AVAIL’s Urban Farm AVAIL’s Urban Farm exists so that it might exists so that it might exists so that it might provide jobs and food provide jobs and food provide jobs and food for the houseless for the houseless for the houseless community. Being community. Being community. Beingplanted within the West planted within the West planted within the WestEnd, AVAIL hopes to be End, AVAIL hopes to be End, AVAIL hopes to bea positive aspect within a positive aspect within a positive aspect within the community.! the community.! the community.! www.houselessness.org! www.houselessness.org! www.houselessness.org!
! Volunteer Waiver and Release FormVolunteer Name: [ ] Check here if Volunteer is under age 18Contact E-mail:Parent/Legal Guardian Email:Address:Phone:Emergency ContactName:Relationship to Participant:Phone: [ ] Check here if you do not desire to receive the AVAIL Newsletter. VOLUNTEERS MUST COMPLETE THE WAIVER AND RELEASE FORM PARENT/LEGAL GUARDIAN SIGNATURE IS REQUIRED IF VOLUNTEER IS UNDER AGE 18 AVAIL: Friends of the Houseless 2300 First Avenue North, Suite 103 Birmingham, AL 35203 email@example.com 205.202.9729
WAIVER AND RELEASE FORM RELEASE OF LIABILITYIn return for being allowed to participate in AVAIL volunteer activities and all related activities,including any activities incidental to such participation (“Volunteer Activities”), the undersignedVolunteer or Parent/Legal Guardian of Volunteer if Volunteer is under age 18 (hereafter referredto using “I”, “me”, or “my”) releases and agrees not to sue the AVAIL or its officers, directors,employees, sub-contractors, sponsors, agents and affiliates (“the Organization”) from all presentand future claims that may be made by me, my family, estate, heirs, or assigns for propertydamage, personal injury, or wrongful death arising as a result of my participation in theVolunteer Activities wherever, whenever, or however the same may occur.I understand and agree that the Organization are not responsible for any injury or propertydamage arising out of the Volunteer Activities, even if caused by their ordinary negligence orotherwise.I understand that participation in the Volunteer Activities involves certain risks, including, but notlimited to, serious injury and death. I am voluntarily participating in the Volunteer Activities withknowledge of the danger involved and I agree to accept all risks of participation.I also agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Organization for all claims arising out of myparticipation in the Volunteer Activities.I understand that this document is intended to be as broad and inclusive as permitted by thelaws of the state in which the Volunteer Activities take place and agree that if any portion of thisAgreement is invalid, the remainder will continue in full legal force and effect.I also acknowledge that the Organization has not arranged and does not carry any insurance ofany kind for my benefit or that of Volunteer (if Volunteer is under 18), my parents, guardians,trustees, heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns. I represent that, to myknowledge, I am in good health and suffer no physical impairment that would or should preventmy participation in Volunteer Activities.I also understand that this document is a contract, which grants certain rights to and eliminatesthe liability of the Organization.(Signature of Volunteer) DateI am of legal age and am freely signing this agreement. I have read this form and understandthat by signing this form, I am giving up legal rights and remedies.(Signature of Parent/Legal Guardian if Volunteer is Under 18) DateI am the parent or legal guardian of the Volunteer. I am of legal age and am freely signing thisagreement. I have read this form and understand that by signing this form, I am giving up legalrights and remedies.