GREAT IDEAS are born from small causes
Look for a single aspect that can be improved in a community you are part of.
Share with us in detail how you plan to do this.
Let me introduce you a little bit to the community that I am part of. It is a special place called Rudolf Steiner Seminar in Ytterjärna, Sweden. This place holds many beauties, gardens, farms, it is at the shore of the Baltic sea, it is a center for Anthroposophy in Sweden, it hosts the Youth Initiative Program (www.yip.se), many people put their heart blood into shaping this place, many people come here every day to work, there is a Waldorf school, an Anthroposophical clinic, an organic store, a culture house, student houses, study rooms and and and…The whole place is surrounded by Europe’s largest area with only organic or biodynamic farms.
I call it a paradise. Sometimes it makes you feel far away from the world, like in a beautiful bubble.
The place itself is immensely rich with amazingly giving nature. There is not much to improve in terms of materialistic things (as pretty much every where in Sweden). But during the past two years that I’ve been living in this community, I experienced that this place is poor of real human relationships. Or better, there could be so much more relationship and interaction between the people who live and work here. I never had the feeling that we are all building the same cathedral, but more that everyone feels like a lonesome bricklayer who just does his job.
I want to “improve” this poverty of relationship!
Here comes the idea:
Every year, the Seminar is flooded with a big harvest of apples, – you have to imagine A LOT of apples and this over a period of sometimes 6 weeks in the end of August / entire September. The sad thing with these apples is that most of them are not picked and just fall down and eventually rot on the ground. There is not really someone or a group of people who take it on to organize the picking and processing of these mountains of apples.
This year, I decided that I want to facilitate the apple picking process. I want to do this in a way that it brings the community together, that everyone together takes care of the fruit of this place. The plan is to have a weekly apple picking afternoon where all the co-workers, the residents and the new yip students (who just started their year and don’t know the place and the people yet) and who ever wants to join in come together and pick apples. I experienced that through working together, the strongest relationships can be created. This is aimed to give the yip students and the co-workers in the community the possibility to meet over meaningful work, have fun, get to know each other and create a good foundation for strong relationships that will help realizing the huge potential of this community.
But that’s not all. What will happen with those loads of picked apples? We will make juice out of them and then sell it to local restaurants and shops etc. It is my strong wish that all the profit from the apple juice will go to a social initiative outside of our community. A project that has a relation to us and a project that connects with the theme of organic agriculture/gardening in a wider sense. Everyone of the community will hopefully be involved in finding a suiting project. It is such a nice gesture of the garden of the Seminar and of the community to gift these apples to the world. Our fruits can go out and inspire other places.
This is the basic idea.
There are many details to be thought of and talked through.
But the basic dream is to bring the community together through working on the common goal of gifting the profit of our abundance of apples to the world.
-Present the idea to key persons in the community and to the different groups within the community, get those key people involved in the organizing process: I already had 2 meetings the responsible people, very good feedback and full support!
-Present the idea to YIP students: will happen tomorrow (1.Sept.)
-Set date of the first apple-picking afternoon, spread the word, and create a nice flyer: tomorrow and following days
-Invite EVERYONE in and around the community to join the apple-picking afternoons, inviting people personally will be most effective: as soon as flyer is ready
-Make sure that it will be fun: organize snacks and something to drink, live music etc.
-Find buyers for the juice
-Find legal body that will sell the juice and take on the book keeping
-Get in contact with the local apple juicer
-Find yip students who want to help with the documentation of the process (filming etc.)
-Think about several practicalities that have to do with the picking and the transportation of the apples
-Collectively find a project that will receive the gift money.