With moist crumbles of Soil3 compost in hand, and the silhouettes of the city’s skyscrapers towering over us at Truly Living Well’s Wheat Street Garden, we knew on Saturday that the Healthy Soil Festival would be the perfect consummation of all the collective building we coalesced with community garden leaders over the past year.
What began as the Community & Educational Garden Working Well Group, with intentions to build consensus on the most common challenges that community gardeners encounter, turned into a conversation about soil access and health, which turned into the Healthy Soil, Healthy Community Initiative and the festival.
With “black gold” in mind, Food Well Alliance sponsored the Healthy Soil, Healthy Community Initiative to help community gardens adopt better gardening practices and build healthy soil. The initiative includes a design team of seven partners that offered their strengths and resources to the collaboration.
At the festival on Saturday, we saw community gardeners connect over local food and drinks, garden leaders wax poetic over the soil being dumped into their pickup trucks, and familiar faces in the local food movement helped to make the event a success by vending, donating gifts and offering time.
Over 250 people attended the festival on Saturday, and through the Healthy Soil, Healthy Community Initiative 54 gardens were gifted soil and compost tools to better their garden’s health.