Hi Everyone, It's Marsha,
As Founder of Sustainable Neighbors I am also Co-Founder of Farm-A-Yard. We have joined forces to promote the mission to grow the urban farming movement across the country!
We are writing blogs for Farm-A-Yard and Linda is podcasting.
Plus the Farm-A-Yard Facebook page is where we are posting videos of our gardens, events and efforts locally to inspire others to become urban/city farmers on whatever scale is doable for them! Join us there and share!!
From now on, please go here to read our blogs and listen to the podcasts. www.Farm-A-Yard.com
A single, unassuming, humble seed houses the most powerful, regenerative, reproductive, resilient, overcoming, prolific, generous life force energy on the planet and so much more....
We're just one seed away...
It never fails....whenever I start planting, I see things change, like magic. After a short time of converting a new space into some food, I always see a organic, gradual shift in the energy of the space. It gradually becomes so full of energetic vitality and creates an abundance of new relationships that thrive!
We're just one seed away...
When we partner with the natural world, miracles happen. The energy created in our space, when we plant a seed, begins to spread....
Gradually, persistently, intentionally, growing 'til it begins to transform us personally as we nurture the soil, the seed, then harvest and consume this nutrient dense food . But it doesn't stop there, we change, then a neighbor, then the neighborhood starts to change, then the city, then the region, the country and even the world.
And all we have to do is be stewards of the seed and of our small plot! The more personal, mindful plots planted like this, the greater the impact.
We are just one seed away from growing our own personal transformation and our own personal food security :-)
Have you ever felt helpless to change a world that is hell bent on destruction?
We are just one seed away....from transforming the world.
The Farm-A-Yard community is made up of folks who want to be connected, who care about how they show up in the world, because it matters.
They are changemakers, they aren't afraid to take action and are not stopped by learning curves and set backs, but are stronger for it! (Reminds me of Linda!) No matter how small the action, they know it matters as part of a powerful solution.
I love the story of the project that put a man on the moon. When the janitor in the project was asked what he did there, he said, "I'm putting a man on the moon". He was part of the team and the team had one mission and their part in it was vital for the outcome.
When people get connected and share the vision...things happen!
You're just one seed away....
In my experience, one of the initial and most powerful, positive actions I can take, is to hold a seed in my hand and contemplate, be grateful and trust the transforming power of planting and nourishing a seed.
And do it over and over again.
At Farm-A-Yard we are pouring into this project and we are teaching not for the income, but for the outcome.
We are confident that the seeds we are planting will be the most important work of our time and of our life.
Thank you for taking seriously the need to heal the soil, plant seed and grow food. This incredible journey needs your action in whatever way that you can support, promote and mentor others.
We challenge you to begin creating your corner of paradise with nutrient dense food, beginning with one seed in your yard to produce the energy that transforms your neighborhood.
This is the vision... it's a movement, have you heard?
When I plant a seed, I am connecting myself as an active partner in my micro, eco-environment. I become a steward and also a benefactor of its reward.
It's in this relationship with the soil and the seed that we can learn and be trained in how to transform a toxic, chaotic world that desperately needs the order that only nature seems to know how to do well and how to sustain, when all odds are against it.
Nature just knows how to overcome.
We're just one seed away....
Oh, to be conscious, mindful and respectful of her ways. Even when we have been unconscious, ignorant or even abusive, Nature is always ready to teach us, to convey the eternal wisdom of the Creator...to fold us into a very personal, enlightening experience. Nature loves to partner! That's what Nature knows best!
Whether we deserve it or not!
Who doesn't want to learn to be in a relationship like that!
We are just one seed away ...
Help us seed the movement... https://www.patreon.com/FarmAYard
I couldn’t help myself…..I never considered myself an activist, but when the pieces started coming together about why we are in such a health crisis in this country, my hair was on fire!
What we now know is only the tip of the iceberg and Titanic is going down, while some are still playing the music and saying that everything is ok.
Sometimes I feel a little bit like Noah, who day by day spent his time building an Ark even though it had never rained before. Though he looked silly to others, he kept on building.
We need to build local food systems for real food security and to do that we need to build local food chains of small farmers, yard farmers other food entrepreneurs.
Commercial food is seriously altered, highly processed, lacking in nutrients and even produce is laden with chemicals. We have also been in a huge GMO experiment without our consent, which starting in the 90’s.
So, being that I am the kind of person who can’t just sit around complaining and lament the problem, I literally “dug” in to be a part of the solution.
I was compelled to establish a Sustainable Neighbors meetup group in 2012, right after I moved from California and discovered how difficult it was to access locally grown, chemical free food in Fayetteville, NC.
In my search for healthy, locally produced food, there came another discovery... I found very few local small farmers actually growing their own produce to sell directly to the consumer. To add to this concern, I could not find a farmer who was not treating their land and crops with commercial fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides.
I recognized that all the processed foods being consumed and the lack of access to healthy produce was the main factor in the widespread health disparities in food deserts around the country.
I told myself that it didn’t have to be this way! My driving force now is to see people eat well and get well.
I have been observing the evolution of the food system for a long time and I am old enough to know what real food is and tastes like. I began to feel the urgency, for the sake of my grandchildren AND everyone's grandchildren, to share the knowledge and skills of how to grow, preserve, cook from scratch and share other sustainable living skills and resources.
Because of this, Sustainable Neighbors Meetup was born.
I was excited and inspired by the growth of the urban agriculture movement in cities around the country. We can do this and there is an opportunity to earn money too. This is how to be sustainable and it offers entrepreneurship opportunities to create jobs.
With other concerned neighbors and a vision to build resilient neighborhoods and communities, we began working to find farmers and educate and connect consumers to where their food comes from.
When I met Linda Borghi, Biodynamic/Farmer in 2015 and we joined forces
to launch the Farm-A-Yard movement with Evan Folds of
and Melissa Jones of
to teach others how to turn lawns into food across the country.
We are collaborating with many who, like us, are also passionate to be the change they want to see in the world starting with their yard.
In the Farm-A-Yard course, our students learn critical keys to success from experts in the field. BioEnergetics is vital for soil regeneration and recovering the nutritional value of the plants we grow. Students can get an in depth soil test so that they know exactly what to do to for their soil. Students also are given cutting edge marketing and recordkeeping tools that save time and money. Everything you need in one awesome package with step by step instructions.
We all have the ability to make our communities food secure, By voting with our dollars (https://slowmoneync.org/), supporting local small farmers and/or learning to grow and preserve food for ourselves, you can be part of the movement.
IT’S A MOVEMENT, HAVE YOU HEARD?
Training Yard Farmers, Recruiting Yards
About Marsha Howe
Sustainable Neighbors and the Farm-A-Yard grassroots projects were born out of the concern around the eroding of our health through toxic processed foods, the lack of access to fresh, local, seasonal produce as well as the need to build local food systems for real food security. As Director of Food Education with Guiding Wellness Institute, Marsha facilitates urban farming/local food education and training to secure and sustain local food access and economic opportunity for healthier, resilient communities.
Guest Blogger from Beyond Off Grid, Jason shares his short solution.
March 26, 2016 at 9:29 pm
Here is a portion...."We build the new economy by making intentional decisions... This starts first with relocalizing your food supply, and working to support local small business, and small business in general, not just seeking out the lowest price at Walmart. Making a decision to be a producer and not just a consumer is another big part of reforming our households to build a new economy. Grow a garden, start a home-based business, live a home-centered life. Focusing at the local level is where you will make the biggest difference.
Here's my list....Make your own....!
Sunshine, clean water, eating real food, growing real food, being grateful, laughing til I cry (especially with my family), acts of kindness, love, caramelized onions, dark chocolate with almonds, spinach, swiss chard, my homemade apple pie, down feather comforters, farmers, urban farmers, my classic '87 Toyota Camry (she thinks she's a farm truck), wholehearted relationships, the smell of coffee (I rarely drink it), fresh picked herbs, connecting, seeing others develop and use their gifts, playing guitar with others just for the fun of it.....walks, sunrise, sunset, camping, bonfires, faith, regeneration, living in the organic union with the divine, permaculture, biodynamics, kitchen table wisdom, the be well way....to see other people living with more health and happiness!
Our vision is to see 1000 new micro farmers across the country this year..
And it starts right where we are.
The goal of Fayetteville Fresh and Farm-A- Yard is to turn our city into a local food oasis for healthy living and to create profitable new startup agripreneur enterprises. We have partnered with FSU to continue our efforts after the successful Cultivating Profits in Small Scale Farming Conference and Workshop conducted on October 16-17, 2015 with Linda Borghi, Biodynamic/SPIN Farming Trainer.
Everyone who attended said they wanted more, so we are offering "Grow Food Earn Money" webinars to help people plan, prep and be ready for spring 2016. Find out the current Webinar schedule at: www.GrowFoodEarnMoney.com
Current offerings are FREE
Linda Borghi, will walk you through step by step! SPIN Farming is a business model that teaches people how to make money growing high value crops in a backyard, with low startup costs and without needing to own the land. No farming experience necessary!
With his strategy, I believe we can to this! Check out what Jeffery Smith has to say....
We are the ones who can really make the difference though how we spend our dollars....this is the most effective way....this takes a lot more education.
Get in on this strategy briefing with Jeffrey
Also check out his website for the most comprehensive up-to-date GMO information. www.responsibletechnology.org
Get educated and share with your family and friends....
People are getting well when they go on GMO free diets!
Follow Jeffery who is making a new movie that is documenting this. Many Doctors are making this recommendation to their patients and they are getting well.
Until next time...
Sustainable Neighbors is serious about the re-localizing of our food system.
There is power in produce to help vitalize our local economy and every consumer who eats can drive this movement by purchasing even 10% of their food budget on locally grown produce and eating at places that serve it or asking local restaurants to offer some seasonal options on their menus.
Real Food Freedom is local food sovereignty with the resources and local system in place to feed ourselves and not be dependent on a nationalize and global food system that is not sustainable... especially in a crisis.
Nationwide, people are waking up to this need and change is happening!
But we need more local farmers, and urban growers to grow this food and to be willing to do it chemical free,
Vote with your dollars at the local farmers market every Wednesday at the Murchison Road Farmers Market 10am-2pm
at the City Market at the Transportation Museum on Franklin Street, downtown Fayetteville every Saturday 8am-1pm
I don't know about you, but my intention in 2015 is to source more of my food locally than in 2014!
I have met some amazing local entrepreneurs in the food arena. Some are small urban farmers or just starting to "dig in" to learn to be, some are food artisans who love to cook and who are beginning to step up and out to meet the trend of consumers wanting more local , healthy, homemade, from scratch creations that are not tainted with chemicals and artificial additives.
If you are one of those aspiring entrepreneurs, we want to know about you and let others know about you too!
We are all about connecting and building a local food system here in Fayetteville.
Email us if you are interested in growing produce and being a part of the "Grow Group" (GG) to barter, donate or sell your produce, we can help you get connected.
If you are a consumer interested in being a part of a local produce buying club or if you want to attend cooking classes that focus on local and seasonal ingredients, then contact us here, or visit www.meetup.com/sustainableneighbors for current classes and happenings.
This is an open letter of appreciation for our Team organizers at Sustainable Neighbors who has been instrumental in "Making Sustainable Attainable"! Carla Caccia's dedicated work and talented facilitation skills brings people together! She is so fun to work with! I love her " jump in and just do it " enthusiasm and deeply appreciate her inspiring, leadership skills. Carla pulled together a great team for the awesome Second Harvest Food Bank Demonstration Garden!
The Team is now being headed up with the same energy by the fantastic organizational skills of Anna Fione (Thank you Anna!) in coordination with Kenny Bailey- NC Cooperative Ag Extension and their awesome Master Gardener Volunteers, Sustainable Neighbors Volunteers, Second Harvest Food Bank Volunteers and others community members who generously share their skills to make this a success!
Anyone who would like to help with this garden can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey Girl! Wow! I am reflecting back to less than a year ago and remember your desire, as the Food Day Coordinator, to do a special Food Day Project...and now just look... this beautiful garden is a reality! This is proof of what can happen when someone acts on their passion! The partners you pulled together are such dedicated, talented folks who really care about making a difference! Everyone works so beautifully together and this project is a model of what can be done for a healthier future in our community. I am so grateful that Sustainable Neighbors could be a part of this! People are coming, learning and getting connected! Great milestones have been accomplished! The Food Bank project has such great teamwork! This project is truly positioned to be of service to our community so that we can learn how to feed ourselves! Community members are being attracted and inspired to learn, serve and enjoy the garden! I can envision pop up gardens happening in neighborhoods all over the city that nurture healthier lives!
We also just helped Stella & Joe Mullen with Massey Hill Community Gardeners install their first garden project at Massey Hill Recreation Center... a beautiful Butterfly Serenity Garden....just another one of the projects that you helped make possible along with Thomas, Melissa, James and Bryan!
I just had to send this "SHOUT OUT" of excitement and appreciation!
Thank you Carla, and thank you to all our awesome Sustainable Neighbors!
In grateful service,
Here is a study on what brings happiness....http://www.news-medical.net/news/20140811/Study-of-quality-of-life-provides-answers-to-what-really-brings-happiness-to-consumers.aspx
I would like to add that connecting with creation and the Creator is a healing balm that brings balance... gratitude, service, honest work and simple pleasures shared with a friend can bring the deepest contentment.
Some excerpts from: http://darlenewolnik.com/2014/08/14/frugality-active-lifestyles-and-knoweldge-make-people-happier/
Another path to well-being is thrift, which means conserving resources as well as money, Tatzel noted. Frugal people are happier with life in general, according to a 2014 study. That may be because avoiding the negative consequences of spending too much and going into debt is one way to avoid unhappiness, she said. People enjoy doing things more than having things, with other studies finding that people realize more lasting happiness by changing their activities than by changing their material circumstances. “Experiences live on in memory, are incomparable, often shared with others and don’t have to be resource intensive,” said Tatzel.
She described other research that has found that people are more likely to be happy by cultivating personal talents and relationships more than money and fame, and by having an independent sense of self that results in not caring much what others think of their possessions.”