In an era of increasing economic hardship, lifestyle-related health issues, environmental challenges, and rising youth violence, the “Giving Garden” was conceived in 2013 as a holistic, grassroots approach for uplifting our own communities. A project under the locally-based nonprofit Common Ground Worldwide, the Giving Garden will strive to nurture health in three areas: within ourselves (body, mind and spirit), our relationships with one another, and our way of living on the Earth.
The original Giving Garden pilot-project in Paso Robles will provide training in organic gardening and space for people to grow their own food. In addition to the typical elements of a community garden, it will provide places for people to gather and hold events, lead or participate in workshops, or simply to enjoy quiet space for personal reflection, prayer, or meditation in a tranquil setting. The garden will also serve as a center for nonviolent communication and conflict resolution, offering regular classes as well as on-site volunteer mediators to help people resolve disputes and heal relationships.
A central aspect of the Giving Garden will be to provide a place for locals to initiate projects and turn their own visions into action. This might include a bike repair shed, a music room, a pay-what-you-can café, or a tool library. If you have a dream that fits within the basic theme of the Giving Garden, this could be a place to bring it into reality!
The Giving Garden will be a living experiment in the “gift economy,” an economic model in which skills and resources are voluntarily shared for mutual benefit. All offerings at the Giving Garden will be freely available to the public. The garden's own needs will be clearly communicated so that people can choose to support its existence however they're inspired and able.
The Giving Garden is currently in the visionary-stage, ready for action by our local community. We are looking for a site in North County (even a backyard would be a great place to begin an initial prototype of the garden). To donate to a site acquisition, become a volunteer with Common Ground Worldwide, or share your own ideas for action visitwww.commongroundworldwide.org and www.growing-home.org. We look forward to collaborating with you!