Engage: Intercultural Gardens

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The Community Arts Special Topics Seminar addresses issues of immediate concern in a specific community in the greater Bay area. Student gain intimate knowledge of various strategies for working with a specific organization and the ability to navigate through the problems and dilemmas that those organizations face.This class will explore the possibilities of a community garden as urban site that integrates subsistence production with social hybridization and cultural transmission. Looking at a range of local and international gardens as models for this perspective, we will explore how specific cities, schools, neighborhoods and immigrant communities are generating gardens that educate and empower their communities, grow food and create social spaces for communication and integration. The class will draw upon urban studies., the lively Bay Area urban farming community, ethnobotany and collaborative practice. Partnering with Emerson Elementary school in the Temescal District of Oakland, this ENGAGE class will work with an enthusiastic group of 4th graders as we continue designing, planting and maintaining the orchard and pollinator garden that was constructed last spring. We will also publish a garden curriculum and recipe book for the school.