Grow what you eat, and eat what you grow!
This is a short story, about a round-about way, of finding my way to, learning how to do something new, different, and enjoyable.
At the beginning of this year, 2011, I found myself looking for something to do to fill some free time that I had. I'd just completed a project that I had been working on for a while, and was looking for a new challenge. As I checked on what I needed to do around the house and realized that nothing was jumping out at me, I then started to check the local papers. An ad for one of the local universities caught my eye. Starting in late January, Triton college (a two year college) would offer a new class; a class about “Volunteer Administration Management.”
Volunteer Administration Management? What's that? So I attended a free class seminar about the course to see if it was something that I wanted to learn about, and found that I like what I was hearing. The course “Volunteer Administration Management” is as the name implies; it's a course design to help those that want to learn how to manage a volunteer program; from the program itself, funding, the volunteers, liaison between the volunteer program and the business sponsors, and the programs clients, and more.
As the class progressed, I initially learned about what makes up a good volunteer administration manager, the different cultures of volunteerism, the kinds of people that volunteer, and much more. I started realizing that I am glad that I took this course. I learned a lot about volunteerism in both general and in very specific details.
To help us get a better handle on the subject matter, the instructor (her name is Reg), broke us into groups and had us come up with an imaginary non-profit organization. A non-profit organization that we could use to build up our experience of understanding the concepts of volunteer administration management.
The group I ended up with created a non-profit organization around trying to teach people how to grow their own food. We called the non-profit organization, “Green Leaf!” The purpose of the fictitious organization called, “Green Leaf”, was to teach families how to grow their own food, share with other families to have a more rounded harvest, and to get family members communicating more with each other by means of a shared experience.
This whole thing was so intriguing to me, that I started looking around my area to see if such an organization existed in real life. Wouldn't you know it, that in my very own area, there is an organization called, “Forest Park Community Garden.”
This organization rents raised beds to the local community. The raised bed purpose are for renters to grow their own organic foods. If all the raised beds are not rented, they then use the remaining raised beds to grow vegetables for the local food pantry. I have never tried to grow anything that you could eat before, so you know I had to rent myself a raised bed to do my own farming. Imagine … me … a farmer … of sorts. Cool!
I figured that the idea of me trying to grow what I eat, and eat what I grow was such a good one, that I created a website about it called, Raised Bed Farming, where you can see images of my raised bed farm, and the raised bed community where it is located.
The second part of the course “Volunteer Administration Management”, is do to begin on September 21, 2011. I can't wait to see what I learn about “Volunteer Administration Management” part II. Just in case you are wondering, … the answer to your question is, YES! The question being, “Will I use this new knowledge to help volunteer organizations?”