Thanks for all the support everyone!
We're pretty flexible, so we could use it for mulch or compost. As the 'blight' does it heaviest growing in the summer, it makes most sense to use it as a mulch. But we also use other items, like pre-existing compost and/or coffee bean bags, as mulch as well. The more material, the better! What's nice about the grass clippings in particular is that they are high in nitrogen, and generate a good bit of mycellium (fungus), which in turn gives vegetative plants greater access to nutrients!
We are harvesting it all and taking it to a central location at Shasta & Trezevant. The best way to see it would be here:
....which is exactly why the problem came to exist in the first place...
The irony of the 'me too' concept, is that, in this case, we are wanting to work in a neighborhood with the majority of the population elderly and with an income well below a line that permits an 'internet' bill from entering their fixed budget. (i.e. the internet 'neighborhood' bears little semblance to the real neighborhood)
As such, we approach this from an organic, rather than paternalistic, direction. My team and our local support is indigenous, rather than the impulses of the middle class 'professionals' out on the periphery.
Fortunately there's actually a good number of 'repurposeable' (did I spell that correctly, or is it even a word?) items in the area. For instance, I've worked in the past with a pallet factory taking scrap wood they don't want and would otherwise burn and used it for: raised beds, stakes, table legs, etc. and would do the same here. I guess the greatest help I could get would be advocacy, as its not always clear how to navigate the city/county dynamics of Memphis, and who's in charge of what, etc.
For further insight:
These neighborhoods are not facing a turn around. The blight is only spreading and deepening. There are nearly entire blocks in N. and S. Memphis which are desolated and abandoned.
Even in the next neighborhood over, Nutbush, where I live, the blight has spread as homeowners are facing foreclosure and homes have become run down to the point of uninhabitable. Its very poignant and sad.
In fact, she's vying for some funding on this very site. She's trying to coordinate an Urban Ag. School. Its a great idea. In fact, I'd probably end up 'teaching' some if it happens. Grow Memphis is also in on it.
Just to make it clear about my interest in this grant: My team and I want to take on the dozen+ lots around Shasta. We would certainly use two more weedeaters to maintain and continuously harvest from the lots we were not directly growing on.
I know everyone mentioned in the article. Mary is just starting that spot in Whitehaven. The two of us have been working separately and simultaneously in Memphis for about the same amount of time. I've concentrated my efforts on N. Memphis, however, and she's been working in S. Memphis. Its a big (stretched out) city, after all...