OLD POEM// drake is an anarchist, a love poem

~Be like the juice from the orange~
HE finally made it to California. Drake stares at the glass in his hand. He realizes
how wrinkled his brow is and smooths out his face. He goes back inside and finishes recording vocals for “4 PM in Calabasas.”Plus stares at the empty plastic bottle. There’s a whole hole in it, he’s trying to get it to smoke.

He stares at the notepad in his hand at the untitled poem.

The sun comes up again.

~wanna get you down on
a page put an explosion
in a bottle show my
friends merrily merrily
wanna be seen with
disappear u
this shit is not a love poem
this a fuck a artist meet em
where they cum song
i do not know what the
fuck you thought this was poem
this a eating pussy
better just because song~

Drake smiles at her,
“I just wanna interview you”
she’s in the bed too,
she smiles back and says
“Interviews are like confessions”

The music is really loud, Meek Mill is trying to sleep,
shots ring out.

There’s a gun in Drake’s face.

Plus writes a poem in his notepad:

Drake finishes recording “4PM in Calabasas” and comes back
outside. He smiles writing in his notepad:

friends
water
sky
new friends
sunshine
fun
big ol breakfast!
pictures
pretty towels
sports
sunglass
go!

Plus’s poem goes like this:
i hope drake
i hope drake is on vacation
right now, and loving it
i hope drake is happy
i hope drake doesn’t really
have people trying to kill him
and if he does i hope they stop
i hope everyone forgives
each other
I hope someone new
comes into drake’s life
inspiring all kinds of
beautiful poetry and
heartfelt song
I hope drake knows when to be quiet
and listen

Plus is quiet on the beach. His friends are all around him,
he looks over there’s Sasha. He’s smiling. She and Walker
lead him to the water. He’s being quiet.

Drake’s Pop Style, through an anarchist lens is easy: Drake is really only able
to live this life because of his money, but he wants absolute freedom. He wants
to turn his birthday to a lifestyle, he wants to be able to make art as much
as possible, and he wants his family to be okay. He can’t chill though, ever.
He can’t trust no fucking body. It’s hard being a nigga. I’m talking about me,
I’m anarchist. – +

Drake and Sol Patches meet. Drake realizes how much he inspires them.
Drake realizes how revolutionary his music is. Drake has a secret plan and it’s
a revolution. Drake is being all he can be, Drake forgives himself. Drake is acting
again, soon! Drake is proud of VIEWS despite the reviews.

Drake uses protection. Drake is still alive when we stop death! Drake is listening to
Prince right now or some Stevie and his mama. Drake’s mama understands what he’s
going through right now. She’s not really 70 & alone right now. She & the 6 live
forever. Drake doesn’t have to go through what Kanye went through.

In this reality, no one shoots Drake to death for being himself. Drake sings.
Drake likes Radiohead. Drake never falls off. Long live the 6 God long live
you! Drake likes LEMONADE. Beyonce and Drake never fall off or age or die.

Drake writes a note to his OVO employees:
“We’re the ones taking care
we’re the ones bringing people in
watching the spaces
protecting the culture
nourishing each other
and all our beams

‘Beauty has been stolen from the people’ – Kanye West”

Plus says something to her about his art like “My life is a crime scene.”

Drake writes the lyrics to “Trophies”:
‘If I was doing this for you then I’d have nothing left to prove,
nah, this for me though.
I’m just trying to stay alive and take care of my people.
And they don’t have no award for that.’

Drake breaks down and weeps. The news is heavy on his heart. Later,
he writes a love poem:
~I respect you so hard
I wish I wasn’t afraid of you
I love you so much
I wish I didn’t hate you
lover
hands
what does it mean if I
find weed in my bag
while I’m trying
to cut back but
it’s actually a dried
plant that was alive
with the weekend’s
start a startingly hot day
when all the insects came to play 2 lovers 2 lovers~

INTERVIEW// Manu

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Photo provided by Manu

Let’s Build Garden City!‘s huge citywide workshop series How to Make A Million While Selling Your Crops in the Hood is the gift that keeps giving! Here’s our Q&A with Grow-Op Chicago member & artist Manu! Stay tuned for more gem-filled interviews with farmers in your area! See you next Spring ^_^

 

THE Q&A

What advice do you have for students starting out?

