"Dig, Eat, Grow: Learning to Cultivate Connections through Community Gardening" at NAAEE 2018 Conference in Spokane, WA

I'm excited to announce I'll be co-presenting with my colleague, Rachel Brice, at the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) 2018 Conference in Spokane, Washington. Our poster presentation, based on our work with the C&S Workplace Organic Gardens Project and Community Garden Connections' Westmoreland Garden Project, is titled, "Dig, Eat, Grow: Learning to Cultivate Connections through Community Gardening."

Connecting people with nature and meeting local food security needs are often thought of as separate challenges, but community gardening can meet both at once. The key is healthy relationships that support the capacity to create and maintain community gardens. Participants will deepen their understanding of how to build and use their own networks to support efforts that strengthen connections between people and nature.

Our projects both work with diverse and underserved populations. We have developed several educational community gar…

Regenerative agrihoods and productive landscapes

I'm currently following a story (recently covered by NHPR) about a proposal and neighbors' reactions around small-scale cattle grazing as a practice of restorative agriculture. There's a piece of land in Peterborough, NH, down the road from me, that was conserved some time ago and has since declined in quality due to inactive management. Stan Fry has proposed introducing a small herd of Belted Galloways, which would actively improve soil quality, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration, as well as keep and enhance the cultural and aesthetic landscape that has always been so important to the people of the town. To me, Stan's proposal seems well-based in sound science and experience, and I am hopeful that residents will take the time to become informed about restorative agriculture, contemplate the potential benefits, and make reasonable efforts to move in that direction.

I'm especially interested in the possibilities for a regenerative agrihood, which is something I&…

Gardens, gardeners, and community

Through summer 2018, I am continuing the PhD journey by working on a dissertation proposal that incorporates community gardens and community gardeners. While I have a bit of work to do on my research methodology, I know it will be as community-empowering as possible, as my research question remains centered around the phrase "food empowerment" and specifically what that looks, feels, and maybe even tastes like in community contexts.

There are tons of really bold, rich, and challenging ideas in the scholarly literature and around food justice, dignity, and sovereignty, local food and agriculture policy, community-based food systems, community gardening, and empowerment. The more I read, the more I am grateful for the community of published authors in this field, like Joshua Sbicca, Nathan McClintock, Claire Nettle, Heather Burns, Laura Lawson, Adam Pine, Charles Levkoe, Julian Agyeman, and others. (Some of their works are listed in my Resource Hub.) I'm also grateful for …

Creative Change Educational Solutions' Curriculum Development Master Class: Reframing for Social Justice and Sustainability

Sharing this opportunity, presented by a respected colleague, coming up in June:

Do you want to create project-based curriculum that supports all learners to engage, achieve, and contribute to healthy future? Register Here In partnership with the University of Michigan School of Education, CCES is offering a hands-on, 2-day master class. The class provides knowledge, skills, and a step-wise process to develop curriculum grounded in the concepts of healthy communities, democratic societies, and social justice. Change your curriculum to change students’ lives.Starting with either existing or planned curriculum, you’ll receive guidance to develop or redesign a unit or course that engages students in authentic problem-solving while also meeting required standards and content. We know you care about connecting educational equity and community well-being, and this workshop will give you tools to put that into practice and change your students’ lives.   Participants will:Gain a fresh, interdiscip…

Earth Day After Party - April 21 in Keene

​ You're invited to an Earth Day After Party taking place after the Monadnock Earth Day Festival on Saturday April 21st from roughly 4:30 to 6:30 at the Hive in the Hannah Grimes Center. It’ll be a chance to mix and mingle with other earth-friendly peers and explore ideas in a relaxed, easy-going environment.over food and drink.
The idea for gathering was inspired by monthly potlucks hosted by The Community Kitchen's Sarah Harpster; sharing good food, intriguing ideas and engaging conversation in an informal setting.The Earth Day After Party is a chance to continue to connect over food and drink with peers. Our invite list is by no means comprehensive, so please forward to others in your network who might in interested. We hope you’ll join us!
Whole Terrain literary journal and C&S Wholesale Grocers have helped secure us the space for this event. The Community Kitchen is providing snacks. There will also be a cash bar hosted byMachina Arts. If you have any questions, please c…

Ways you can boost local food security, get nature time, and build community with the Westmoreland Garden Project

The Westmoreland Garden Project, situated along the Connecticut River at the site of a former county jail, is where Community Garden Connections (CGC) graduate students and volunteers grow food for The Community Kitchen, with support through Antioch University New England (AUNE) and Cheshire County Conservation District.

