Week 7 Reflection

On Thursday, and with help of our classmates and their cars, we were able to find our way to Growcology: Sustainability Center! There, we were greeted by Bianca Heyming, who spoke to use about the Riverside’s local community garden movement and gave us words of advice for our project. Did your visit to Growcology change your perception of the work we are doing at UC Riverside? Why or why not? What did y0u learn from being in that space that we can take back to UCR?

16 thoughts on “Week 7 Reflection

  1. I was unfortunately under the weather and therefore unable to attend but was looking forward to it.

  2. Well, Bianca was straight up with us and told us that it is going to be a long and hard road to completing our mission. Hearing her speak, was a big eye opener because I was expecting fast and happy results, and she warned us of the struggles and obstacles we may confront. But Bianca, the garden, and all of Growcology are living proof of what we can accomplish. Especially because like she said, we have all the resources right in our campus. We have the scientists, the engineers, the botanists, the chemists, so on and so fourth. From her, I learned that allthough we hold a long and hard road ahead of us, their is something amazing waiting for us at the end.

  3. I did get a chance to visit the Growcology center. I was just beautiful and amazing to see what these people have done. I took from it that if we really want the community garden we will get it BUT it will be an uphill battle. Our current enemies can in turn be our allies in this. The point is not to drive them away but to find a way to show them that this garden will be beneficial for everyone. During week 2 or something we had the anthropology professor (I forgot her name) who taught us that in order to find a way in with people we have to get to their level. If we want the chancellor’s support for this garden we have to talk to him in terms that he will understand. The point is that we are going to struggle pretty badly, but in the end it will be worth it. Just never give up.

  4. Being in a space that is beautiful, self-sustaining, and working to improve the community, like Growcology, really set a standard that I think we all want to reach. I enjoyed the input Bianca had because it allowed me to step outside of my thoughts and reflect on our progress. What found great about growcology is that it is tailored to sustain itself in a certain environment and to serve its specific community. I think this is valuable for our project because i think it is important to think about who we are serving and what are their needs. If we create a space that specifically serves the students of UCR and the surrounding community then its imposible to destroy it. At that point it stops being any ordinary garden and starts being a necessity.

  5. Every time I step onto the Growcology grounds, I think back of all the visits, events, and workshops that we’ve had there with Bianca, Nick, UCR students, high school students, and others along the road through Cultivate RSpace program. I think back to the Sustainable UCR retreat in 2010, the breezy morning waking up next to the beautiful tree, the amazing torch dance, the dinners with friends planning events, the Urban Garden Seminar 2011, Freedom Skool’s summer orange harvesting, the CLP-Arlanza garden visioning meetings at the barn, and most importantly the people who have made it possible along the way. Growcology is more than a place, its a living vision that is carried forward, slowly, but progressively like our project here at UCR.

    I appreciated Bianca’s truthful but empowering words. As Laura mentions, its important to find that common ground uphill. We have a good idea, but just like anything that is human-made, it can be improved and taken a step further. As she explained, its important to understand to take a look at our project from the outsider’s perspective, understand what questions have yet to be answered, and how can we answer them ourselves to the point that others want to join as well. We must be critical of our work, reflecting, and taking the advice that both others and each other give one another. We need to move forward with our vision using the skills, knowledge, and resources of our community while being open to change, new opportunities, and sudden “setbacks” that may as well just be a new path for the project.

  6. Going to Growcology was an amazing experience. It is definately its own little oasis. I feel that the one thing that really stuck with me is that we really need to think big. We need to use our resources and think outside of the box to get the change we want. If UCR is going to get what it wants we need to show the administration exactly how organized we can be and how serious we are. Without being a organized unit with solid ideas and plans to present this project will be very slow to grow. If we want faster action we need to create opportunities for it and use the campus resources and possibilites for the campus’ future with the Garden that would benefit the school. I think that will leave a bigger mark on administration.

