We Grow From Here's Blog

A Community Garden Project


Casa Seranita Update: Two Events Coming up!

March looks to be the month for the winds of change to blow in with a breath of fresh air…no Ides of March here, my friend.

On March 2nd, We Grow From Here and the Tampa Bay Timebank will hold the first official “Barn Garden Raising”, which is the TBT term for a permablitz. In the days of old, barn-raisings were common community events, involving the entire community—from the oldest to the youngest, fit or infirm. They became symbols of the ideology of our young country, one which some of us would like to bring back into common practice.

A barn raising wasn’t just an organized work party, you see, they were truly community events—a chance for families who lived miles apart when transportation wasn’t so efficient to gather and celebrate the creation of something new, because the raising of a barn also meant the birth of a new family in the community. Everyone participated—each to his or her own ability or desire—not only on the swinging of hammers and climbing rafters, but also preparing food, toting water, chasing children, and no doubt a bit of matchmaking occurred.

This event on March 2nd, and the following weekend on March 10th, are opportunities for our young community to come out and get involved—learn a little about permaculture principles, meet some of those who have been practicing this lifestyle for a while, and yes, of course you are welcome to move some dirt! On Saturday the 2nd, beginning around 10 AM, we will be setting up the actual design of the permaculture-inspired community garden site, which is primarily the backyard all the way to Klosterman Rd. There will also be a community garage sale happening in Baywood Village, so attendees are advised to park on the North side of Klosterman Rd. behind the house, and to bring anything they want to get rid of to throw on the community sale tables, located on the driveway n front of the house. There will be plenty of shopping opps as well, so if you’re brave, bring your wallet as well. Rakes, shovels, pitchforks, wheelbarrows and any other dirt-moving equipment will be needed, and gloves and sunscreen advised.

For those who have yet to be introduced to the concept of time-banking, we will break at noon for some lunchtime sharing, at which time all of those who have been involved will have the opportunity to share their experiences with others who may not be familiar (hint: bring a friend, or three!). Lunch is potluck—bring a dish if you can—Casa will provide some snacks and beverages for a small number of attendees otherwise. Timebank members are also encouraged to submit any projects of their own which they wish to organize an event such as this one around—We Grow From Here will be helping to organize ongoing ‘barn raising’ and ‘quilting bee’ events for the Timebank and surrounding communities.

March 10th: Casa Seranita Grand Opening

Our first educational “Learn & Earn” event will take place on Sunday the 10th, beginning at 1PM (to give you time to make it to the Tarpon springs Sunday Market first!), we will have a series of presentations by local permculturists and timebankers, on subjects ranging from Florida gardening to nutrition, upcycling, well-being, wildcrafting, a seed swap and more! Timebank members may attend in exchange for hours, and presenters may earn hours for facilitating discussions. This is a non-monetary event, so there is no fee to attend for the community-at-large, however donations of needed garden equipment, plants, seeds, etc. are encouraged, as are additions to our newly-forming tool bank.

Check back for the list of presenters and facilitators, and if you have something you’d like to share, please contact Loretta@wegrowfromhere.com to be added to the roster. The schedule of events will be posted on the website a week before the event.  So far, we have interactive workshops planned for:

  • Worm bins
  • Backyard chickens
  • Market Gardening
  • Upcycle Wizardry
  • Timebanking/Alternative Currency
  • Garden Art
  • Digestive Wellness and Your Diet
  • The Kinder Garden
  • Permaculture Design 1.01
  • Seed Swap
  • Drum Circle

And I’d REALLY like someone to do fermentation…kombucha…canning (I can do canning, but…)  ;^)



Gratitude, Part Deux

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” Carl Jung

Community participation and interaction—how important this is! In a most blatant attempt to garner continued support, and recognize some of our biggest local supporters to date, please take a moment for station identification…and perhaps consider shopping at:

The Dunedin Produce Market

Located at the corner of Patricia and Beltrees in Dunedin

These folks, through Helping Hands, have donated over a ton of produce to feed homeless people, local goats, chickens, bunnies, and compost piles! A round of applause, please—and BUY LOCAL! (hint—here’s a good place to shop…and tell ’em Loretta with We Grow From Here sent you!)

