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Man in Overalls - Time to Put on Your Overalls

Time to put on your overalls.

If you've been waiting for a good opportunity to start growing food, now's the time. If you already know how, it's time you started extra seeds so you can get them to friends, family, neighbors, and strangers. And it's time you start posting and otherwise sharing your grocery growing hacks with anyone interested. Right now, food shortages are largely a phantom of over-buying and everyone stocking up, but with the spread of this disease, a decentralized food system is a resilient food system, a disease resistant food system. Not even in the aftermath of 2008 has a home garden looked so good. Not to mention, in the face of disease, health is paramount.

My co-worker said, "What's terrifying and yet strangely beautiful about the current situation is that it reveals the amazing power of nature to grow and spread. But that same power is available to us"-- to heal, to grow, to feed. Time for us to grow a better future.

In the comin…
Recent posts

Man in Overalls - Why I Wear Overalls

“Why I Wear Overalls?”  or, more simply, “Remember” 9.
My grandfather was buried in overalls.
His children placed seed packets in his breast pocket before they planted him.
My mother, her bowed head dropping tears on his cold face,
She tells me “He never wore a suit.”
“Overalls everyday of his life.  Wore ‘em to church.”
“Ain’t that the truth,” chimes my aunt.  “Clean shirt. Maybe some other shoes.”
And my mother again: “Just didn’t make any sense burying him in a tie.”

8.
Five days prior my grandmother was reselling Salvation Army china at the flea market.
Granddaddy was waiting to go home.
She found him slumped in the front seat of her van;
Doctors said he’d had a stroke.
I say, he caught a ride from St Peter back to the farm.

7.
For decades he carried an inhaler.
It helped him cope with the emphysema,
earned, like his calluses, from a one-mule plow. 
He carried the land in his lungs like gulps of oxygen.
Every now and then, he required another breath.

6.
1955.
Grandaddy hit a patch of fog heading for Grac…

Man in Overalls - Woo hoo! $100K in revenue! Thank you

Thank you! Team Overalls just grew past $100k in annual revenue! We're on track to 2x the highest top-line # we've ever made! It's not all about the money, but it's worth taking a pause to celebrate and to offer thanks in recognition of this threshold of success because it notes a potential that, in all honesty, I never considered these humble Overalls held. Here’s to a great cloud of supporters & encouragers, co-workers, customers, & collaborators. First up a word of thanks to my team: Valerie Herrmann & Don Justice who have joined me in the work of helping others grow their groceries; also here's to Cecil DiChiara, who has been my right-hand-apprentice growing the seeds of our Overalls Farm in my own backyard. These 3 have had my back, shoveled my shovel, & brought their sharp minds to the Overalls table. If you haven't already, you'll likely meet them in the months to come. We are also indebted, gratefully, to our customers. From our tur…

Man in Overalls - Last night, 10 years ago

10 years ago, last night - as recorded in my journal ... - "I couldn't sleep all night long because I was up thinking about this food gardening business idea. I settled on a few things: a name and a branded persona ("Man in Overalls") as well as a few ideas on how to use such a persona and business as a food movement platform and how to make food gardening demand viral." - A few months before, once I had decided to focus my efforts on launching a food gardening biz, I concluded that of the three pillars necessary for successful biz (product, books, and marketing), I was comfortable with the first two, but how to market? How to arrange for customers to come a calling? I had not a clue. Thus it was in this all-nighter idea-storm 10 years ago that I was suddenly released like water finding a crack in a dam. - It all started with the idea about a cardboard sign. (Well, it really started with my grandfather who lived everyday of his life in overalls, who, ultimatel…

Man in Overalls - Let's Grow Everywhere!

I just read a little book about a big deal: No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg. It's helping me make some sense out of my entire adventure in Overalls.

[For context, Greta is a 16-year-old Swede who has been on a school strike to draw attention to the climate crises because we've got until 2030 to cut our emissions by 50% or suffer a positive feedback loop where warming leads to more emissions which leads to more warming leading to unprecedented climate disruption. (Even in my short life, I've seen the agricultural zones noticeable shift north - even moreso from the stories of my grandmother, so this worries me). Greta calls on us to assess all endeavors not just by financial ability but by asking, "Have we got enough of the carbon budget to spare to go through with this?" She speaks "on behalf of future generations" in simple, challenging words inciting us to confront what needs changing in order to address the crises before us …

Man in Overalls - You Don't Need a Farm to Grow Your Groceries

I've been rolling my #GrowCart through Jacksonville's streets to highlight the fact you don't need a lot of space to grow your groceries. In other words, you don't need a farm to have a garden - which is worth celebrating!
If you're like me, you'd love be able to pick something from your garden, more or less, everyday - something to base dinner on or something to give it that extra touch of flavor and the health that only fresh can provide. Growing your groceries gives you the freshest food money can't buy as I like saying. Unfortunately there's a deep seated myth in the American psyche about having a food garden.

I can't count the number of folks I've met at workshops, calls and emails I've received, and Facebook comments I've gotten over the years from folks saying something akin to: "I'd love to have you out to help us start a garden once... we've got a bigger place" - or - "we move to the country." The as…

Man in Overalls - Thanks to my Grocery Growing Gurus

I'm grateful because...
Well, it started with my mother: when I was 8, she taught me how to turn over the soil with a shovel, how to sow seeds, how to break a little branch off a shrub and stake it over newly transplanted starts to lessen the brunt of the sun, how to thin carrots, stake tomatoes, dig potatoes, and crop collard greens. By and large, the basics, I learned from her. Without the fertile soil of those fundamentals nurturing my journey as a gardener and these days as an itinerant urban farmer I wouldn't have had those early seasons of (relative) success. I wouldn't have hung up my sign as they say, and I surely wouldn't have made these how-to videos with the FL Department of Agriculture in order to freely share those basic gardening skills with the state's children.

I am Man in Overalls in no small part due to the many agricultural teachers I've had through the years. I am able to support folks like yourself in growing food for self and neighbor onl…