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Category — Horticulture Therapy

Why Mount Airy’s Ashley Gripper is teaching Philly residents how to heal as they garden

Ashley Gripper.

Her food and environmental collective, Land Based Jawns, hopes to plant seeds for community growers and spawn gardens on residential blocks in the city.

By Cassie Owens
Philadelphia Inquirer
Published Feb 22, 2021

Excerpt:

“That’s when I kind of started to think about, ‘OK, what would it mean for me to know how to grow my own food? What does it mean for me to know how to defend myself?” she explained. “What does it mean for me to live cooperatively with family and friends to work, to care for the land, and work the land, to know how to build, to be an educator, to be all of these things in community with other folks?”

Land Based Jawns offers ways to approach these questions. This interdisciplinary series will cover agricultural skills, food justice, nutrition, environmental health, but also turning to the land for mental health. Participants will learn how to build their own raised beds and get food growing, but they’ll also learn self-defense and self-forgiveness. Gripper has grounded the offerings in reconnecting with the land spiritually, in line with Black ancestral traditions.

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February 27, 2021   No Comments

‘It Was Like Therapy’: West Sacramento Man Aims To Help At-Risk Youth With Community Garden

See video here.

The pandemic has forced non-profits like this one to dig deep to rediscover their roots and keep growing during these trying times.

By Ryan Hill
CBS
February 19, 2021

Excerpt:

A West Sacramento man is hoping he can plant a seed in the minds of at-risk youth to help stop them from going down the wrong path.

If you’ve driven down C Street heading to and from the I Street bridge in West Sacramento, you’ve probably seen Alfred Melbourne and others at Three Sisters Garden working the plot of land. But, it’s more than just planting crops.

“We want to surround our kids with as many opportunities and positive role models as we can,” Melbourne said.

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February 24, 2021   No Comments

This Utah man invited homeless people to live in his front yard

Darin Mann, an activist and homeowner in Salt Lake City, opened his front yard to shelter the homeless. Authorities have given him two weeks to close the camp.

He lets the people camp on his tidy third of an acre, use a bathroom in his house and volunteer at a community garden Mann runs at a nearby public park.

By David Blank
CNN
February 6, 2021

Excerpts:

On one of those yards sits a random group of tents where people experiencing homelessness have set up camp. They are there at the invitation of homeowner Darin Mann. He lets the people camp on his tidy third of an acre, use a bathroom in his house and volunteer at a community garden Mann runs at a nearby public park.

“We wanted to show that to solve this problem we have to address it as a community and not be afraid of it.”

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February 11, 2021   Comments Off on This Utah man invited homeless people to live in his front yard

Singapore: Disabled jobseekers turn to urban farming as COVID-19 affects employment opportunities

Mr Nithyaseelan N, a 66-year-old leg amputee, is one of four workers MEOD farm hired through disabled charity SPD after it turned to farms for jobs for its clients. (Photo: Rachel Phua)

Hiring the disabled folks gave MEOD the opportunity to give back to society, Mr Lua said.

By Rachel Phua
Channel News Asia
Feb 3, 2021

Excerpt:

The 66-year-old is one of four disabled employees working at MEOD, a vegetable farm in Kranji. Mr Nithyaseelan had his right leg amputated in 2016 as a result of complications from diabetes.

A year later, he wanted to work again. But as the former army instructor-turned-bus captain could no longer drive, he reached out to SPD, a local charity that serves people with disabilities, to help him find a job.

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February 8, 2021   Comments Off on Singapore: Disabled jobseekers turn to urban farming as COVID-19 affects employment opportunities

Job skills grow in jail garden program in North Carolina

People who are incarcerated in the Mecklenburg County jail can learn horticulture through a partnership with master gardeners. Courtesy Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

A collaboration between the sheriff’s office and master gardeners provides opportunities for inmates to learn about horticulture and develop marketable skills for life after release.

By Jodi Helmer
Carolina Press
January 29, 2021

Excerpt:

For many young inmates, the experience is a novel approach to understanding how seeds develop into plants and exploring the source of their food, said master gardener Bill Sloan, who has taught the three-week sessions for the past four years.

“Horticulture knowledge, depending on where you grew up, skipped generations,” Sloan said. “It’s a light bulb moment for them to see a seed germinate.”

The lessons are based on the Mecklenburg County Extension Master Gardener curriculum and include the basics of soil health, composting, soil diseases and plant maintenance to turn seeds into fresh fruits and vegetables. Aquaponics and hydroponics are also part of the curriculum.

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February 6, 2021   Comments Off on Job skills grow in jail garden program in North Carolina

UK: Demand grows for inner city gardening plots as Covid-19 pandemic ravages U.K.

Karen Peck on her allotment in west London.

“I live on my own. I think if I hadn’t seen the people at the allotment, I would’ve gone nuts during lockdown,” said Karen Peck.

By Alasdair Lane
NBC News
Jan 24, 2021

Excerpt:

But in the midst of the pandemic, demand for allotments has soared in several British cities including London, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Sheffield, according to the South West Counties Allotment Association, a not-for-profit organization which protects and promotes allotment use across the United Kingdom.

“For me, it’s about more than just food,” said Peck, whose 430-square-foot plot is surrounded by dozens of others, also growing a colorful mix of flowers and produce.

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January 30, 2021   Comments Off on UK: Demand grows for inner city gardening plots as Covid-19 pandemic ravages U.K.

How Could We Strengthen Social Support For Food Gardening?

Boerin met een schoffel op het land, Willem Witsen, c. 1884 – c. 1887

An important element in the Food Gardeners Networks would be the human touch. Modern communications technology often delivers information in ways that are cold and lifeless.

By George Kent
World Nutrition
2020;11(4):3-9

Excerpt

My purpose here is not simply to advocate food gardening, but to explore ways to facilitate strong person-to-person social support for food gardening. This could improve the food supply for those who need it and also strengthen our caring for one another’s well-being. Many people who produce food in their gardens gladly share it with their neighbors. They also share their knowledge and enthusiasm for gardening. This is a huge underutilized resource. (Kent 2016; Kent 2011, 110-121; Kent 2018a; Kent 2019a).

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January 25, 2021   Comments Off on How Could We Strengthen Social Support For Food Gardening?