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The 4th may have passed, but Atlanta has plenty to keep you entertained including Atlanta Comic-Con, Atlanta Field Day, a sustainable agriculture festival, and... a waiters race?
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Mayor Kasim Reed has grand ambitions for Atlanta—high-tech incubators, for instance. But his administration has another, more prosaic goal: to reconnect the city with Georgia’s agrarian roots.
After two years in the making, Atlanta’s new center for self-sufficiency, The Homestead Atlanta, launches this weekend with two classes: Designing Beautiful Edible Landscapes and Cultivating Mushrooms Indoors and Out. Soon to follow are classes in hand-spinning yarn, blacksmithing and food fermentation. If you have a single do-it-yourself bone in your body, you’re likely to find something of interest here.
There’s probably not a weekend gardener in the world who hasn’t, at one time or another, gazed at a bare corner of the yard or patio and daydreamed of filling it with a fruiting plant. But what would grow there—apples? Blueberries? Grapes? And don’t fruit trees require special care, or something? The dream goes unfulfilled.
At Burgess-Peterson Academy in Atlanta, vegetable-loving children take turns caring for the school’s hens and share in their output of fresh eggs. At Crawford Long Middle School, science teacher Tiarra Moore has commanded an impressive list of grants and awards to build aneducational organic garden and orchard. And at Morningside and Springdale Park elementary schools, students participate in garden-themed science lessons and are treated to cooking demonstrations from visiting chefs.
If you’ve been exploring the local food scene, you know it’s a confusing world out there. Farmers markets are popping up all over the city on different days of the week; restaurants are claiming various degrees of local-foodiness; grocery stores are placing ambiguous “locally grown” signs in their produce departments. And then there’s all the terminology: organic, naturally grown, grass-fed, certified this or that. How’s the average, well-meaning consumer supposed to sort it all out?
At the Georgia Organics conference last weekend in Savannah, I couldn’t help noticing that there were a lot of good-looking young people wandering around. Very casually dressed young people, with fit bodies and clear skin and a sparkle in their eyes. After watching the premiere of GROW!, Anthony-Masterson's new film about the next generation of farmers in Georgia, I think I know why.
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