Alpha Zeta Conclave

4 04 2011

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Alpha Zeta conclave. Wait. That is a little too mild. The fabulous opportunity to attend this conference. It was full of new people, new experiences and new perspectives.

While I arrived a day late, I arrived in time to attend the industry tours-the Urban Ag tours. At first I was disappointed to be assigned to this group. I wanted to go on the tour that related to my future career more directly or my personal interests. I had no knowledge or interest in “urban ag.” Urbanization is the culprit after all…. right?

Well, this tour opened my eyes. Urban agriculture is not about feeding the world-it is about feeding the hearts, souls, and minds of the communities my Dad works to feed. We saw how community gardens can rejuvenate abandoned lots-and the sense of community around said plots. We saw how a garden can grow not only food for the needy but encourage growth of work skills and the employment statistics or promote rehabilitation.

I learned that you don’t need a field and a tractor to participate in agriculture and that organic is the best production management method (albeit according to me “in some instances”). I also learned that agriculture can play even an even more noble role than feeding bellies, it also feeds hearts and minds-including those whose lives have been touched and revolutionized by urban agriculture.

And I am proud to say, I consider myself a part of this group in some small way-my heart was revolutionized that day to include urban agriculture amongst my loyalties.

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