I would definitely say the first thing is Collaboration. With the free time & ability to move around that a student might have, link up with people or organizations who have already been doing work. Not necessarily to commit to sticking with them forever but just to kind of get into the industry, start developing friendships, you know?

How did you get started out?

My nutritional anthropology professor asked me to be a part of a research team, mostly made up of grad students. The study was measuring the impact that Dekalb County Community Gardens had on the level of food security or insecurity in Dekalb County. So I was like “Yeah, that sounds really really awesome.” Dekalb, IL has a pretty big Latinx population. I was asked as part of the research team to use the training I was getting in anthropological methods to interview people – it was mostly people of color .

What are some local resources you think students should know about?

AUA (Advocates for Urban Agriculture). I’m friends with a few of them there and enjoy
what they do. Their main focus is to get resources out to people who are interested in
urban agriculture.  They have a new resource guide you can get for free online through their website, you can also buy a hardcopy. I recently finished translating
it into Spanish. There’s a lot of accessible resources that even a student could learn from.

So definitely AUA, specifically their resource guide. Through AUA they also have this really really cool mapping website. CUAMP, the Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project. You basically go on this website and type in your address and it’ll show you the different community gardens, urban farms, and places where people grow near you.

I do Grow-Op Chicago, with Matthew Gladly and others. Our goal is to connect people. That’s why I love CUAMP  because it makes that work so much easier.

I also was going to talk about Steve who runs OTIS farms in Back of the Yards.

Down the street from Breathing Room Space?

Yeah! Steve is just wonderful, he has a lot of knowledge. He’s currently staying at Breathing Room, so you could go there and find him.

Do you have any advice for students just looking for a fun service learning project to do?

If you’re not into touching dirt you don’t have to. *laughs* There’s so much that goes on outside of the actual garden that is essential for having any sort of profitable success or just success as far as impact.  There’s a lot you can do without having to actually be placing the seeds down.

What’s the secret to students treating each other right?

First of all developing an overall sense of self-awareness- how your presence is affecting a space that you’re interacting with and the people you’re interacting with. Not in a judgmental way but in a literal “how is my presence here affecting what’s going on.”

And at that point being aware of what’s already happening wherever you are. And then taking into consideration the other people you might be interacting with have feelings, goals, passions, and hopefully have other people’s best intentions in mind. Which isn’t always true but still when you meet someone, they are sentient. They have a whole history and paradigm they’re experiencing things from.

And then after that we can talk about communication. Different culture doesn’t necessarily have to be in another country. Even in Chicago there’s so many different cultures, there’s ethnic cultures to social cultures. People are different. We all have a similar condition but people are approaching it in so many ways. Being aware of that.

But I think it first has to come from inside. Because if you’re not understanding how you’re impacting where you’re at it’s going to be very difficult to understand why people are acting the way they are.

Earlier you mentioned “anthropological imagination,” do you want to talk about that more?

Yeah! Another friend of mine who I met first through them being my professor in college is Mark Schuller. He’s an anthropologist that’s been writing about this concept. Imagination often takes on a meaning of “child’s play;”  it’s very stigmatized, like “imagination isn’t real” or  like it’s just what little kids do or something. But really how I’m understanding “anthropological imagination” is it’s taking a very holistic multidisciplinary approach to how we can process, address, or ideally solve contemporary world issues.

I’ve been thinking a lot about using that concept and applying it to people not having equitable access to food, you know, where they’re living. I’ve been thinking a lot about that and like not even how to research something like that, even though that is really important, but how to engage as an advocate for urban agriculture within communities. Whether it’s my own community or a community I’m involved in through another growing initiative. It’s like using anthropological imagination to become aware of what’s been happening in this community,  what is happening now, and, like, where do people in this community wanna go?

And really forgetting about these -ologies, you know?

Thank you!

 


 

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INTERVIEW// Laurie Ouding

Image-1

Photo provided by L. Ouding

Let’s Build Garden City!‘s huge citywide workshop series How to Make A Million While Selling Your Crops in the Hood is the gift that keeps giving! Here’s our Q&A with Food Matters, LLC. founder & nurse Laurie Ouding! Stay tuned for more gem-filled interviews with farmers in your area! See you next Spring ^_^

THE Q&A

Would you like to introduce yourself?

