This week we talked with Dr. Dave Himmelfarb, an Environmental Studies professor and Faculty Director of the Community Farm at Eckerd College. We addressed food equity, and the planting of edible food in an urban farm atmosphere.
About Our Guest
Dr. Dave Himmelfarb teaches courses on growing food, environmental sustainability, and social justice at Eckerd College. As well as coordinates educational programs and community outreach for the campus farm. Trained as an environmental anthropologist, Dave has conducted fieldwork on food security and rural livelihoods in Uganda and Vietnam. He is the 2022-2023 Faculty Fellow with the Eckerd College St. Pete Center for Social Impact and Civic Engagement. Dave is working with community partners to build a knowledge hub that will support local efforts to make the Tampa Bay food system more sustainable and more just.
About the Urban Farm
The Eckerd College Community Farm is a one-acre sustainable farm and food forest, situated between the soccer and baseball fields. It is in the heart of Eckerd’s campus in St. Petersburg, Florida. This also includes 1/2 acre of trees and 1/2 acre of perennial and edible annuals. Currently there are about 50 trees in the food forest. Within the forest the goal is to develop a system of planting that includes woody bushes, perennials, natives, and annuals that work together. The design creates a more natural forest setting which is a symbiotic relationship. Reducing water and fertilizer use and utilizing the sunlight correctly.
It’s built on the foundation of the student raised bed garden that broke ground in 2010. The farm provides produce to the campus, while creating opportunities for hands-on education, service, and recreation.
There’s a banana bike that is driven around and when the bananas are ripe it offers fruit to the community.
The farm has created classes, workshops, performance events, and open volunteer days. Even the other curricular is affected. For instance, the ancient studies classes use it to identify herbs and plants that were used in mythology and Greek studies. It’s also good for the sciences regarding soil biology and soil health.
How the community farm works
Through formal coursework, internships, work-study, or extracurricular volunteering with the Garden Club, students participate in every level of production. This can include planning to planting, weeding, harvesting, and composting.
The farm is guided by an advisory committee composed of students, faculty, and staff. Daily operations are collaboratively managed by a farm manager. Collaborating with 2 student farm ambassadors that help with tours and setting up for programs. Along with the necessary photographer for updating the social media pages including Instagram.
The farm creates a community hub for cultivating and disseminating knowledge about sustainable agriculture in South Florida. It also supports local efforts to promote a more environmentally sustainable and socially just food system. It brings together people in the broad county of community leaders to create a knowledge sharing bank. The sustainable information one learns from working a garden is then passed on to the next to keep building information and not have to start over with each year.
I see this as just the beginning of a great wealth of knowledge for the entire community.
Thank you for making this happen!!!
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Make SURE and Tune in next Monday morning at 11 for the next Sustainable Living Show. We have Chris and Joni Kendrick from Sweetwater Farm…. Their Market opens again on Sunday the 30th with Music by our own The Reverend Billy C.Wirtz!!!
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And remember if you are looking for someone to save the world – look in the mirror.
10/20/2022: USF Food Sovereignty Summit
10/22/2022: Presentations at the USF Botanical Gardens, 10th Anniversary celebration at Temple Terrace Community Gardens, and Seed Tape Workshop located at Plant City Commons Community Gardens
10/27/2022: The Sustany Foundation Green Drinks at the Dog Bar