Man in Overalls helps you #GrowYourGroceries!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Southwood Grows in the Grass

Saturday morning, the Southwood Community Garden Leadership Team joined hands for its first mini-workday of the installation.  In addition to measuring and marking the perimeter with stakes & strings, the team spray painted the future outline of the first 20 (of approx. 50) 4x8 raised bed plots.

Amidst the other work, I conducted a mini lady's workshop on power tools and raised bed construction in order to facilitate the construction of the garden's first raised bed frame.  We also took at look at and talked through the ingredients of my "magic compost mix" with which we will fill all 50+ beds.

For the past ten months, I've been working with the Southwood Community Garden Leadership Team to facilitate their garden development.  The project has mean a constant blend of community organizing, food-garden recommendations and education, communication and group coordination, leadership development, guidance through legal loops & hoops, and linkages to Tallahassee's emerging Community Garden Program.  Through it all, though, what it's meant more than anything else has been this: working with a wonderful group of soon-to-be community gardeners.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Church Garden in the Shadows of the Golden Arches

Over the July 4th holiday, I made it to Asheville to visit a friend from college.  While in town, I snuck by Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church where I used to serve as a youth adviser.  Rumor had it, they'd started an amazing garden smack-dab in the middle of their front lawn.  Rumor was true.

They have ten 5ft beds that reach 60 to 100ft.  In other words, they've got a 4000sq.ft. food garden in their front yard.

They're right along Merimon Ave, a major thoroughfare in Asheville.  (Notice the golden arches.)

The rumor also mentioned a team of volunteers who maintain the garden, who grow the food to give it away.  According to the grapevine, they grew and gave away 500 pound of broccoli last year.  The story was confirmed by their website.  And from the looks of it, they've got more broccoli on the way.

While we're exploring what's going on in Asheville, I'll go ahead and point you in the direction of the Apalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, affectionately known as ASAP (A-Sap)-- based in Asheville. They've got one of the best local food guides that I know of in the country.  Yearly, they publish a magazine with every local farm, farmers' market, restaurant that serves local options, processors, etc in their region.  It's also online.  Super impressive.

Some folks amidst the Tallahassee Food Network have taken the initial steps to create such a guide.  For the time being, it'd in excel format, available here.
Back in Tallahassee, with support and guidance from All Pro, the HOA, and me, the Man in Overalls, the Southwood Community Garden leadership team is on track to launch their garden this fall.  The first workday will be August 13th.  The "Grand Planting" will be Sept 10th.  Save the dates.  It's going to be an epic garden.

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