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Showing posts from November, 2010

"Wowww, Look at Our Garden!"

"Wowww! Look at Our Garden!"

So said teenage Christine when she came around the side of the house in view of our workshop garden this past Saturday.  For four saturdays, once a month, for four months (skipping December), I'm leading an introductory food garden class with a friends' group of nine special needs teens at the home of Kelly Hetherington, one of the teen's mothers.

Back in July/August, Kelly, Annie's mother got in touch with me: "I want my daughter to learn how to grow vegetables, and I wonder whether you'd be willing to do a workshop with her and her friends."  Turned out, she also wanted her own food garden, so we developed a workshop + double raised bed install plan: one for her uses and the other for the workshop.

In mid October, the teens and I (with ample support from parents and a few of my friends) launched the food garden workshop series by filling a raised bed frame with compost, tacking in nails and running string to make …

The Space at Feather Oaks Food Garden Workshop: Sat., Nov 20th, 9:30-11:30

Here's a few images from the workshop:




Good Food Schools

Have you ever heard-tell of the citizenship schools of the 50s and 60s?  (Click here for a mini-history from the perspective of the Highlander Folks School in eastern Tennessee.)

On the surface level, the citizenship schools were simply a place where black folks taught other black folks how to read and write, the point being to pass the literacy exams and register to vote.  But since the focus was voter registration, there was an emphasis on empowerment, on learning how to be good citizens, and, more immediately, on how to participate in the civil rights movement.  The schools also functioned as hubs of community, economic, and political activity.  Folks didn't learn how to read Pooh Bear, they began reading by learning the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights.  Once they'd learned to read about their rights, they began raising questions like, "Why don't we enjoy these rights?"  And from there, "Once we register to vote, what and who are we going to vote for?  A…

A garden Story Though Pictures

The past two days I was working out at the Ferrel's garden on the east side of town with my buddy, Lindsay.  With a busy schedule and a sore back, Kathy Ferrel's garden had grown-over.  Here's the story through pictures.


As you can tell from the images, Kathy's garden was in-ground.  My friend, Lindsay and I working together, we cleared the brush; raked up; transplanted irises, day lilies, agapanthuses, and garlic chives; top dressed the area with greensand (a good remedy for N. Florida soils that tend to be potassium deficient) and compost; shaped the beds; and lastly put seeds and plants in the ground.

In the picture above, you can see the Rosemary in the bottom left-hand corner surrounded by johnny jump-ups (which you can eat).  Back behind the rosemary, there's a bed of kale and chard and broccoli.  To the left, there's a bed with kale seeds waiting to germinate.  Along the far fence there are two short rows of spinach seeds.  In the top right-hand corner, w…

Finally Caught Her on Film

Last spring up visiting Warren Wilson, my Alma Mater I touched base with my buddy, Lindsay Popper, poet extraordinaire, college-mama/grand-ma, admissions guru, plumber and all around amazing person.  I asked, "So, say, Lindsay, where are you going to be come next September?"  She was on the threshold of graduation, and, rather than hem and haw, she quick-responded, "Where do you think I should be?"  "How about," I offered, "you come to Tallahassee and help me out with gardening work?"  She told me she liked that idea.  "Can I make it my 'Plan B'?"  Absolutely.

Well Plan A didn't end up fitting the schedule of the summer camp she's worked at for four years running--and she wasn't about to give that up-- so she came on down.  Lindsay's been here since the end of September; she's helped me out with workshops, worked alongside me putting in gardens and micro-irrigation systems.  She's read loads of books, me…

A Note on Organizing or the Way I've been looking at things recently

Over the past year, I've received a good-handful of emails from well-meaning folks that want to contribute to Tallahassee's food movement.  The messages go something like this: "I'm a young person excited about growing my own food and am looking for a way to give back.  I'm thinking that I'd like to start a community garden for a ________ [insert: poor, Southside, Frenchtown or other lower dollar/power area].  What do you recommend?  How should I get started?"

I never know quite how to respond.  On the one hand, I recognize that folks are sincerely interested in offering their time and energy to a) improve Tallahassee's food security b)increase the access to fresh food in Food Desert areas of Tallahassee, c) take on a sustainable project that reduces food miles, and d) to get to know folks outside their typical networks.  All that I admire and respect.  I also acknowledge that volunteers are critical for the food movement, and deserve appreciation and…