Strategies for a graceful dismount
Weekly objectives + achievements:
We had our planned Skype meeting with our community partner this week to discuss the direction for our project since so far there hasn’t been a lot of interest in the oral history component of our project. Fortunately, she did have a few people contact her with information regarding the history of the GISR and potentially the island’s orchards.
Using the information our community partner has passed onto us, our objective for this week is to research into the community members names and bits of history to see if it leads to any more useful information in the literature or online. We have also set up two phone interviews for next week with people from the community member who hopefully can provide their memories or stories from Gambier Island with regard to the orchard. With this, we plan to start on compiling orchard and farm related history from what we find. Additionally, we have found some really good book sources on the history of apple varieties in BC including the specific varieties we identified earlier in the project. We plan to start compiling all of this information into an electronic format on Tuesday, with plans of adding the oral history component later in the week.
Furthermore, as a team we reflected on the moment of significant change and determined ways we could schedule our time better and get our tasks done in a more efficient way. Since many team members have many reports due at the end of November, we have decided to get our final report done two weeks before our due date so that there is ample time to edit and review our final report, presentation, and also our deliverable for our community partner.
Moment of significant change workshop:
From our moments of significant change graph, there are some big changes in morale throughout the term. The first positive change happened when we received clarification of our project objectives. At first we were feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work that was set out for us to accomplished in one term, since the project overview originally stated that we were expected to rejuvenate fruit trees in addition to compiling orchard history, identifying apples, and also culinary uses for the identified apple varieties. After our course instructor Dr. Will Valley clarified that some of these aspects would be for the term two portion of the project, we felt relieved.
The second positive change happened when we were visiting the Gambier island Sea Ranch (GISR) as a group. On Gambier island, we observed what potential challenges our project might encounter. Also, it was an exciting and new experience for us to ride the water taxi and to explore an island community. For example, the community garden concept in GISR is similar to the Guerrilla Garden in South Central Los Angeles. The GISR residents organize community events such that families can plant gardens together like Finley mentioned in his talk (1). This interaction not only enhances family relationships, it also raises awareness of the importance of urban farming and how it could potentially solve community food insecurity. Like Finley mentioned “kids grow kale, kids eat kale” (1), residents on GISR plant their own organic vegetation and the act of doing this can increase food literacy in the community and inspire food security in the greater community of Vancouver since many residents live part of the year on the mainland.
Moreover, during our trip, we learned that the GISR has created their own sustainable food waste system. Residents would put food waste into a shared community composting box and use them as organic fertilizer for community gardens. By creating this food waste system, GISR community avoids accumulating massive amount of food waste on the island similar to how Stuart has mentioned in his talk, the GISR has a solution that helps GISR to reach social, economic and environmental sustainability (2).
A drastic downfall in group motivation was experienced following the proposal report. A key factor we believe that contributed to the result of our proposal is missing the rubric posted on the submission page and not getting the report started early enough. We thought that following our proposal presentation would be sufficient for the report, however when we completed the report we realize there was a rubric we had to follow. At that point it was too late to make significant changes. If the rubric was posted along with the assignment, we would have been able to make a more comprehensive report. From this, we learned that we need to each be responsible for checking the requirements and expectations for each assignment and also making sure to complete things ahead of the deadlines so that there is time to make improvements. Overall, increasing communication within our group with regard to roles and responsibilities will help in avoiding this kind of disappointment going forwards.
Strategy for successful project completion:
As shown on our moments of significant change graph, we had ups and downs throughout our project. However, we have reflected on these important moments, and proposed several strategies to help make this project a success.
One group strategy for successful project completion is to create a timeline. Due to the term coming to an end soon, we have to manage our time wisely by setting deadlines every week to complete specific components in the project. This way we can ensure that sufficient time is available to produce quality work. To complement with the timeline, we suggested to assign tasks to each member, so everybody will specialize in different aspects of the GISR history component of the project, while others will focus on the apples, and others will be responsible for editing and layout/design work for our project deliverables. This will help us to bring all the information together, working as a multidisciplinary team and focusing everyones efforts in areas they excel in.
Another strategy is to maintain good communication within the team, as well as with our community partner. We believe that communicating effectively is crucial in order to know what the responsibilities of each members are, and to maintain group synergy. On the content side of the project, we did not receive as many responses from the community regarding their personal history with the GISR. Therefore, a strategy we propose is to collect data through the web, and library books to provide as much information for our community partner, and the group next term. Our instructor has suggested to us that this information will be a useful starting point for the term two LFS 350 group – in this way, if our community partner would like to pursue the history component of the project further they will have a solid foundation to start from. The moment of significant change graph was a useful activity to help our group make a plan with an upward trajectory going forward in this project, using the idea of ABCD we hope that we can use the information we collect from the community in the coming week will help us to create something our community partner will be happy with.
- Finley, R. (2013, February). A guerilla gardener in south central LA. TED2013. Video file retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerilla_gardener_in_south_central_la?language=en
- Stuart, T. (2012, May). Tristram Stuart: The global food waste scandal. TEDSalon London Spring 2012. Video file Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/tristram_stuart_the_global_food_waste_scandal?language=en