Healthier East Orange Coalition – Learns Gardening from the Experts

On Friday March 13, members of our Healthier East Orange Collaboration had the opportunity to learn more about community gardens at the Garden Cities: Urban Ag in the Garden State Conference. This conference was to expand our collective knowledge about urban gardens. Dan Carmody who is in the picture below was the keynote speaker. AlsoIMG_0990 included in the photo is LaChell Miller Registered Dietician at Shoprite in West Orange, Sally Hammer registered dietician for East Orange ShopRite and Ernest Bryant, Executive Director East Orange YMCA. Dan is the President of Eastern Market Corporation in Detroit. The EMC goal is to take one of our nation’s oldest and largest public markets a turn it into the nation’s most comprehensive healthy metropolitan food hubs. Detroit’s venerable Eastern Market has become a national leader in developing comprehensive programs to strengthen the regional food economy. Dan Carmody, President of the non-profit which shepherds the market will highlight lessons learned with regard to developing value chains that benefit local growers and food entrepreneurs and overcoming challenges to improve school food. There were several featured panelist. Mary Seton Corboy, Co-Founder, Greensgrow Farms based in Kensington area of Philadelphia. The other featured panelist was Karen Washington, Co-Founder, Black Farmers and Urban Gardner’s. We were able to gather information on how to strengthen food systems in our community and assess, utilize and preserve urban land to grow food. Discussions were held on creating food access and looking into the future a urban agriculture and the impact.
At the end of the day we gathered and were able to take back a lot of information to our coalition. We gathered information on how to improve access to healthy food and increase interest in having people become local producers. We also gained a better understanding on how to better connect with the students, teachers, families and community as a whole to make a difference and impact in East Orange through our community garden.
Our goal is to assist with the creation of self-sustaining community gardens that contribute to self-sufficiency and community empowerment. We will achieve this by partnering up with residents, our schools, businesses and organizations in our community

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