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Living in the Midst of a Renaissance

(A late-night email to a local co-worker in the Food Movement)


It's roll-time.  I am amazed every day by this blossoming movement of which we are part.  This morning I met with the campus chaplain--visiting-- from my Alma mater.  She tells me that her aspiration (at 44) is to go back to school or apprentice under a food activist because she wants to be integral to feeding people; she tells me the words "feed my sheep" keep echoing through her life.  Then, I depart, run into Red Eye Coffee where I exchange emails with four customers who I'm going to visit with on Tuesday to discuss projects.  Promptly, I jet over to TCC to fill out my paperwork so I can teach a "Community Garden Start-Up" short course through Workforce Development, starting on Feb 24th.  While I'm on campus, I track down a Ms Menzel to which Ms Mitchell referred me.  Turns out, she's the Special Projects Coordinator for the new Pres, and he intends to prioritize sustainability; thus, we're going to be in touch.  After TCC, I head to catch the tail end of the Thursday's WIll Allen working-group meeting.  On the way, I check my messages: Jake, one of the FSU sustainability/urban-ag boys says that he's interested in trying to link with the breadth of Leon County teachers who are doing school gardens in some form or fashion, to bring them together, to network them to further their efforts.  When I show up at the Purple House, HQ of the Frenchtown Revitalization Council, Ms Mitchell, Lindsay and Tabatha (a Social Work grad student at FAMU) tell me they've planned a "Fresh Dinner"-- a combo cooking demo + tapas + a screening of Fresh, the Movie.

Ms Mitchell and I also talk about linking Vince McHenry (who's been participating in the Will Allen Group) and Jake to co-lead the teacher-gardener networking projects so that part-and-parcel, embodied in the coordinators is a team that bridges the race and school divides (Jakes's at FSU; white, Vince is at TCC; black).  After the Purple House, I swing up to my church, Faith Presbyterian to meet Wendell, Ms Mitchell's son at the church garden to talk raised-bed installation work.  I'm looking to assemble a team of willing/able workers that I can call in a rotating fashion if/when I've got too much raised-bed business to handle personally-- especially since I'm looking to launch an "economy gardens" line consisting of 4x4 raised beds ready to plant-- complete with Food Garening 101 resources-- installed for $100.  Post that, I run home to print agendas and head to a community garden interest/organizational meeting out in Southwood.  In a single day.  That's not because I'm good; it's because there's that much going on in this town.  It's like we're living in the midst of the renaissance.

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