It's an amazing project. It's providing opportunities to grow food along with skills and networks that enhance climate resilience, get people in nature, encourage healthy eating, promote service learning, and build community. It is a lot of work, and so much fun.

The Westmoreland Garden Project is inviting help from community members to expand its capacity and get things done this season. Check out the ways you can help, and if you can provide any of these, let's CONNECT.

April-May 2018:
Help preparing for burning things, help burning things. We have a permit for Saturday, April 14(same day as the pruning workshop). If it is raining that day, the brush pile…

How do food justice and civic ecology come together in community gardening?

Over the next couple of weeks, my goal is to finish a major essay on how aspects of food justice and civic ecology are reflected in community garden projects in higher education contexts. Two themes in the essay are sustainability pedagogy and bridging scholarship & activism, which come from thinking about community gardens as sites of learning and action. My aim is to pick out some of the assumptions, arguments, and connections in the literature and make meaning of them. It sounds like a lot, and it is. However, with moral support from my doctoral student colleagues, I am preparing to surmount what has been quite a hurdle in this scholarly journey.

In order to stay on track and sustain the sense of community that is so important to this work, I have set up a series of virtual, drop-in, co-working sessions. These are listed in my calendar, so if you are a student, writer, or practitioner in any field who would benefit from a mutually supportive environment like this, please join in…

Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition Introduces New Local Food Resource, "Cultivating Community"

Food Solutions New England has published a story on the service learning project I am now wrapping up:
Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition Introduces New Local Food Resource, "Cultivating Community"

The Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition (MFCC) has announced the launch of a new resource for Coalition partners and community members: a visual and narrative portfolio depicting the array of work people in the Monadnock Region are doing around issues of local food and the ways these individuals experience, relate with, and find meaning in the work. The photographic and written depictions, available to the public through MFCC’s website, can be used by organizations and stakeholders to enhance their own efforts, whether to inform promotional or educational programs, engage new members, apply for funding, or support collaboration. The collection can also provide a tool for farmers, service providers, educators, and others to reflect upon and communicate the value of their …

Winter events for food, farming, and community in the Monadnock Region

Monadnock Food Co-op:Coffee Hour Conversations Join co-op Board Members for coffee and conversation in our café so you can share what you love most about our co-op and what you would love to see at our co-op as we grow. These are informal drop-in events. Refreshments provided.
Tuesday, 1/30 from 9-10 am
Monday, 2/12 from 9-10 am
Monday, 2/12 from 11 am - noon
at Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene

Expansion Input Sessions
Learn more from our General Manager's presentation on the progress and plans we have made so far on our possible expansion project. Then, ask questions and contribute your input and vision for the future of our co-op so our Expansion Project Team can take your ideas into consideration during the design phase. Refreshments provided.
Tuesday, 2/20 from 6-7:30 pm
Thursday, 3/8 from 6-7:30 pm
at The Hive in the Hannah Grimes Center in KeeneMonadnock Farm & Community Coalition:Farm Marketing Workshops Free and open to the public. Topics: Labeling & Packaging, On-Farm Event …

2017 RootSkills Conference

The New England Grassroots Environment Fund's 2017 RootSkills Conference is coming up on November 30 - December 2 in Manchester, NH. I will be presenting "Care and Feeding of Educational Community Gardening Projects" with Leora Mallach of Beantown Jewish Gardens and Tori Dahl of Antioch University New England's Community Garden Connections.

Program description: Community gardening is a practice that takes place in many different settings and for many different reasons. Garden education can contribute to larger goals around wellness, sustainability, climate change, food justice, spirituality, connection to the land, and many other issues. Sometimes the balance between education and production can be a real challenge! Networks of gardens and gardeners present unique opportunities for learning and growth. Learn about two kinds of educational community garden projects in an interactive format that allows for exchange
of resources, creativity, and support.

Learning goals f…