The Gossamer Foundation is all about sustainability, providing in-depth training, information, and skills to help more people learn about ecological balance and sustainable development.
As there is a hidden hunger prevalent in America at the moment, learning how to be self-sustainable is incredibly important. It’s estimated that 85% of Americans are deficient in essential nutrients.
So, without further ado, let’s dive straight into the mission statement, top priorities, and the origins of the Gossamer Foundation.
Why the Name Gossamer Foundation?
According to the Gossamer Foundation website, these are the reasons behind the name of their foundation. Firstly, the definition of the word ‘gossamer’ is a light, fragile material or substance.
The second reason is due to the Butterfly Effect and on Gossamer Wings.
Emerson said, “everytime you wink the stars move” this means that small, inconsequential changes in input can result in a drastically different output.
The Gossamer Foundation’s Mission
The Earth consists of 8 main ecosystems that all have interrelated life systems that allow local fauna and flora life to thrive.
These primary ecosystems are the temperate forest, deserts, tropical rain forests, the tundra, grasslands, the taiga, the ocean, and the chaparral.
These ecosystems are important for many reasons.
They give habitats to plants and animals, provide a variety of food chains and food webs, control essential ecological processes to facilitate life, and recycle nutrients between abiotic and biotic elements.
The Foundation believes that simply preserving the world’s ecosystems is not enough; restoring them is a much better approach.
Preservation focuses on preventing further damage and decay, while restoration concentrates on rebuilding and bringing back these ecosystems to their original form.
Based on this vision, The Gossamer Foundation’s goal is to support and promote both local food and global sustainability, as one cannot exist without the other.
In addition to promotion of both these subjects, supporting and creating projects that get people involved is much more effective than just encouragement alone.
What does the Foundation do?
The Gossamer Foundation provides the training, skills, and information to help achieve ecological balance and sustainable development for both current and new generations.
This gives communities, institutions, and the individuals the means to be ecologically and economically self-sustainable.
The foundation enables activities and projects that enable local agriculture. This focus is their top priority.
Encouraging these projects helps promote local and regional sustainable food production systems created by small family farms and gardeners.
These activities are intended to help bring awareness to urban agriculture, which will serve as a solution to many current societal issues, including nutritional poverty, loss of biodiversity, and the healthcare crisis.
Locals foods can help reduce carbon footprints, as well the oil input requirements of big-scale, long-distance monoculture commercial foods.
Not only will this help decrease dependency on fossil fuels, but it will also improve the quality of health, nutrition, environment, national security, and emergency preparedness.
A back-to-the-land movement is occurring all over America. The call ‘Occupy Backyards’ focuses on reclaiming sustainability and self-security for everyone.
The Pay It forward practice is a large element of the projects led by the Gossamer Foundation.
Not only does this enhance project goals, but it also strengthens the notion that by helping others, we also help ourselves.
The Gossamer’s Top Priority Projects:
The Gossamer Foundation has a large range of projects to help raise awareness on sustainability.
Many of these projects feature chickens to promote this idea, but their top priority ones include The Chickens and You Training Series, The Coop Crops, and The Chicken Stimulus Package.
Let’s learn a little about the main focus of these projects and what each one entails.
The Chickens and You Training Series
The Chickens and You Training Series comes in 6 courses, which are currently being offered face-to-face and via the Internet GoToTraining Format.
After completing courses including the Backyard Chicken Keeper Certification courses, attendees will be given the chance to come out on top of the roost, and be awarded the title Master Backyard Chicken Keeper via diploma.
These courses provide invaluable information on how to care for chickens, first-hand experience on raising poultry, as well as how to employ them in diversified small-scale food production.
These systems can be used to utilize the power of poultry in kitchen gardens, community gardens, family farms, schools, rehabilitation centers, and more.
The Coop Crops
The Coop Crops (CC) is a local collective of volunteers who help manage, choose, and create the best chicken housing for qualified groups or families.
They provide birds and offer local support to individuals who might not otherwise be able or allowed to keep chickens.
CC’s primary focus is to encourage people to own a family flock and start growing their own food, which is important as it helps them learn how to be self-sustainable.
Volunteers of Coop Crops help coordinate the Chicken Stimulus Package, while Coop Crop members help run the local Poultry and Garden Clubs for ongoing educational and networking meetings.
All Coop Crops recipients need to complete the Backyard Chicken Keeper Certification course.
The Chicken Stimulus Package
Known as the CPS, The Chicken Stimulus Package works to provide and set networks to help people learn more about family flocks.
Not only does the CSP provide all the information families need to care for chickens, but they also give them fertile eggs, chickens, young female chickens, and non-commercial breed meat birds.
Over 1,500 chicks have been given to first-time chicken owners, as well as hot-line on instructions, feeding, and general questions.
The primary goal of this course is to provide folks in urban and rural areas with heritage birds.
These birds mature more slowly, which means they have high-quality and nutritious eggs and meat.
Making Chickens Available
The CSP networks help build availability and markets of chickens, as well as provide information on how to properly look after them.
Participants of the CSP network include big hatcheries, breed-specific poultry clubs, and even individual breeders.
Another objective of the CSP is to aid newcomers with keeping chickens by sharing their knowledge and experience about poultry.
There’s also a support group that advises on how to properly care for and employ a flock.
Recipients are then expected to help others with starting their family flock via the “Pay It Forward’ system. A lot of CSP recipients join or help form local Poultry and Garden Clubs/
Poultry and Garden Clubs
Last but not least, there are Poultry and Garden Clubs.
These two clubs pair well together as they both involve sustainable food production. Keeping chickens and gardening is a perfect match.
Poultry folk and gardeners share similar goals and objectives.
There is a real synergy between club members as they learn how to incorporate chickens with food production.
Each meeting offers educational and eye-opening information about poultry and/or gardening.
Chicken owners are creating gardens and small orchards, while gardeners are setting up their first coop and flock.
The garden group offers knowledge and experience to bird keepers, as well as seeds and plant cuttings.
There are plenty of green thumbs, eggs, and meat to go round!
The P&G club concept was first described in the “City Chicks” book by Patricia Foreman. The Gossamer Foundation gives out a support package to P&G clubs, as well as topic suggestions for meetings.
P&G clubs help expand local foods and address nutritional poverty.
In order to spread awareness of sustainability and ecological balance, more promotion and support needs to be made available on these subjects.
If you need some more reading on some of the best practices when raising your flock, I’ve reviewed some of the best chickens books available right now.
The Gossamer Foundation acknowledges this and remedies it by offering various projects to help families, communities, and individuals to provide them with the information and means to get started on how to be self-sustainable.
If it wasn’t for projects like the Gossamer Foundation, families wouldn’t be able to experience the joy and pleasure that chickens bring to a household.
Benefits of Owning a Flock
Since owning a flock, I’ve learned a lot on how to be eco-friendly and managed to reduce my carbon footprint significantly.
Not only have these birds dramatically decreased the amount of waste I throw away, but they’ve become a huge part of my family. With help of the Gossamer Foundation, hopefully you’ll be able to experience just how wonderful chickens are!