Syzygy (syzygy) wrote in syz_satyagraha,
Syzygy
syzygy
syz_satyagraha

Localizing Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships

The senior apprentice here will be completing his apprenticeship and leaving by the beginning of September. Not only will we be down to two people at this location, but my knowledge and skill in no way compares to his. So I feel strongly that we should have two interns for the fall, at least.

In the past, it seems like the most energy has gone towards foreign interns, particularly those from 'developing' countries. But at this point visas are becoming more difficult to get. We will probably be able to get one such intern from Costa Rica this fall. It stands to reason that if we find another intern, he or she should be American or a resident. In order to get one, realistically, we would need a modest grant to provide for his or her basic needs while here.

JB of the economic relocalization group has been really interested in getting EA more connected to the local community, training local students, and starting food-producing projects in the area. Just having done a preliminary search for foundations that provide grants for environmentalism and sustainable agriculture, I think that not only is the localization angle a good one, it would be motivating to Northern Californian foundations as well. I'm not sure if you can use two grants for one person, but if so that would be perfect. Actually I think that with a little time, we could easily have a regular localizing sustainable agriculture scholarship for two interns at all times.

Of course interns are great no matter where they're from, but this is a very interesting possibility. Possibly interns from other regions could get similar grants for their own area, which might even continue after their internship if they had a project to start.

Personally I keep thinking about that garden which provides employment, food, and training for homeless people. And a minifarm could easily connect with a school in a similar way, to provide food, learning space, and hands on environment and gardening classes, and work and exercise for the older students. (I saw a lot of grants for environmental education for youth. That kind of thing can be meaningless, but properly done it could start to rebuild our skill base.) Alternative economy projects are those which will make the difference in the future, but in terms of making a difference in the present, a community project like the above would be able to change people's lives, and doors would open for such a project.
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