From Seed to Table


SATURDAY (11/5)  1:30-2:45 PM

Strengthening community through gardening in Paterson, New Jersey

Located in the 4th ward in Paterson, New Jersey, the Rosa Parks and 12th Ave Green Acre Community Garden is a beacon of hope for many in the predominately African American community through its continuing neighborhood revitalization efforts and the production of organically grown, healthy and culturally appropriate vegetables distributed to neighbors at bi-weekly community farm stands. As part of a strong network of recently established community gardens in Paterson with the support of the non-profit organization City Green, the Green Acre Community Garden is unique in its attention to neighborhood beautification efforts, partnerships with multiple actors, inclusion of youth in ongoing volunteer projects, and distribution of food through a donation-based system. Through this panel discussion, participants will learn about the nascent community garden movement in Paterson that is focused on community assets and the different strategies that a specific community garden uses to address issues of public health, and food and environmental justice. During the workshop, the co-presenters will discuss the historical context of Black gardeners in Paterson and their connections with the South, as well as the multiple strategies utilized by the garden committee to build a strong community around the garden. These include: volunteer work dates; committee-building; development of partnerships; and most importantly, the community farm stands. The co-presenters are very familiar with the topic as they both actively participate in this garden. Participants will be able to utilize multiple strategies in their own gardens, such as asset mapping and developing a community farm stand, and engage with co-presenters regarding best practices and other themes.


  • Claudia Urdanivia, City Green, Inc.
  • Willie Davis, Rosa Parks and 12th Ave Green Acre Community Garden

SATURDAY (11/5)  3:00-4:15 PM

Aquaponics 101: Growing Vegetables and Fish Together

This workshop will teach participants about cultivating fish and plants together in an eco-friendly system. We will cover the basic principles of aquaponics, its history, and impact in an urban environment. In addition, participants will also learn the basic principles behind aquaponics and inexpensive ways to build and sustain their own aquaponics garden indoors or outdoors. The workshop will be discussion style and interactive.


  • Eric Person, KC BUGS, BLLI, and Black City ANTs
  • Yemi Amu, Oko Farms

SUNDAY (11/6)  9:45-11:00 AM

Gaining Power and a Seat at the Table through Policy/Agribusiness

Michelle will dissect elements of our food supply chain and how we can gain power and access within that system as minority farmers. Showcasing successful models, such as Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s farm to business delivery system, Market Mobile, we will explore how to work with different distribution models, accessing infrastructure through wholesale and distribution channels. Working smarter through technology, how do we market and brand and ourselves to gain access to niche customers and have more of a voice in regards to food sourcing? How do we partner with like-minded people in the food system like food incubators? How can we add resiliency to your crop by producing more Value added products and allow B-Grade Produce to work in your favor to reduce waste and bring you profits? Michelle will discuss all of this and more in this agribusiness and marketing session. After viewing state wide food plans and policies being drafted and yet again minorities not being represented at the table, whether through access programs being put into place for “Low income” African American and Latinos or community gardens propping up in those very same communities without any notice or input from minority residents, Georgina strived to focus her work on how to engage our communities through the notion that policy and investment equals power. As Access Chair of the RI Food Policy Council and sitting at the table to observe, Sarpong will showcase ways to add your voice to the local food access conversation, provide actions steps and innovative success models from her years of access work in the local food community."


  • Michelle Cruz, Farm Fresh RI and co-founder of Urban FACTs (Food Agriculture Collaborative Talk Sessions)
  • Georgina Sarong, Farm Fresh RI and co-founder of Urban FACTs (Food Agriculture Collaborative Talk Sessions)

Healing Through Fruit Tree Maintenance And Other Therapeutic Garden Components

In this round table, we will explore ways we heal and nurture ourselves through the maintenance of fruit trees and other green space components. We will demonstrate and discuss how and why to prune, weed, and mulch; how to stake the main trunk and branches; and to protect against bugs, wildlife, and other animals; and what disease(s) and pests to look out for. We will incite thought that will allow us to engage in a discussion on the need for us to come together in outdoor healing spaces.


  • RonDell Pooler, Rooted and Sustained LLC
  • Gerald Mcintosh, Seed Planters

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