  7. Growcology was an amazing experience and I felt I gained fresh information from the woman with the child ( cant remember her name!). Being there only made me want to fight more( peacfully) for a garden location at ucr. It was so beautiful and as the woman explained that it took a lot of hard work, patience and determination, I really felt that our community garden can really work. I feel that being there did not change my perception of what we were doing, and if it did it changed it for the better. The most important piece of information given to us was that if UCR refuses to give us land, then we need to take control and put in work ourselves. We need to find our own plot of land and work with that and instead of fighting against the people who refuse to give us what we want, we need to work with them and convince them that our ideas and plans are going to be the greatest.

  8. Our trip to Growcology definitely changed my perception of the work we are doing at UCR. I did not realize all of the steps we would have to take to enact change on our campus. Bianca also made it clear how difficult it will be to achieve our goals. However, she also gave us great advice that makes me feel confident that we will be able to overcome adversity and establish a garden at UC Riverside. Bianca also made it clear that we will have to work closely with administration and the “decision makers” if we want anything measurable and substantial to occur. Bianca and Growcology in general were an inspiration and a demonstration of what is possible.

  9. Growcology showed me that there is a lot more work to be done. it also improved my knowledge on what is actually going on in the city in terms of sustainability. Before growcology I did not know of any other organizations that promoted food sustainability other than the urban garden seminar.From listening to Bianca I was able to learn a lot. One of the most important things I learned that day was how to build support for a program from the ground up, I think this can be applied to a lot of things not just for sustainability but also for business and even personal development. I think that the urban garden seminar should not be focused on gaining support from a unresponsive administration but gaining support from community leaders and outside sponsors.

  10. Yes, my visited to Growcology change my perception of the work being done at UCR. We still have to brain storm and make a project that no one will be able to say no. a project that students will be so excited to be part off that the administration will realize that what we are trying to do at UCR will create a strong UCR community. If we created a great project we will have support from our community and UCR staff and administration. Going to Growcology did change my perspective of what we are trying to do at UCR.

  11. Unfortunately, I missed the Growcology meeting because I went to the wrong address but reading about what I missed is really awesome! It sounds like it really invigorated everyone and gave great ideas on how to proceed from here, especially in working with administration. I look forward to hopefully being able to work with and visit Growcology in the future!

  12. Hey everyone,

    I loved the visit we had to the Growcology center. Bianca was such an inspirational speaker who really helped me gain a better understanding and better insight as to what we are doing and what we hope to achieve. It changed my perspective on what we are doing because before I had a blurred idea of what our goal was, but after seeing that sustainability center I got a firm understanding of what we must do and what our end goal should be: sustainable garden. What I really took home with me was when Bianca said that we must make the r’garden so appealing, so awesome that it will make others want to join in our program. The goal we need to reach is a sustainable garden so that even after we leave it can still remain there and be sustainable itself (circulating new people into the program and such). Seeing the beautiful growcology center also inspired me to really work towards a sustainable garden because it was really awesome to see all that nature, seeing the beauty of nature itself and even being able to eat the food that they grew themselves was the cherry on top of that sundae.

    -Izzy

  13. I think being exposed to what the city of Riverside is doing to promote community gardens is great, and that Bianca and Nick are helping in facilitating that process can be commendable. However, I was not able to make it out to Growcology on this day, though I imagine Bianca spoke cool things!

  14. Yeah I definitely changed my perception about growcology. I’m glad there are still individuals out there that are willing to change the community on the positive, simply because. Hopefully there are more community gardens that arise, especially now that people are leading by example.

  15. I saw what beauty different types of gardens can bring, and what many uses we can have for them towards the community. I also learned that while we may seem alone in our pursuit for a garden on UCR, there are many organizations that can be extremely helpful. Bianca gave us very crucial pointers in the best way we can entice the administration at UCR to help bring about the garden, and that while it may seem difficult, it is still doable.

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