My name is Laurie Ouding. I’m a pediatric nurse at Rush, I’m also a legal consultant nurse for a law firm and I have a legal consulting business along with the urban agriculture stuff that I’m doing. I am also an Associate Board member at Advocates for Urban Agriculture.

What are you up to in 2020? Tell us about Food Matters, LLC!

The Food Matters space is a new construction project that’s pretty big. A shared community kitchen so we can teach people, and a 3,000 sq ft greenhouse so we can show people: This is how you grow food year-round. The indoor farmer’s market [will have] food available everyday all year. Fresh produce grown here but in collaboration with all the local farmers in the community and the Chicago area.

So there’s access. We’re addressing the access problem. There’s [also] going to be a rooftop garden with an event space.

FM, LLC
What advice do you have for students starting out?
My advice is for students to connect to people who are Doing It. People like LBGC!, Advocates for Urban Agriculture,  the University of Illinois Ext. Group. Spending time with people who are  farming so you can see what the work is actually like.

Also: learning the whole food cycle. What it takes when you grow something. The planting of it, the harvesting of it, and then what happens? Is the farmer selling it to a grocery store and what does that look like?

If they learn the whole thing they can find their niche.

What are some local resources you think students should know about?

AUA is probably my go-to. Bronzeville actually has Bronzeville Neighborhood Farm which is like a block and a half from me. And the guy that runs that, Johnny, is great. I’ve volunteered over there with AUA and so, like today, they have a spinach sale going on in their hoophouse. That’s a great resource.

Perry Farm, I think in Woodlawn, they have a great program that works with Sweetwater Foundation. They have a farm and farmer’s market onsite but they also have a Woodworking program and they do other classes out there. They’re
doing an amazing job of helping people in their own community.

Do you have any advice for students just looking for a fun service learning project to do?

You could really do it inexpensively if you wanted to. You could do aquaponics: get a small fish tank! There’s a lot of science involved and math involved and learning but I think it’s in a good way where they get excited about that.

It’s really rewarding when you take these seeds and you grow it into something that you’re now eating. You have ownership of that. And I think that kids nowadays, they don’t necessarily get that opportunity to have that power in their life. To have something that they have taken care of, they’re responsible for. And then at the end you have this great product that you can now feed somebody.

I think that can be really rewarding and pretty simple.

What’s the secret to students treating each other right?

As a pediatric nurse I have patients from babies to even 30 year olds sometimes. And I think you have to meet people where they are. I’m not gonna talk to a 15 year old the same way that I talk to a 2 year old *laughs* So meeting that person where they are and trying to find out what they’re looking for.

If people see that you care and see that as an example then you create a space where that’s the norm.

And setting ground rules at the beginning. If you have a group of kids and say “This is a space where we’re gonna talk about what you feel like we need to have in our community”…but the ground rules are, like, We Have To Listen To Each Other, We have to respect each other’s platform that they  want to be on. If you’re going to give criticism, make sure it’s constructive, etc..



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🌻

INTERVIEW// Eric Rodriguez

Eric Rodriguez

photo provided by E. Rodriguez

Let’s Build Garden City!‘s huge citywide workshop series How to Make A Million While Selling Your Crops in the Hood is the gift that keeps giving! Here’s our Q&A with Urban Canopy co-founder & farmer Eric Rodriguez! Stay tuned for more gem-filled interviews with farmers in your area! See you next Spring ^_^

THE Q&A

What are you up to in 2020?

I’m going to be homestead gardening in Florida until March. We’re really excited about planting fruit trees and getting avocados. I saw avocados that were like THIS big and shaped like a zucchini!

Image result for long neck avocado

It’d be great to get people to come see the horses, too.

IMAN (Inner-City Muslim Action Network) is gonna be opening up a kitchen [in Chicago] that’s an education space for the community to come in and learn how we cook the stuff that we’re growing at the gardens & offered at the markets. Even some of the stuff that’s offered at the corner stores that people might not even see or know was there.

Tell us about IMAN’s Green ReEntry Program? It’s for people coming out of incarceration?

Yeah and then they go on a track to either carpentry, electrical work, or heating venting & air-conditioning. They pick a track and they’re able to have 8-12 months of immersed hands-on stuff. With soft-skill learning days- so they can learn how to cook and make their own breakfast, lunch, &, dinner for them and their families.

