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Showing posts from August, 2010

Whew, hot!

It's been an exciting week.

Last Friday morning, I visited Astoria Park.  Guided by the leadership of Merlin John Baptiste, new director of Astoria's afterschool program, they're organizing a school garden. My role was to present-- along with Ms Miaisha Mitchell, who's done extensive childhood obesity and diabetes work-- on the values (health, academic, behaviorial, etc) of gardens.  By the end of the presentation two more teachers had volunteered to help make it happen.

Saturday, I took a trip to the UF Ag Extention in Quincy for an "Edible Landscape" workshop hosted by The Gardening Friends of the Big Bend, Inc.

Later that afternoon, I visited the FAMU Grape Harvest Festival with two students involved with Tallahassee Sustainability Group, an official Florida State student group.  While walking the vineyards, we discussed how to find FAMU students talking/working on urban agriculture and community gardens in order that students from both FSU and FAMU might …

A Growing Movement

Back home from the American Community Gardening Association annual conference in Atlanta, GA.

Below you can see our Tallahassee Delegation (left to right): Qasima P. Boston, Robbie Estevez, Nathan Ballentine, Joyce Brown (to see Joyce's reflections on the trip, here's her blog), Thomas Lynch (below), Mark Tancig (above), and Merlin John Baptiste.  After a day and a half of the conference-- where we joined over 250 other community garden leaders from 38 states and five countries--folks began responding to my introduction ("Nathan, from Tallahassee) by saying, "You're another person from there.  How many of you are there?!"  Aside from New York-- which brought a bus of 40 people-- we were one of the larger groups.

The conference was tremendous, both in terms of the quality of the people, the presentations/workshops and the tours around Atlanta.  Here's a partial list of links to organizations/ farmers/ programs that presented or were referenced: Growing Hop…

Community Garden Conference

This coming weekend, I'll be leading a Tallahassee delegation to the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) annual conference in Atlanta, GA.  (Conference website for more details). Mark Tancig and Robbie Estevez, representing the Damayan Garden Project, Qasima P Boston (Project Food) and Joyce Brown (CANDI), both with ties to the Greater Frenchtown Revitalization Council, Merlin JnBaptiste, teacher at Astoria Park, and Thomas Lynch, a teacher at Riley Elementary will all be going.  The objective is a) for us to return inspired and equipped to be stronger community garden leaders and b) to build an inter organizational/institutional team to further the food movement here in Tallahassee.

The conference will cover a cross section of community garden topics (including one especially interesting workshop to me: Making More Gardens: Cooperation/Collaboration In Challenging Times: How typical non-profits, governments, businesses and congregations can find common ground to grow …