Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2013

A Word on our Local Food Economy

Good folks,
I've got a quick bunch of stories for you, a couple food garden pointers, and a (workshop) announcement. 
1.) Stories: When I've got a book to write and only got a page The challenge every time I try to write a newsletter or blog is whittling down the list of possible stories to share. Living amidst the Tallahassee Food Network (TFN), there is so much good work going on and so many dynamic stories to report. We need a documentary and journalism crew on the team just to capture all the stories: from the 75+ community gardens in town to the hundreds of youth that Qasimah Boston has trained in leadership and nutrition, from the Red Hills Tomato "Feastival" this past weekend to the wheat threshing/grinding demonstration today at the iGrow Youth Farm. And that's not to mention the many home gardeners who tell me their stories of family recipes, of their parents who planted by the moon, and their children who, "Just today!" harvested their own bell…

Connecting an Emergent Movement

What follows is a paraphrase of the presentation about emergent movements and asset-based community development that I gave at the COPE (Childhood Obesity Prevention Education) Coalition meeting on Tuesday evening, 4/30/2013. COPE is a comprehensive coalition of public and private sector agencies, organizations, institutions, and individuals in our capital city working to address childhood obesity. The focus is on holistic prevention strategies rather than weight loss. Many Tallahassee Food Network partners received $10,000 COPE mini-grants to scale-up their efforts.  Learn more on the COPE webpage.

Good Evening!
My name is Nathan Ballentine. I'm here tonight as a co-founder of the Tallahassee Food Network. Folks around town know me as the Man in Overalls.
Before I get started, I'd like to take just a moment to recognize, to appreciate the incredible people in this room, the skills they possess, the amazing work that I know they're doing.  I only know a tiny amount of what we…

Chinese "Secret Garden" & Spring Planting Tips

Hey there good folks,

I've got a quick little story for you and a couple of pointers as you begin your summer garden. 1.) Story: A Hidden Garden Last week, Sundiata Ameh-El, co-coordinator of iGrow and I were installing raised beds around town together. Because we were in the area and because my father had told me about it, we swung by for a look at an unlikely farm. It's hidden behind a Tallahassee shopping center, behind a hedge on a steep hillside above a storm drain. It's absolutely gorgeous, everything a mini farm should be, and it's maintained by a gentleman from China who doesn't speak any English. (To protect his privacy, I'm being intentionally vague about his farm's location.)
Aside from the beautiful produce, the most impressive aspect in my opinion was the terracing itself. I've always wondered how indigenous peoples the world over have farmed on hillsides without loosing their beds to the first rain. Take a look. Notice that there is a storm …