#GrowYourGroceries - I'll help!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just Finished



Amy (to whom this garden belongs) took the crew and I to dinner at Red Elephant after we'd finished.  (A first for sure!) What a kind lady!  Amy's been gardening since she was a child and this year sought to out-do the potato vine that has (for years) over-taken her in-ground food garden.  With a preliminary tilling, a double layer of cardboard in the bottom of the beds, plus landscape fabric and mulch all around, we've certainly given the potato vine a run for its money.  PS-- Did you notice that the beds are constructed out of recycled plastic material?  (Amy said she wanted them to last "forever.")

Around the edges of building beds, shoveling compost, and planting seeds, I've been in conversation about, I've been exploring the idea of a Tallahassee Center for Urban Agriculture with my local community co-workers. Here's the concept idea that I drafted this afternoon:

The Tallahassee Center for Urban Agriculture will serve as a hub of Tallahassee’s food movement, an incubator, a food “movement halfway house.” Akin to Milwaukee’s Growing Power, Birmingham’s Jones Valley Urban Farm, and Detroit area’s Growing Hope, on surface level, the Center will simply be a functioning urban farm: a farm in the heart of the city. If you take a second look, however, you’d see a institution funded via earned-income that will offer and coordinate an urban ag job training program for the unemployed, "Youth Grow" (i.e., GED ed + urban farming/food gardening training), a community workshop garden, community garden leadership development, school & church garden incubation workshops, cooking classes, community nutrition initiatives, and roundtable discussions to explore policies that would magnify local efforts working to create community based food systems. The Center will be engaged in and engaging its host community. The Center could serve as a centralized farmers’ market location and a staging ground for a local food gardening business. Lastly, the Center will seek to partner with and facilitate the food movement dreams of other organizations, institutions and individuals.

Thoughts?  Got a piece of land in mind that could host such a center?

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