Man in Overalls helps you #GrowYourGroceries!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Few Late Night Thoughts on Food Movement Success

Pushing three years ago, I clambered into overalls to earn my living encouraging and assisting folks to grow food for self and neighbor. I got my start standing beside the road with a pitchfork and sign that read, "Will Garden for Food."

On one level, I launched my business to earn an income*. On a deeper level, however, I got into food gardening, I reclaimed the overall-style of my grandfather because I sought to develop a platform of legitimacy from which I could support the food movement by connecting and aiding the many local players working to grow a resilient, community-based food system. (Much of my food movement facilitation work these days I do through the Tallahassee Food Network and with iGrow-"Whatever You Like," a Frenchtown-based youth-empowerment and urban ag project.)

The iGrow Team just after hearing the news that they had won the Junior League's Big, Bold Idea Grant.
The past few years have certainly been an exciting time to do food movement work. There's so much happening. I'll note a few highlights. (Just to be clear, I can in no way claim responsibility for all these happenings; I'm just privy to the info. Only in a few instances am I a co-conspirator in the work.)
If you'd like to connect with any of the efforts you see, let me know.

*Folks regularly ask, "How do you make money?"
I've consulted with folks about where, when and how to plant and maintain their food gardens; I've built raised beds, reseeded existing gardens, planted fruit trees, berry bushes, grape vines and herbs.  I've aided workplaces, neighborhoods, churches, schools, and recently, the Florida Department of Ag  to develop community food garden projects. As needed, I've provided community organizing, team-building, leadership development, design, supply sourcing, installation, planting, maintenance, instruction, and youth engagement services.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tour of Spring

Front yard gardens, school gardens, community gardens, church gardens, workshops and iGrow Buckets... it all happens at once in the spring time.  Below is a sampling of what's been keeping Wendell and I busy the past several weeks.

Fresh for Florida Kids Dept of Ag and Consumer Services (Holland Building) Garden
(which is going to serve as the set for You Tube Food Garden Education clips to be shared state-wide with students and teachers as part of the DOA's new Farm to School program).

Seminole Montessori Preschool Garden
(Lots of fun working with parents and children throughout the day.)

Faith Presbyterian Church Garden
(Kids grow food to give away through Manna on Meridian food pantry. Also the location for workshops that we offer on distribution Saturdays with folks coming to get food.)

Whole Child Leon/ Wesson VPK Garden -- TD article
(Engaging kids in the 95210; encouraging children to get their five fruits and veggies every day.)

Dena and Jenna's Garden
(Jenna's a pro.  I showed her once, and from there she had the knack.)

The Space at Feather Oaks Food Garden
(Eight family plots.  We have a workshop at the start of each season.)

iGrow Bucket Building Workshop at New Leaf

Esposito Workshop Garden

Like I said, a sampling.  Spring is always a whirlwind of planning, planting, teaching, and supporting new growers.

And lest I forget, we keep getting press here and there.  Much thanks to all those who have offered me and others amidst the Tallahassee Food Network a chance to share our story:

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