Following Leaders 6/18

This week, we learned a lotA lot.  We always look for ways to bring the innovative ideas of Twitter friends, to our low-income clients.  Part of leveling playing fields is pouring more dirt (or housing or food) onto the other field.  We saw the usual concepts this week, like sustainability, food security and community…along with some we don’t often see, like cohousing, silence and privatization.

Our friends are doing important work out there that we’re committed to sharing and making relevant for our clients.

Look how they helped us…

@GraceKimArch – for tweets this week on the National Cohousing Conference in Boulder, and inspiring us to think about a different way to bring sustainability to low-income communities.

@LocalDirt – for great links to local food resources and a helpful article on Community Supported Kitchens.  Perhaps another viable way to bring local food and economic improvement to low-income communities.

@COTSvt – for being finalists in the Changemakers competition, with an innovative plan to reduce family homelessness through prevention.  Keeping people in their homes. We are so about that!

@newurbanhabitat – for a reminder about the value of silence and living locally by discovering what’s right outside our door.  What intriguing concepts for our clients, who mostly live in urban areas.  (Don’t be surprised to see a future blog post on this.)

@WLIHA – for information about where to get details on HUD’s PETRA legislation.  Is it privatization of housing? Will it displace residents? This directly affects many of our clients, so we are glad for any new resource.

Following Leaders 6/11

Another Friday brings another opportunity to tell everyone exactly how we appreciate our Twitter friends.  This was some week.  I’m one of those people who reads nearly every tweet because there’s just too much to miss.  A few got me really excited because they touched on how to deal with issues we’re interested in here at h&c: urban farming stigma in the black community and indoor air quality standards in LEED.  Others led to public peach trees (mmmm! peach pie) and images of old-school community organizing.

If you’re at all interested in community, local food and green living, then you’ve got to check out these folks!

@GOOD – for a lead on how LEED approaches indoor air quality, something we’ve been talking about but hadn’t seen anything substantive on.  It’s so exciting to see a major report about this (and a follow-up letter from USGBC seeking dialogue!).

@fallenfruit – for always good info on where to glean, and for helping us picture Los Angeles as a giant public garden.  Plus, we’re always down for a Fruit Jam!

@LeoRomero – for introducing us to Our Blocks where we found stories about neighborhood building (real best practices and case studies!) which will help us in our ongoing inquiry into urban ag in black communities along with our affordable housing work.

@TheCityFarmer – for a link to a Grist article on diversity in urban farming that included the best quote we saw all week: “The only generalization left after this long day is that the people in these gardens look comfortable and connected, as if they’re at home.”

@NYCHomesteading – for photos reminding us that sometimes you just have to take it to the streets.

Following Leaders 6/4

Man oh man, we just love all our Twitter friends.  Everyone’s great, really, check our list and see if you’re not following a bunch of the same peeps! (You should be!) This week — as we were grantwriting for small groups (and our own pursuits), adding to our list of community gardens in public housing, and designing a food mapping protocol, (and, ugh, keeping up on HOPE VI) — a few of our 199 friends really caught our virtual eye.

It was exciting to see environmentally responsible low-income housing, and community building among the homeless and housed. A link about pesticides led to more research on produce cleaning methods (and confirmed some prior research).  We even had a few friends who fed our foreign language (and sports) jones!

Thank you again…

@Sustainablog – for focusing on 5 green low-income housing developments (we’re following construction like this to seek mandates for community gardens or encourage home growing in these developments).

@PHCSF – for wonderful work on the Growing Home Community Garden providing a setting for homeless and housed to work side-by-side to create community.

@seasonalwisdom – for “wise” ideas about fruit on the grill, grass/lawn alternatives and avoiding pesticide-riddled celery.

@meredithmo – for hipping us to the urban vineyard in Ohio, especially since our mapping protocol looks at the use of urban space and job creation (for traditionally unemployable populations).

@LaOpinionLA –para la cobertura de la Copa del Mundo en 140 caracteres o menos (nuestro distracción de la semana)!  for World Cup coverage in 140 characters or less (our diversion of the week)!

@hyperlocavore – pour tendre la main a tous les gens qui parlent francaise ET partagent leur jardins!  for reaching out to all the people who speak French AND share their yards!

Following Leaders 5/28

This week we did a lot of our ongoing work on urban agriculture (and followed the progress of funding the National Housing Trust Fund).  But, we were also keeping an eye on issues outside our focus area that seem to have gone off the radar as a result of the BP disaster.

As we looked at innovative ways to bring the farm to the food desert and turned to our Twitter friends for resources on urban farming and portable urban agriculture, we also sought ways to support our friends working to bring relief to victims of flood in this country and fighting in another.

See you next week.

@AmpleHarvest – for ideas about how backyard gardeners can provide their extra produce to hungry people.

@BuyLocalCA – for presenting the question: what do you think the future of urban farming looks like?  And offering links that help us be part of the answer.

@minigarden – for ideas about container gardening as we researched “portable” gardens (detailed in yesterday’s blog post).

@AnarchyGarden – for a tip and contact info on community gardens in urban affordable housing.

