Have you seen the movie FRESH yet? It’s an eye-opener!
Industrial agriculture with it’s antibiotic laden chicken and unsustainable farming practices practiced for the last fifty years is on it’s way out – and gardening and cooperative farming is coming back in.
Watch several trailers at this link: http://www.freshthemovie.com/about/more-trailers/
Last Friday evening, fifty concerned Garrard County community residents joined together at the Lancaster Senior Center, for a showing of the movie and afterwards had a spirited discussion and an opportunity for community building and active development of an alternative cooperative based model.
Several local farm growers were in attendance, including Teresa Pike of Pike Valley Farm and Maria Turner, representing the Garrard County Farmers Market. Plans are underway to develop access for residents to more nutritious, locally grown food. Presently, Lancaster residents have NO local grocery stores and must drive several miles to Stanford or elsewhere to obtain anything more than convenience store food. Kathy Floyd, Garrard County Schools was also there looking for new sources of nutritious local food for the school lunch program.
Garrard County showing of FRESH – Photo by Gary Sefcak
No garden space?
Many alternatives exist. Jim Brown from Lancaster’s St Williams Catholic Church can rent you a space in the churches’ parish garden. In the words of Ginny Ramsey of The Catholic Action Center, “Urban gardening is a way to empower neighborhoods and individuals in the creation of a community hub while eating healthier and regaining a connection to our food source
GROW LEXINGTON – Don’t miss the 4th Annual GROW Lexington Garden Tour, July 29th (5-8 pm). Meet the gardeners that are transforming their neighborhoods with sustainable community gardens. The GROW Lexington tour is hosted by Sustainable Communities Network and the tour includes:
Virginia Place Community Garden – This year they have built, painted and filled with compost 5 raised beds for the pre-school classes and 12 raised beds for the resident households. More than 20 families are now raising a garden to supplement their food supply. The garden plots contain tomatoes, peppers, dill, corn, beans, squash, melons, blackberries, flowers, peanuts, sweet potatoes, fruit trees, okra, cabbage, basil and lots of love! Families are learning together, interacting in a once vacant area and caring for the gardens that provide them food and social engagement.
Fresh Solutions is a new collaborative project that involves the Catholic Action Center, Sustainable Communities Network and Employment Solutions. Fresh Solutions located Whipple Court is composed of four integrated projects 1) God’s Worms is a vermi-composting operation designed to create for the Lexington community worm castings, worms and worm composting workshops. 30 worm bins have been set up with 1 lb of worms(1,000 worms) each and are fed weekly with vegetable scraps from Fresh Approach, 2) Fresh Approach Compost is a hot composting operation designed to reduce the 500 lbs/wk of food waste going to our landfill from Fresh Approach, 3) Fresh Hoop House will enable them to grow food year round, start seedlings for spring and fall planting and serve as an educational resource, 4) One World Eco-Art produces beautiful and functional art installations using only material from found or recycled objects. Their aim is to place pieces of eco-art in all of the community gardens and inspire other Lexington residents to create art from materials that now goes to the landfill. The various Fresh Solutions projects involve Lexington residents who were formerly in a homeless condition as well as adults with disabilities. This is a unique approach to involving all of our citizens in the sustainability movement.
Nelson Ave(Drug Court) Community Art Garden: developed from an empty lot in 2007 by the Youth GreenCorps this garden has provided food for neighbors and an opportunity for youth to work in community service rather than go to jail. Judge Masterton with her out-of-the-box and into-the-garden-thinking and the Drug Court garden experience has been a true blessing for everyone involved. The Judge took off her black robe and put on jeans, laid down the gavel and took up the garden trowel and the prime beneficiaries were the youth which she engaged each week to work together on a project that benefits the community. The Nelson Ave garden is an example of the need for restorative justice that provides young offenders service projects that helps restore them to their community.
AVOL Community Garden located on Nelson Ave is the sister garden to the Drug Court Garden a few lots away. Angel Clark the AVOL community organizer has pulled together many volunteers to begin this garden only a few weeks ago that provides a community space for healing and contemplation.
The Columbia Heights Community Garden came to life in 2009. Their first-year effort, involved about 20 church members and neighborhood volunteers, produced vegetables that fed over 150 people. Thanks to the neighborhood association, a formal sign has been designed to mark the spot, and a grant from the Lexington Council of Garden Clubs has provided much-appreciated funds for supplies. The spirit of community gardening continues as the Columbia Heights Community Garden seeks out new members and possibilities.
The Croft: A Community Garden at Beaumont Presbyterian Church, 1070 Lane Allen Rd. The Croft garden has 24 plots, each measuring 15’ x 20’ with 4 perennial plots for berries and other plants. The gardeners include 15 families from within the congregation and 9 from the community, including Boy Scout Troop 279. The garden boasts a large 3 bin compost structure, which was built and donated by one of the scouts as an Eagle project. The church has used it in a more direct way to reach out into the community. Erica Horn, who heads The Garden Squad says, “The land was a former tobacco farm, so the soil was excellent. The garden has become a focal point for the neighborhood in various ways. Bins have been set up for donations, which are taken to the Kids Café on East Seventh Street and the Hope Center. “This community garden has far exceeded our expectations,” says Erica. “The opportunity to meet folks from the neighborhood, the amazing way our plants are growing and the chance to contribute to the local need for food has made it a very rewarding experience.”
The Rock/La Roca United Methodist Church 1015 N Limestone; Started in April 2007 the gardens were moved to an empty lot in front of the church along N Limestone. The garden contain a variety of vegetables: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, watermelons, squash, beans and even peanuts. Latino and African members plant culturally relevant vegetables which provide an opportunity to celebrate cultural diversity. Church leaders harvest vegetables and distribute to needy neighbors. Community members are encouraged to harvest and use the vegetables themselves. The church has been inspired to find and worship God in the garden and to create Gardens of Eating
Find out more about the Garden Tour at: http://www.kygreen.tv/2010/07/scn%E2%80%99s-4th-annual-lexington-community-garden-tour/ and make required reservation at http://www.kygreen.tv/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Community-garden-tour-2010-bike-bus1.pdf
More articles on the subject are located at: www.dampfang.com/x-57791-Lexington-Intentional-Community-Examiner