Friday, August 31, 2018

Place-based Environmental Education in Workplace and Community Gardens

This week, at the C&S Workplace Organic Garden Project in Keene, Professor Sue Gentile, Garden Educator Madi Walter, and I co-facilitated a learning session as part of a course in Place-Based Environmental Education, part of the Environmental Studies Master's program at Antioch University New England. We toured the educational/demonstration garden, which was developed this year in conjunction with the Garden Resource Hub, focused on the learning goals of employee gardeners, and informed by the vision of Garden Educator Maria Dellapina, who worked with the Project in 2017. We discussed how principles of place-based education can translate into the practice of workplace and community gardening, and the students' ideas for extending the social, ecological, and personal wellness benefits of workplace gardens. The session was a valuable and enjoyable experience that builds on the tremendous work of many dedicated volunteers. Happy exploring!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Workshop for UNH Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener Volunteer Program

I need to applaud the folks involved in UNH Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener Program, who are doing important work in our communities. This week at Manchester Community College's community garden, I presented a workshop, "Rooted in Community: Gardening for Food & Resilience." Here are some photos taken by Nate Bernitz of UNH-CE, and here is the workshop description:

There is are no garden without a gardener; likewise, there is no community garden without community. However, the direction of causality is questionable. This workshop will cover principles of community gardening and the big and small practices that enable gardeners to tap into the power of community. Community gardening can be a way to generate local food security, good health, and resilience, but it requires conscious investments of time and talent. What are the interpersonal and organizational tools of community gardening and how are they best used? Participants will learn about various aspects of community garden projects (e.g., learning, wellness, ecological stewardship) and share from their own experiences, struggles, and discoveries. We will also practice gardening in community within an existing project, and take away resources, connections, and ideas to share in our own community and garden contexts.

I especially want to extend appreciation to Ken Laquire, our garden tour guide, dedicated garden task-master and visionary, as well as all the Master Gardeners throughout the State who came to learn and grow together. For more information about MCC's community garden, see this article in the Inklink and this story on WMUR.

Fellow gardeners and community-builders, what workshops, resources, or events would you like to see developed? Connect with me.


Friday, August 10, 2018

Joining The Cornucopia Project

I'm thrilled to be joining The Cornucopia Project staff part-time as a Garden Educator.

The Cornucopia Project empowers our community to make healthy food choices. We do this by creating and delivering interactive experiential educational programs and teaching models, adapted to a variety of learning spaces, from gardens to classrooms and kitchens. These programs connect people of all ages to real food and to each other. We increase our impact by partnering with organizations that share our core values of:
  • Good Health
  • Effective Education
  • Strong Community
My internship experience with this organization in 2011 essentially solidified my sense of professional calling as an environmental educator in community food systems. I was especially proud that year to have researched and written a Community Impact Grant to build a learning and giving garden which has now been providing fresh produce for the pantry at the Peterborough Community Center for several years. I'm really looking forward to getting to know the teachers, professionals, and volunteers with whom I'll be working and digging deeper into the work of garden-based education and community resilience.

Gladly, this work will complement my work as C&S/AUNE Workplace Gardens Fellow. Building connections is so important in this work, and I'm grateful to be part of it, building and leading it along with such passionate and dedicated people.

More info: