Local Conference Seeks to Nurture Blooming Community Gardens Trend on the First Coast | Community Spirit

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Local Conference Seeks to Nurture Blooming Community Gardens Trend on the First Coast

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Today’s tough economy, combined with an increasing focus on eating healthy and organic foods, have made community gardening one of the hottest trends in urban areas across the country.

Second Harvest North Florida and Friends of Northeast Florida Community Gardens are working together to nurture that trend in Jacksonville. They are collectively sponsoring the inaugural Northeast Florida Community Gardens Conference on Nov. 3.

More than 90 area gardens, gardeners and urban agriculture farmers and managers, as well as local nonprofits that grow their own gardens and/or promote personal and neighborhood gardening, will participate in the event. They will come together to network, swap notes and exchange ideas garnered from workshops and presentations.

Included in the program will be sessions on grants, garden relationships with local farmers markets, school gardens and other important topics. The Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. will be featured as the keynote presenter.

Earlier this fall, Second Harvest North Florida partnered with other local organizations, including the Friends of Northeast Florida Community Gardens, Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville (HabiJax) and Beaches Habitat for Humanity (Beaches Habitat), to introduce Community Food Garden projects on donated parcels in food insecure neighborhoods. These gardens were developed to empower families in hunger to grow vegetables and fruit in quantities sufficient to supplement every meal. The project will assist food insecure neighborhoods in the planning, development, cultivation and harvesting of community food gardens — turning a donated parcel into a productive and sustainable neighborhood garden.

The community gardening conference will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville and last from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To register for the conference, visit www.WeNourishHope.org and click on the conference under Events. For more information, please call Katie Salz at 904-239-6584 or ksalz@WeNourishHope.org.

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