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Sunday, August 24, 2014

2014 Jacksonville Seed Swap and Community Garden Expo

It's that time again! We are getting ready for the 2014 Jacksonville Seed Swap and Community Garden Expo. We got a lot of great feedback at last year's event, and we are excited about the changes we will make this year. We are eager for this to be the biggest and best opportunity that northeast Florida has had for exchanging seeds. For more information about previous years' Jacksonville Seed Swap and Community Garden Expo click here. If you have any suggestions or ideas please start sending them our way:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

'to everything...there is a season'

Hello Faithful Garden Friends! 

Image Credit: iStockphoto
If you are reading this then you likely know that it has been more than two months since anything new has been posted on the blog. I could tell you a lot of good reasons why so much time has passed, but ultimately they all amount to burnout. It wasn't my intent to disappear, leave ends frayed, and commitments unmet, and for that I am sorry. 

I found a container of butternut squash seeds this morning, and it made me smile. Seeds always make me smile. They are filled with potential and are a symbol of hope. 

The local food system in northeast Florida continues to improve and strengthen, and I am honored to have played a part in that work. As I find my footing I am taking on projects with greater thoughtfulness. I hope you will accept my apology and understand as I make fewer commitments to ensure I can give 100%.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Funding Opportunity Through Florida Aquaculture Association

Florida Aquaculture Association

 The Florida Aquaculture Association is offering $250 to $500 Aquaculture-in-the-Classroom grants to middle and high school teachers who have existing aquaculture classroom projects that educate students about the importance of Florida aquaculture.

     The deadline to apply is June 30, 2014. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

CVS Gift Card Funding Available

Sometimes something as simple as a gift card can go a long way. Qualifying community-based organizations can apply for a CVS/pharmacy gift card of up to $100 that can be used for items like school supplies, personal care items, water and sunscreen.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

American Honda Foundation Funding Opportunity

The American Honda Foundation was established by American Honda Motor Co., Inc., to commemorate its 25th anniversary in the United States and to show its appreciation of America's support through the years. It is Honda's desire that in every community in which it does business society will want Honda to exist.

Help meet the needs of American society in the areas of youth and scientific education by awarding grants to nonprofits, while strategically assisting communities in deriving long-term benefits.

The American Honda Foundation engages in grant making that reflects the basic tenets, beliefs and philosophies of Honda companies, which are characterized by the following qualities: imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic and innovative. We support youth education with a specific focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in addition to the environment. When considering the American Honda Foundation as a potential funding source, please note the following:

Eligible Organizations:

Nonprofit charitable organizations classified as a 501(c) (3) public charity by the Internal Revenue Service, or a public school district, private/public elementary and secondary schools as listed by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

To be considered for funding organizations MUST have two years of audited financial statements examined by an independent CPA for the purpose of expressing an opinion if gross revenue is $500,000 or more. If gross revenue is less than $500,000, and the organization does not have audits, it may submit two years of financial statements accompanied by an independent CPA’s review report instead.

Geographic Scope:

Funding Priority:
Youth education, specifically in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, the environment, job training and literacy

Other Important Information:

  • Organizations may only submit one request in a 12-month period. This includes colleges and universities with several departments/outreach programs
  • The grant range is from $20,000 to $75,000 over a one-year period
  • Proposals should be submitted online. Click here to start the online process
  • No faxed applications will be accepted
  • Support materials such as annual reports, pamphlets/brochures, newsletters, articles, DVDs, etc. should be mailed to the following address:
    American Honda Foundation
    1919 Torrance Blvd.
    Mailstop: 100-1W-5A
    Torrance, CA 90501-2746
Please note: The American Honda Foundation does not make grants by text or email and does not require/request grantees to pay fees for grant funds. Should you receive a message to this effect, please disregard it and do not click any links or respond.
Our grant-making schedule is as follows:

Deadline for
Board Review
Grants Awarded
February 1AprilMay 1
May 1JulyAugust 1
August 1OctoberNovember 1
November 1JanuaryFebruary 1
  • Should the deadline for submission of applications fall on a weekend (Saturday or Sunday), the deadline will be extended to the following Monday.

Apply Online

To determine if your program/project meets the qualifications for consideration, the online application process begins with an Eligibility Quiz. Click here to start the quiz.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Nature of Cities Article on Community Gardens and Urban Agriculture

An article looking at the role of urban agriculture and community gardens in cities being developed was printed in a recent edition of the Nature of Cities. A number of voices weigh in to discuss the differences between community gardens and urban agriculture, a look at programs in different areas of the world, and what kind of role that urban agriculture might play in cities going forward.

In one section of the article Ms. Mary Rowe makes the following statement, 

          Edible landscapes, such as fruit trees along greenways and in parks, green roofs on residential and commercial buildings, living walls — these can be imaginative interventions that deliver many ecological benefits as well. But I think we need to be realistic about urban land uses and remember that density is crucial to making a city work — economically, socially, culturally and environmentally. So setting aside wide swaths of land for ‘agriculture’ in a contemporary city doesn’t make sense in the long term, because it defeats density. As an interim use — while the local economy develops and will eventually need that land for development purposes, ok.

From this pronouncement, questions arise:
  • Should public parks be considered a defeat of density that should be used for development? 
  • By their nature urban growing spaces are judicious with space. Does this make a difference in the discussion?
  • What purpose do we want our urban areas to serve? 
  • How do we decide what would be a better use of a site being used for urban agriculture?  

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Celebrating Memorial Day Through Community Gardens

Memorial Day is a day of recognition and remembrance for individuals who have sacrificed their lives serving in the armed forces. The holiday has Southern roots in the Civil War, believed to originate from a celebration known as 'Decoration Day' to honor the dead.  You can visit the United States Department of Veteran Affairs website to learn more about Memorial Day. Gardening and war are inextricably linked, and many people are familiar with the role that Victory Gardens played during World War I and II.

There are many ways you can celebrate Memorial Day through your own backyard garden or community garden. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Include a statue in your garden to honor a loved one or as an offering of thanks
  • Plant red, white, and blue wildflowers
  • Plant a fruit tree 
  • Cultivate cuttings from a loved one's garden or plant an area with their favorite varieties

Tell us about how you're celebrating Memorial Day in your garden. Email your story, a picture, and your contact information to, and we will feature them in an upcoming post.