Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Patch

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if your community had some shared space where you could all come together to learn new skills or share your experience and skills, maybe grow a few vegetables or engage in some kind of urban agricultural activities? I often imagine a more productive and engaged community where people are able to maintain a connection to the earth and the production of their own food.
I wonder if shopping mall convenience and an abundance of goods has produced a happier more fulfilled society, or if we have just become more demanding consumers. I often wonder if we have lost our connection to the life force that sustains us. Human beings are organic and spiritual beings; we need more than the material abundance that our inflated economy has provided us. I know I do anyway. Of course there are ways to fulfill this inner need for a connection with the place we live in, other living things and our own spirituality, but wouldn't it be great if that connection was intrinsically linked to our daily life rather than a diversion from it?

An inviting entrance

Recently I came in contact with a small group of teachers and students who have created a wonderful garden and creative space where they are able to learn and develop important skills while improving their relationships with the local community and creating a place of beauty. This group has created a small piece of paradise on the edge of the Northern Suburbs of Darwin. They call it 'The Patch.'

About a month ago when I first visited The Patch I felt overcome with the sense of inclusion and the warm welcome my family and I received. The Patch currently occupies a small amount of space but with the great vibes this place has already created it has potential to grow into something grand.

I have since discovered that the (Council owned) land may be sold off to a real estate developer for subdivision. Given the potential good The Patch has to offer my neighborhood and the Darwin community generally I believe it must be fought for. Seriously! This place could become a critical component in the health and welfare of our town! It has so much to offer. I do not want to harp on about the evils of our capitalist democracy but I must say that the balance between the good of the community and the greed of the individual are grossly skewed. It seems to me that the imperative to amass great amounts of personal wealth while our commons dwindle and are neglected. We have an opportunity to do something great for our community and the generations who will inherit the spaces we leave for them. Let's give them something special!

Snake bean seedlings
Snake beans just planted

Some frieky beans
Some other kind of bean? I have no idea what!


Leighton Cooke said...

Hope you manage to save this project. It's a great idea.

David J said...

Hey Thanks Leighton.
Well actually we had a small victory on Friday. Three of us met some council Aldermen and they were surprisingly receptive to our idea. We will still have to submit a proposal to all of council but this is a great start.
Now we have all the problems associated with transforming a dream into reality! One of which is dealing with weeds in the Tropics! You should see how much weed growth there has been in the past week! I can't wait to get stuck into it! There's heaps of pruning to be done too.
Now my mind is boggling with ways we can improve and make the best use of our limited resources.