About a year ago, I encountered my friend, Avanish, on Facebook through mutual online friends in the organic gardening realm of the web. We both had a common interest in sustainable living and our online conversations started around Learn & Grow.
At about that same time, the virtual assistant I’d had could no longer continue in the position and I needed someone to replace him. Avanish ended up taking on that responsibility and he and I began speaking almost every weekday for anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours a day from that point forward. He’s learned my special education advocacy and intervention caseload and helps me stay on top of all my responsibilities, including running my calendar, all from his smartphone in Gwalior, MP, India. I’m located in Southern California, USA. Technology is amazing.
But, virtual assistant awesomeness aside, my collaboration with Avanish started with Learn & Grow and the intent was always for him to build his own container garden in Gwalior. Sourcing the tools and parts turned out to be a challenge, but we ultimately figured out that we could order everything through Amazon. The PVC, soil, and plants were locally purchased. And, now, Avanish has started his self-watering container garden in Gwalior using the same methods we use in our Learn & Grow test garden here in Southern California!
Here is Avanish’s photo story of building out his first two containers to start his garden:
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This is an exciting moment for us. The Learn & Grow Educational Series started in 2013 in my little apartment patio/yard with a few self-watering containers that served as our test garden. Today, the original garden has approximately 40 containers and a chicken coop and pens that hold five laying hens. We are using social media marketing methods to push instruction on how to have food security and food independence in these uncertain times, in a way that can be scaled according to each person’s available space and resources.
Our audience has become global. We get the most fascinating stories and inquiries about food security, gardening methods, local fruits and vegetables, and worries about the future of food availability from people around the world through our social media, primarily Facebook and Instagram. We are thrilled to have our methods replicated in a country where access to food is a serious concern for millions of people and growing their own food using our methods could be one of many tools used to combat hunger and poverty in India.
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