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Akwaaba Food Forest Project

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Akwaaba!!! Welcome!!!

The Akwaaba Urban Food Forest Project has been fermenting in my heart and it is with love, gratitude, dirty overalls and soiled hands that I bring forth this project.  Follow the Journey on IG! - @akwaabafoodforest 

Update :  MARCH 2022 
AKWAABA IS TURNING 1 YEAR OLD! 

Gratitude to everyone who has supported this project in so many ways!  Our first year was a labors and wonderful journey supported by so many hands and hearts. We had an abundant summer full of tomatoes, peas, zucchini, corn and much more. We got to share this nourishment with volunteers, folks in need and the Rythims  of the village community.  Our garden is currently hosting a nice amount of fruit trees, herbs, perennial greens and seasonal vegetables. We have been hosting weekend community garden tending days 2-4 times a month. 

we are looking to meet our fundraising goal on this platform of $15,000. With these funds we will finish building the simple outdoor kitchen, we will have our large Elm tree pruned. These funds will also help support the water bill, seeds, plants, events and materials for the year. 

The majority of Abudu’s cordination and work in the garden is done out of love and service. Along with the dedicated help of Jill and Ryan we are continuing strong with tending this garden and sharing the knowledge and experience of the many nourshing gifts and uses of our plant kin.

Check out our 2 update videos on youtube  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLxwqif_aVM&t=10s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiixMwuDflY  

One year video Update coming soon! 

Food is Medicine - Ashe' Ashe’

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Original Writing  from 2021 fundraiser VVV

(Please note that the official in person start of this project and course will begin on March 20th,  Spring Equinox of 2021) 

It is my direct experience that a cornerstone of empowering our communities to be self determining, healthy, and resilient is access to spaces where we can re-learn how to grow Local Whole Organic Foods in a reciprocal and regenerative way. To do this, we must remember how to commune with Soil beneath our feet. This is one way we heal our relationship to Mama Earth and help to heal the recent trauma of our ancestors in the African Diaspora on Turtle Island (North America). Help us cultivate urban gardens to grow our own food together. Self sufficiency is a myth - this is a cultivation of community empowerment & soil solidarity. 

I've watched the elders before us lay the examples and the foundations. With that guidance, I walk the path of earth stewards who are creating a web of micro food forests and farms. We are growing a culture of soil regeneration where urban farms are germinating across the concert jungle with green communal plots full of abundance and hope.  These are necessary places in our society that help to uplift communities of color that have had their ancestral land based relationships, disturbed, distorted and disconnected. And so, proliferating the urban landscape with forest gardens is a direct and accessible way to grow local organic foods, create safe green spaces, sequester carbon in soil, and rebuild our ancestral connection to Mama Earth. 

Not only are these spaces bringing local organic nourishment to urban folks, but they also re-introduce habitat for our relatives of the many expressions, such as insects, animals, and our ancestors.  I believe that we must re-imbibe active communion with these relatives and the land in order to thrive and not just survive, especially when we encounter challenging times like we have during the Covid-19 pandemic. Rejuvenating these relationships naturally brings and increases reciprocity, reverence, groundation, vitality and alignment.

I feel it is my way to help by creating an opportunity to uplift and empower BIPOC youth and young adults who are also concerned about the health of our families in underserved urban communities, climate change, environmental racism, degenerative practices of Big Ag, the exploitation of migrant farm labor....etc.. we are looking for and acting on local solution's. Together, we are creating these spaces and continuing to spread the seeds of change that are needed now more than ever. And so, I have created The Akwaaba Urban Food Forest project as a place to share the knowledge, skills, resources, and tools necessary to expand the web of urban food forests and help to re-establish food sovereignty in our communities. 

The vision is that The Akwaaba Food Forest will be created over the course of about ten Saturdays starting in Mach 2021.  Each weekend a guest teacher will guide six participants in creating a particular part of the food forest. For example: fruit tree planting, irrigation, garden bed creation, etc. Attendees of this course will be equipped with hands on knowledge and skills to implement in their home gardens, community gardens, and urban food forests.

We will be growing The Akwaaba Food Forest and hosting the teachings at the home of my dear brother, Emecka. As a longstanding Altadena community member and co-owner of Rhythms of the Village, Emecka provides a space for people of the African Diaspora to connect with their lineage and culture. My work here is to provide Emecka and his family with an abundant food forest garden that will also act as a pillar of nourishment for the Rhythms of the Village community. Their food forest will continue to thrive after the project is established as an educational space and gathering space for community. 

Consciously connecting to the Soil of Mama Earth, to our relatives of the many expressions, to the teachings and sharing's of the Indigenous people's who’s ancestral land we live upon, and re-connecting with the knowledge of our Indigenous ancestors - This is the Heart of this work. 

And so we ask you, dear community member, to consider supporting our project and contributing to the resources needed to establish The Akwaaba Food Forest! With your help, we can move forward with our vision and create not only a food forest directly in our community, but also teach others how to do the same in their own. 

