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Showing posts from March, 2010

Roadside Birthday Party Thursday, 4:30-6pm in New Leaf Parking Lot under the old Ross sign

If you're free on Thursday 4:30-6, stop by, make a sign and roadside with me to encourage other folks to food garden in Tallahassee. Bring a pitch fork or shovel if you've got one and a few dollars for the food bank. Or you could donate here . It's my birthday; hope you can make it. For the first person that cuts a check to Second Harvest of the Big Bend in front of me for $250, I'll install a 4x10 raised-bed food garden in their yard for free. For the first person that cuts a check for $40 to Second Harvest, I'll come to their home for a free food garden consultation. We'll make signs, wave to folks, talk about any food garden questions you may have, and brainstorm ways to empower folks to grow their own food and share it. No joke: It's my birthday.  We're having a roadside party .  I'm fundraising for Second Harvest Food Bank because food security is critical for the food movement .  And, it'd be great to touch base with you.  Come on,

Nothing Could be Finer...

I've been out of town the past two weeks, went up to North Carolina to keynote at a youth retreat and took the opportunity to make a road trip out of the deal.  My partner, Mary Elizabeth (with whom I posed my Tallahasseean Gothic images) and I took the opportunity to visit friends, mentors, and sites along the way.  We stopped in Atlanta, Charlotte, and Asheville on the way north to Banner Elk, the site of the retreat.  On the way back down, we passed through Warren Wilson and camped just south of Savannah, GA. Vacation though it was, I hardly left food gardening in Tallahassee. In Charlotte, I stopped in at Providence Presbyterian Church , to touch base with some folks I've been advising that are expanding their church's food-bank garden into a full-on community garden with participating (non-member) gardeners from the neighborhood. During free time in Banner Elk at the retreat, Beth, a new acquaintance invited me to join her on a quick visit to her friends' f

Another Set of Links and Videos

Once you delve into the emerging food movement, it's amazing how much there is to it, how fast it's growing and how much potential it holds. In the past hour, I received an email from my father containing a link to " Garden Girl TV " with Patti Moreno, talked with a man that lives on Wakulla Springs road that has a one acre property on which he hopes to establish "an active edible landscape with naturally grown foods, free range chickens, rabbits, etc" and visited , a website that the fellow told me about.  There is so much going on. The Garden Girl's following You Tube clip about Raised Beds in the City is espcially interesting to me because it shows how to build a cold-frame overtop her raised beds for extended (early or late) season food growing.  Also, her chicken houses that fit perfectly atop her raised beds borders on brilliant. In addition to the last video, take a look at the Path to Freedom (or the Urban Homestead --

Springtime Is in the Air

What a gorgeous day to work on a food garden!  I hear it'd gonna rain again, and some coolness will follow.  But for the time being, we get to bask in the glory of early March warmth.  Didn't even have to burn the woodstove tonight. A new Square Foot Garden for Candie and Don.  Per their requests: Tomatoes (Better Boy, Early Girl, Heritage), bell peppers, banana peppers, eggplant, green (snap) beans, arugula, basil, cilantro, two kinds of parsley, garlic chives, dill, romaine and butter crunch lettuces and nasturtiums. Micro-Irrigation If you look real close, you can see the micro irrigation at work.  There are three mini-sprinklers spaced down the center of the bed.  Each mini-sprinkler is individually (and easily) adjustable to water a circle sized from one to five or six feet in diameter.  The whole system is on a user-friendly timer, so no worrying about not watering seeds enough or accidentally killing your starts because you ran out of time to water before rushing

Blogging Past Midnight; It's Spring, Indeed

People invite me to their houses to for me to offer ideas and advice and/or to scout out sites for where I'll place their new Square Foot Gardens... and every now-and-again, they ask, "So is this all you do?"  This question always makes me smile. I know (I assume) this question originates from intrigue.  How cool , they must think, I'm able to keep busy just doing food gardens.  If they only knew... It's springtime and the soil is growing warm. Starting at 8am yesterday morning, I led a team of high school boys (who are members at my church) around town doing community and school garden projects.  We started at our church, Faith Presbyterian where we top-dressed and-- with the help of the elementary kids-- planted "God's Giving Garden."  From there, we took two trips to Hartsfield Elementary to deliver a load of compost (compliments of the Damayan Garden Project ) for their newly cleaned-up garden.  Last, the boys and I visited Bethel Towers

"Magnolia Students Break Ground on a Pizza Garden" -- Tallahassee Democrat, 3/1/2010

Click here for the Story or... most of it is copied below. By Teresa Youngblood, special to the Democrat, previous Magnolia School Teacher When his father asked him about his school day, Caleb Mathison, 13, replied, "I feel good. I moved a lot of dirt." And he and 15 of his classmates have the muddy shoes and dirt-caked fingernails to prove it. On Friday, the middle-schoolers along with two teachers, two parents, and Nathan Ballentine, "The Man in Overalls" behind local gardening business Tallahassee Food Gardens, transformed a 20- by 15-foot unused yard into 10 individual raised garden beds at the Magnolia School on Tharpe Street. The school has one of the longest-standing school gardens in the area, first started in 1990. But the current class of middle-school students wanted to break ground on an additional garden to make better use of a sunny space and to have something of their own to contribute. The teachers were delighted to help, but had their o

Childhood Health-- Another Food Movement Component

Health-- especially with a focus on childhood health-- is another thriving component of the food movement that I have yet to mention. My primary link into this emerging expression of the food movement is Jan Daly who works with the Leon County Health Department.  I put in a garden at Jan's house last December.  While digging in the dirt together, we share our dreams of community gardens, widespread access to fresh, affordable food.  Somewhere amidst the conversation, she told me about her participation with HEAT, Health Equity Alliance of Tallahassee . HEAT, co-founded by Miaisha Michell (with the Greater Frenchtown Governors Revitalization Council) and Lance Gravlee (Medical Anthropologist from the University of Florida) is interested in the distribution of health in Tallahassee.  Which communities are the most healthy?  Which the least?  From that starting point, they're looking at why some communities are less healthy than others.  Is it medical care?  Stress?  Economics