If you, or anyone you know, is willing and able to participate in our produce stand/restaurant/coffee shop pickups, please contact me. If the produce is viable (that means, like, people-edible), you may be eligible for a tax credit for the donation!

Thank you, again, Dunedin Produce Market—you are shining examples of community participation!



“If you build it, they will come.” ~ (Field of Dreams)

Sometimes, when you build it, they really do show up.

Here is my blatant plug for a movement I became involved with last year: Timebanking… IT ROCKS! Our local ‘chapter’, Tampa Bay Timebank (TampaBayTime.org), is fairly new, and even so has really begun not only to grow by leaps and bounds, but also in the energy it has generated. See, that’s part of the equation in timebanking—currency as energy rather than paper. But I digress—let me first explain what timebanking is, then we’ll talk about what it does.

  • Timebanking is egalitarian, which means that no one person’s time is valued more highly than another’s. Time = Time. One hour = One hour. Some doctors, for instance, might not get the concept so much, when their time is valued exactly the same as, for instance, a cook, or a plumber. (Although I must point out: most plumbers I’ve hired make about the same per hour, if not more!) I once had a long-term relationship with an MD, and I often wonder whether he would ‘get’ that I always considered my time with him as valuable as, say, my time with my daughter, my job, etc. See, time is time—my time, your time—if we choose to share it with someone else, it really is all the same—no value judgments. It is in fact when we begin placing values on time that the conflict begins, and oftentimes when communication stops: “I’m sorry, I don’t have time right now, I have to_(fill in the blank with something you don’t particularly enjoy)___.” Think of all of the relationships you know which might have benefitted if you had not said or heard those words! Some common questions and/or misconceptions:
    • So, if I’m a dentist, and I normally charge $100/hr for a consult, I have to offer those services for ‘nothing’ through the time bank?
      • NO, you offer whatever services you choose to offer—perhaps you also have a sideline interest in, say, cooking, and you just happen to have taken culinary classes at a world-renowned institute: offer cooking lessons, or supply catering for special events. Or, perhaps you are a musician: offer music lessons, or to play at events. You really love to sew: offer lessons, or services. You have rocking mechanical skills: offer to fix things.
    • What if there is more than just time involved? (ie., food for the cooking, materials for sewing, etc.)
      • The details of supply-related stuff is simple: you work it out between those who make the exchange; this includes gas and travel time—if that is a factor, you simply agree what the ‘exchange rate’ will be, and that becomes part of the agreement.
    • So, this is just like bartering?
      • Similar, yes, but the main difference is: you don’t have to make a one-to-one exchange. You can accept an offer from one person, and provide a service to someone else in the timebank. Better than barter.
    • What can I get from the timebank…there are lots of things I can do, what will I get in exchange?
      • What don’t you like to do? Clean? Cook? Organize? Fix gadgets? Fuss with computers? I’ll just betcha there’s someone in timebank who does that!
  • Timebanking is not ‘volunteering’, but it does work very well with organizations who utilize volunteers. Many new to timebanking will refer to their time spent in timebank activities as “volunteering’, however it is not—this is compensated time, it is just not compensated in the same currency as a ‘real’ job. The currency is, in part, the energy generated by the exchange. I like to think of this as ‘green energy’, and this type of energy, not having physical form per se, increases in value and scope in the course of each exchange.

Which brings me back to “Gratitude”…it has been my extreme good fortune to have connected with several very helpful, not to mention pleasant and fun, timebankers. Yesterday, one of them even brought his son along to help in moving some large stuff, including a couple of mountains of dirt. What we accomplished in one day I could not have hoped to do in weeks–it was truly amazing. Here’s the other side of the “time” equation: the amount of time this one day has saved me is far greater than the time I took, or awarded to these two guys. Consider the amount of time you spend worrying and griping and recovering from all of those tasks you’d prefer not to do—this is, again, “true cost accounting“.


And the list goes on…I am grateful, thankful, fortunate…and I have some time. Do you?