Below you can find details about the project and where these resources are most needed:


---------------DETAILS-----------------

This project Prioritizes: 

- Centering, uplifting and sharing the voices of (BIPOC ) Black - Indigenous - People of Color, Teachers / Earth Stewards 

- Context for the land we grow upon - the occupied Ancestral Land of Tongva - Gabrielino Indigenous peoples of the “LA” Basin 

- Hands on learning and direct gardening experience for BIPOC folks

- The use of locally available, free, up-cycled, regenerative & sustainable materials 


-------------- Goals of the food forest project: --------------------

-A space to offer continued urban food forest gardening education to community

-Provide safe green space for BIPOC folks to hold all kinds of gatherings and events in the post-COVID 19 era.

-Provide fresh fruits and veggies to Emecka’s family, neighbors and the Pasadena/Altadena community (Abundance Distributed monthly on fresh fruit Saturdays at Rythims of the Village)



----------- How the fundraised money will be used -----------------

* Listed from highest to lowest expenses 

1. Teachers 

2. Admin/Organizer’s for before and during 10 week course

3.  Materials (Irrigation - Benches - Garden shed etc..) 

4. Fruit Trees 

5. Tools 

6. Plants & seeds 

7. Specialized infrastructure support 

8. Miscellaneous/ Reserve 

9. Water Bill Support for 6 months



------------------ The Timeline: ------------------

We aim to Raise $15,000, If you have the means, it is greatly appreciated. We will do the most we can with what we raise by spring. 

-OCT - FEB : Site Prep

-OCT 15th 2020 - MAY 2021: Online Fundraiser 

-March 20th, 2021 : Project Course Begins 


-------------- Example of the Saturday workshop Flow:----------------

Most sessions will begin with a Q&A dialogue followed by a hands on garden project. Sessions will range in time from 3 - 5hrs. 

Each weekend workshop will have a limit of 6 in person student attendees, and 10 total people max, sitting phsyically distanced. Masks on when engaging in hands on participation. Example…. the preparation of garden bed, or planting of a fruit tree.


---------------- Roles & People Present:-------------------

These are the roles of the people who will be present on every given Saturday Workshop. 


- Abudu- Organizer, Host, (Teacher Sometimes)

- Guest Teacher 

- 6 Learning Participants 



--------------- Course Structure:-------------------

Below is a preview list of the weekly topics and teachers. Teachers and subjects are still being confirmed and clarified. Information subject to change. 


Week 1- Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Native Plants & History of place.
—- > Instructor : Christine Jimenez


Week 2 - Types of Composting systems, wood chip mulch & Soil Biology
— Activity - > Garden bed creation - Lasagna Bed & Biomass Bed - Instructor’s : Abudu & Chris


Week 3 - Permaculture Principles &  Layers of the Food Forest 
-- Activity —> Planting Fruit Trees -  Instructor : Abudu 


Week 4 - Perennial Plants, Annual Veggies & Fruit Tree Polycultures
— Activity ——>  Planting fruit tree polycultures. - Instructor : Nina of Ziza Urban Farm


Week 5 - Types of Irrigation - Rain water harvesting - DIY Grey water Systems 
— Activity ——>  Drip Irrigation Set up  - Instructor : Rohan of Regenerative Systems


Week 6  - Gardens as a healing space for BIPOC folk -  Instructor :  Meadow of Green Stone Farm 
— Activity ——>  Planting Biomass bed 


Week 7  - Beekeeping & Animal Integration - Instructor :  TBD  
— Activity ——>  TBD


Week 8 - Designing for Abundance & Resilience Workshop : Instructor :  Abudu & TBD
— Activity ——> Visiting the practice design site. 

Week 9 - Design Time & A Surprise with Baba Onochie Chukwurah 


Week 10 - Design Presentations 


After the land is planted, the food forest will receive light maintenance from the family as needed day to day. Two too three times a month, maintenance will be provided by me and a small group of rotating volunteers (hopefully including some of the 6 people who are physically present for the course). 


--------Are you interested in Participating in person for the 10 weeks ? ---------

Please understand that this course prioritizes BIPOC folks and people who have limited resources to attending a Permaculture Design Course or other hands on gardening/farming education. This course will be great for people with big interest and little experience. As well as a skill up workshop for people with moderate experience already tending gardens. 

To apply: 

-Please inquire with a DM on IG - 
akwaabafoodforest 

Thank you for your support!
 In Gratitude, Grace, Soil and Solidarity. 

-Abudu
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Donations 

  • Lacie Mackey
    • $25 
    • 16 d
  • Nicholas Ramirez
    • $10 
    • 10 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $5 
    • 10 mos
  • JL Kennedy
    • $50 
    • 11 mos
  • Lindsay Berman
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
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Organizer

Abudu Nininger
Organizer
Los Angeles, CA

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