The year 2019 is a pivotal time in human history.  The climate is changing, technology is changing, and people are changing.  The very definition of evolution is growth.  Over time, as simple things become more complicated, we can find refuge in gardening.  When our ancestors could not hunt, they grew food.  As our food becomes recalled and more processed, we can choose to simply grow our own.

This year’s theme “At the Crossroads” represents point at which crucial decisions must be made that will have far-reaching consequences regarding our food supply and the environment.  News makers and policy makers could learn a lot from gardening; Patience, planning, problem solving, persistence, collaboration, adaptability, and peace of mind.  Our ancestors planted seeds and grew food for their survival, today, we must do the same.

This is a nexus for ACGA, our 40th Anniversary. Community gardening improves people’s quality of life by providing a catalyst for, job creation, neighborhood and community development, stimulating social interaction, encouraging self-reliance, beautifying neighborhoods, producing nutritious food, reducing family food budgets, conserving resources and creating opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy and education, as well as providing opportunities for grassroots leadership.

Tell us your story of how you arrived at “your” crossroads, and where do we go from here? As you create your workshop, discussions and sessions, use the Mash-ups ideas below as a catalyst to develop your topics.

Mash-Up Ideas

  • Arts & Gardens – Artist have worked to recreate nature’s canvas and hues for centuries.  Murals and sculptures are art, but parks and gardens are the frames!

Teasers: Music, sculpture, murals, sidewalk/street art, dance, movies, plays – How do you use art in the garden to create space and community?

  • Government & Gardens – From the Rose Garden to your backyard, politicians, lobbyists, and corporations desire more than your vote, opinions, and money – they want to control what you eat and grow and how we take care of the environment!

Teasers: CBD/Marijuana, Pesticides, Nutrition, Climate Change/Environment, Food Deserts. How do you work with local, state, and national government to create green spaces, community and urban gardens, recovery programs?

  • Youth & Gardens – Pumpkin patches, strawberry fields, and orchards where kids run free with baskets filled with nature’s candy rivals a day at any amusement park.

Teasers: Education programs. School gardens. Gardens and Science.  What happened to all the lighting bugs? Inter-generational gardening.

  • Health & Gardens – How do you promote the health aspect (mental, physical, and spiritual) of gardening?

Teasers: Food is medicine! Organics, Teas, Medical gardens, Exercise. The value of working the soil and health. Benefits of working in the Sun.  Home-grown remedies. Is it a weed or resource?

  • Environment & Gardens – What kind of programs or initiatives do you use to promote being stewards of the environment.

Teasers: Methods for sustainability in community gardens. Care taking of Pollinators. Composting. Water conservation. Ground covers. Food Forests. Wildlife preservation. Green friendly equipment and tools. Natural                pesticides.

  • Urban Ag & Gardening – Tell us about your urban farm or garden. How are you making a difference in the local food supply? What kind of programs can we get the government to support to make urban ag viable? How do you back yard garden?

 Teasers: Co-ops and CSA’s. Farmer’s markets.

  • Food Equity & Gardening – How are you addressing the food desert issue and food equity in urban or rural areas? Tell us about your programs.

 Teasers: Teach vs Give. Preserving food. Access channels. Gleaning harvests. Tool sharing programs. Delivery and storage of produce.

  • Best Practices & Lessons Learned – Share your experiences with the group.

Teasers: Innovations. Technology. Gardening Hacks. Tried and True Tactics.