So hopefully that kitchen gets going by the summertime.

When did you start doing agricultural work?

My very first project was working at the Plant Chicago. In that warehouse space [aka Bubbly Dynamics] they were building aquaponics systems and I was on my way out of UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago). For my senior design class we went to the Plant to try to scope out projects and we found out they were doing this vertical wall that they wanted to grow, like lettuce & leafy greens out of.

And then I got connected to the Urban Canopy, one of the businesses that rented space out of the Plant. When I first started we were doing like 3 little farmer’s markets and had 10 compost club members.

What’s some advice you have for students starting out as a professional in the agriculture industry?

A lot of the training I got was through the Urban Canopy, little by little. I learned the value of writing things down. And trying to gather as much information as possible so that next year when we’re in the same situation we’re not like ‘What did we do last year? I think we had a good plan but what was it…?’

Because I got to spend 5 years there and see it grow, when I was leaving we had like a THOUSAND compost club members. We had like a hundred CSA members, we were doing like 15 farmer’s markets.

Do you have any other words of encouragement for someone looking for a service learning project to do?

This is a new time we have opportunity to grow, literally & metaphorically. Young people might see it as the biggest employer [in their neighborhood] is selling drugs…but there’s big employers in food, too. Who doesn’t eat food? People are pulling back on supporting bigger chains and supporting local projects.

How To... photo


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INTERVIEW// +

How To... photo

+, via #supportstudentgardens

Let’s Build Garden City!‘s huge citywide workshop series How to Make A Million While Selling Your Crops in the Hood is the gift that keeps giving! Here’s our Q&A with LBGC! founder & rapper +! Stay tuned for more gem-filled interviews with farmers in your area! See you next Spring ^_^

THE Q&A

Who are you?

+, aka Plus Sign.

What’s some advice you have for students starting out as a professional in the agriculture industry?

Hustle with the intensity of a famous rapper…and also relax & play with the intensity of one!

What are some local resources you think students should know about?

Of course everything in our resource library…and our community partners like Grow Op Chicago in Logan Square and the Breathing Room Space in the Back of the Yards neighborhood can show you a lot about organic collaboration. Advocates for Urban Agriculture has a huge community of people around it, too (AUA listserv). And Milan Anderson mentioned the Chicago Environmental Network. They seem really helpful!

Do you have any words of encouragement for someone just looking for a fun service learning project to do?

It’s really really exciting and beautiful to give life! And it doesn’t cost a lot but you can learn about any topic you want through it: from black history, to science, to health, to math. It saves lives and makes the world around you more healthy and connected in every way.

What’s the secret to students treating each other right?

Patience & active listening. Freedom from fear.

Anything else you want to talk about?

I’m excited to hit the streets and party on behalf of student gardens this year! Follow @letsbuildgardencity on IG to know when we’re gonna be out!

Traveling Party!

 

Can we share your social media?

 

Yes, please! I’m @nearfutureplus on IG & Twitter.

 

 


 

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HOW TO BE A SUPERHERO vol. 3 is now available

LBGC! Strategy Guide (Volume 3)

STUDENTS! ONLY CLICK IF YOU’RE READY FOR THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME

OLD ESSAY// God’s Plan is #nomoneynoborders

“God’s Plan” is a song by Canadian musician Drake from his EP Scary Hours.”God’s Plan” became the 29th song in history to debut at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, making it Drake’s fourth US number one, and second as a lead artist. It also debuted at number one in Canada,and atop the UK Singles Chart on January 26, 2018, giving Drake his second number-one single as lead artist there after “One Dance” (2016). The song also broke first-day streaming records on both Apple Music and Spotify. It is the most influential song in the world right now!

Submitted by +


1. Life Does Not Transcend Money & Borders
2. Freedom Transcends Money & Borders

3. Art Transcends Money & Borders

4. Believing in Yourself Transcends Money & Borders

5. The Savior Transcends Money & Borders

6. Partying Transcends Money & Borders

7. Love Transcends Money & Borders

8. Utopia Transcends Money & Borders

9. Hip-Hop Transcends Money & Borders

10. Future Transcends Money & Borders