@PlayItFwd – for assisting Tennessee flood victims with a “musical benefit for a musical city.”  The need is still there.

@cateandrebecca – for finding a way to help the war-ravaged women and children of the Democratic Republic of Congo achieve self-sustenance

Following Leaders 5/21

When I started explaining who we were following a few weeks ago, it was a way to express great appreciation. It still is. I mean, dang, tweets can provide something we actually use every day. (Sometimes those 140 characters just provide a welcome diversion.)

Our list is never exclusive, of course.  How could it be with so much great information? We don’t follow “less” who we followed last week. Indeed, the research and work we do continue to rely heavily on past followees. Certainly over time we will double-, triple- and quadruple-up our props.  This process is about letting our friends know we value them.  And how…

@Hominc – for taking the fight to the PHAs and stating the important: “Public housing authorities need a huge culture shift.” (We so needed the reminder as we compile our list of community gardens in PHAs.)

@FarmForager – for a link to a new report by the USDA Economic Research Service: “Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts and Issues” that we’re using in our mapping protocol.

@NLIHC – for keeping the heat up on the National Housing Trust Fund and calls to support more affordable housing.

@Cocoxochitl – for reintroducing the wotd (word of the day) “greenlining” to our vocab and reminding us that sometimes it’s all about finding Pixies, Sonic Youth, Pavement & Radiohead all in a row.

@SilverlakeFarms – for encouraging locals to attend the Food & Flowers Freedom Act hearing at City Hall today and breaking ground on a new grow site in our ‘hood.  Go to their free Urban Farming workshop tomorrow! http://is.gd/bugoi

@GreenzerFr – for hipping us to the fact that the French don’t want to pay more for green, either. Nous aimons le vert…pas cher!

Following Leaders 5/14

This week, we were working on innovative gardening techniques for clients.  Additionally, we continued identifying farmers markets that accept Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. Ultimately, we’ll have an extensive directory to include with our mapping project. And, our work always includes keeping abreast of housing and homeless policy.  The friends we follow today have all helped us achieve these goals this week (and provided a happy reminder of why we garden).

See you next week.

willamettenhs – for links to a report summarizing a national survey on state modernizaton efforts regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

UrbanFarmMag – for the crop profiles we found on their website that helped us help our clients

TheAgUrbanite – for reviewing a guerilla gardening project for children and adults who live in the inner city (and giving us ideas about how to get our clients involved in something similar).

Naehomelessness – for calls to appropriate $165 million to Runaway Homeless Youth Act and keeping on top of McKinney-Vento funding

LAFarmGirl – for great pictures of first sugar snap peas of the season!

Following leaders 5/7

Last week we said it’s the passion and commitment that we see in tweets that educates, astounds, saddens, and inspires us – sometimes all at the same time! We’ve always wanted to explain why we follow whom we follow on Fridays.

For low-income people, hunger and overall health relates directly to access to affordable housing. This week, we’ve been doing deeper level work on this subject, and thanks to our Twitter friends, we’ve been able to find some really compelling and useful resources. We were also reminded that it’s the little things that get us through the big events.

See you next week.

@vermonthousing – for reminding us about HUD’s delayed publication of income limits and a link to an article summarizing “Rx for Hunger: Affordable Housing” which helped us parse through the actual report.

@UrbanFarming – for helpful tweets about urban cities’ efforts to eliminate hunger and for encouraging folks to donate their excess harvests.

@invisiblepeople – for news about a farmer’s donation of land to feed the poor and thusly hipping us to the folks at @csproject.

@gaiapunk – for what seem like a zillion urban permaculture links that have helped us frame solutions to combating hunger in affordable housing.

@chtrust – for always wonderful affordable housing work and for acknowledging our 10th birthday (who doesn’t love a b.day greeting?).

@arsculinaria – for tweeting on practicing local food tenets even while experiencing water restrictions in flood ravaged Nashville. Be well.

Following leaders

We love the variety and depth of information we get from our friends on Twitter. With passion and commitment, groups send out tweets that educate, astound, sadden, and inspire us – sometimes all at the same time! What a community.

We hate not being able to fully explain why we “follow” who we follow on Fridays. So, here’s our effort to remedy that. These are friends we’re following today, and why. Hope you will, too.

We’ll certainly do this again.

@new_urbanism – for an upcoming, free online participatory community to discuss sustainable cities of the future.  We can’t wait!

@BVHHgarden – did you know they’re building their community garden this weekend? They are!  Go help, if you’re in Milwaukee.

@farmingconcrete – for providing some amazing prototypes on urban food systems mapping, which we’re using in our work.

@thefoodtrust – for the time-saving report: The Grocery Gap: Who Has Access to Healthy Food and Why it Matters, we’ve been using this week.

@NLCHPhomeless —  for working to increase funding for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Programs and Housing Choice Voucher programs

@PAHousing – did you know about a free voice mail program that helps those without phones, in crisis and in transition? They told us about it.

@NFI_Info – for conducting a citywide census of community gardens, and creating a replicable strategy for obtaining unused land for urban gardening.