The Eugene Avant Gardeners are a volunteer driven, horizontally organized, open collective and free community resource for enhancing food sovereignty through localized food production, volunteerism, community building, networking, and honoring our interdependence with each other and our ecosystems.
Avant Gardeners act to make their communities more sustainable and food secure by sharing plant food and plant medicine, their ideas, their labor, and encouraging each other toward action.
A note from an experienced gardener
You may be aware that AG is “horizontally structured.” There are those of us who take more active organizer/coordinator roles, and those who have been a part of AG longer, but nobody has more power than anybody else here. We all grew up in a society with embedded power structures, so something as different as a horizontal structure can take some getting used to.
The horizontal model becomes more effective the more individuals feel empowered to autonomously organize amongst themselves and take direct actions that are in alignment with the group’s overarching goals.
All you need to do is ask yourself questions like, “Will this increase food security where I live?” “Will this build community around gardening?” “Will this spread more knowledge/education about how to grow our own food?” “Will this make people feel empowered/inspired/motivated to autonomously take more direct actions in the future?”
You don’t need anyone’s permission. Anyone can be an organizer. You don’t have to be a master gardener to be an organizer. If you have an idea, go for it!
Ask for what you need in order to make it happen. We are a community that supports each other. If you would like teamwork/brainstorming/collaboration/materials/transportation/labor/resources/ANYTHING in order to effectively turn an idea into reality, reach out and ask for what is required.
*Hint: people will have a *much* easier time lending support if you are very specific about what is needed. The more specific and clear you can be, the better.
Avant Gardeners organize and call out to one other by asking for help, lending a hand, creating media that shares our vision and amplifies one another’s voices, and showing up to share our thoughts.
We use Facebook, the Voices of AG podcast, make zines and flyers, table at events and talk to our neighbors. We continue to find new ways to share what we learn through trial and error while we share food, eco-activism and ideas.
The Eugene Avant-Gardeners is a horizontally organized collection of green thumbed artist and permaculture poets dedicated to creating community through gardening and cultivating local, organic, permaculture food networks. In just the first three years of operation, the Avant-Gardeners hosted over 100 work parties, 12 workshops, volunteered at a handful of events for like minded organizations, gave away over 20,000 veggie starts and hundreds of pounds of food as well as cultivating a vibrant online community with a Facebook page of over 16,000 members networking and sharing gardening tips.
There is no hierarchy or formal membership – organizers give the tools to anyone who wishes to become an organizer. Avant-Gardeners first helped facilitate a work party on December 25, 2013 at CALC in the Whiteaker neighborhood. Since then it has helped facilitate many more work parties in Eugene and Portland, mostly in people’s yards. Yards are great locations for building trust and friendship. Work party hosts can choose to invite people to work parties by sharing their addresses publicly, or they can choose to have people RSVP by phone or personal message before receiving the address.