Gateway Greening, an FSM collaborator that sponsors organic, sustainable community gardens in the St. Louis area, held its annual Community Agriculture Conference Sunday, February 25, 2018. Five FSM—Srs. Sherri Coleman, Jeanne Derer, André Evanicsko, Marge O’Gorman, and Sandy Schwartz—attended.
Rob Reiman, executive director of The Giving Grove, based in Kansas City, Mo., gave the keynote address. The Giving Grove empowers low-income communities to plant and nurture fruit, berry, and nut trees and shrubs. Gateway Greening has partnered with The Giving Grove to begin planting trees and shrubs in existing community gardens in the St. Louis area.
Also featured at the conference was a breakout session led by Dr. Millie Mattfeldt-Beman, project coordinator of North City Food Hub, and Gibron Jones, owner of HOSCO (Holistic Organic Sustainable Co-Operative) Foods. Mattfeldt-Beman and Jones have been collaborating for more than ten years to bring low-income families access to healthy, affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. They also provide classes in entrepreneurship, creating and encouraging careers in the food system to help raise income levels of neighbors. Their incubator program helps facilitate food-related businesses and offers a shared-use kitchen to turn produce into marketable products.
The Food Hub will open soon to provide good food and skills for food-related jobs to north St. Louis City.