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South King County (WA) food desert mirrors income & neighborhood decline
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Dr. Maxine Mimms Visits Tukwila Garden
Well-known Tacoma educator Maxine Mimms recently visited the IFC Garden in Tukwila, Washington. The garden, established in 2021, is currently teaching indoor growing of microgreens and various leafy greens using multiple technologies. Teaching is coordinated by GOE president Michael Twiggs in associating with Maxine Mimms Academy (MMA).

MMA's indoor gardening program was established in 2013 and has trained indoor gardeners in Seattle, Tacoma and other cities. In addition to indoor growing, the program explores business aspects of gardening and the potential role of urban gardening as an economic engine that can innovatively create opportunities based on addressing the "urban food desert" observed in many cities around the world.

Dr. Mimms founded Maxine Mimms Academy in 2004, initially to address concerns about re-engagement of secondary school students who had experienced conflict with conventional education, often due to family and social issues. The Academy has since expanded into other areas of community based education.

Indoor Farm Collaborative (IFC) is a joint venture of several Seattle-area organizations and firms.

Maxine Mimms Biography

Garden friends
In case you're old school and growing outdoors, here are some succesful planting groups. Where your lead "crop" is in the left column, pair with those in the center. We can't attest to the results, but it sounds reasonable. Sign up to share your own experience.
Micro-what? Diversify your diet!
Go to any health food store and you’ll be sure to find microgreens lining the produce section. They have been all the craze in the food sphere for the past couple of years but don’t let all of the hype confuse you–microgreens are a simple way to bring nutritional variety to your diet and can easily be grown in your own home!

Microgreens are a class of vegetable greens, in between a sprout and mature vegetable plant, (typically grown indoors and harvested 10-14 days after planting) and are especially conducive adaptable to an urban agriculture environment.

Microgreens require minimal space, materials and time making them extremely versatile and something you can do at home. They can be produced from a wide variety of plant seeds–sunflower, pea shoots and radish being most common but micro-herbs, -grains, and even -beans too. The possibilities are truly endless.

What they lack in size, they make up for in flavor and nutritional content. Fresh microgreens can contain up to 40X the nutrient content as compared to a mature plant leaf. Due to their high nutritional content, simplicity to grow and delicious bold flavors, microgreens serve as the perfect complement to a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Tune in next week to get the scoop on what you’ll need to get started in growing your own and even one of my favorite recipes for using these delicious and nutritious greens.

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Using a garden to tackle food inequities
Food is a human right. If specific communities are being left out of the equation, we need to break down the food system and rebuild it better. We need to build resilience for all in order to have a collective food secure future ahead of us.

Tackling Food Inequities

Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production
The number of individuals, groups and community organizations seeking to build stronger local food systems is growing. It is encouraging to see the USDA continue to provide financial support to city stakeholders as applicants around the country aim to improve their communities through urban agriculture.

Urban Agritecture

Tacoma Urban League to Host Hydroponic Training
Starting in December Tacoma Urban Leage will host a training program on hydroponic gardening. The first seminar will take place December 9 at the League's office. The training is offered in cooperation with Garden of Eden Urban Farming and Maxine Mimms Academy and will be coordinated by Michael Twiggs.

Since spring 2017, Tacoma Urban League has sponsored a hydroponic gardening demonstration garden. A group of students and young entrepreneurs in training is experimenting with growing as part of a future independent commercial project.

Future training sessions will range from DIY home gardening to commercial scale. For more information contact Michael Twiggs via the GOEUF contact form here.
Finding Quality Wooden Pallets for Craft Projects
I've noticed recently that there is a lot of incorrect or outdated information regarding wood pallets. My company makes dozens of pallets each day so I thought I would clear the air...

More companies are starting to build one-time-use pallets or use heat treatment rather than Methyl Bromide fumigation. Pallets now require an IPPC logo which certifies that the pallet was heat-treated or fumigated with Methyl Bromide.

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Tomato or not tomato, that is the question
We've had mixed success with tomatoes in our Seattle project, but others have had better outcomes. Here's one 2014 story from Southern California..



Strawberries for Christmas!
The first strawberries in our newest growing environment, a vertical tower, have begun to redden. This first crop will be subject, of course, to a bit of "professional sampling and quality control" by the staff, but thereafter we will be moving toward a distribution process. By late fall, when others are hiding from rain and snow, ours will be ready to enjoy for the holidays.
Lettuce begin!
The first lettuce crop at our Seattle facility will be ready for harvest soon. The photo shows project director Michael Twiggs with some plants under cultivation. They will be available as "living lettuce" in April. The plants are doubling in size weekly, and this image is already a week old. Also shown are collards, peppers, tomatoes and other species under experimentation as we determine the best combinations of light and nutrients for our facility. (Sorry for the bad pun.)
Tacoma Training Project Plants First Seeds
Our Tacoma project is under way with the planting of our first lettuce crop. We look forward to harvesting our first green salad makings in January. Follow the project on this page.
Equipment deliveries begin in Seattle
Deliveries of equipment for our Central Area Urban Gardening project in Seattle are due to arrive during the week of June 16. Our projected lead time to the first harvest is about six to eight weeks. We will be announcing specific dates as the project proceeds.
Join the Food Revolution!
Growing your own food is a revolutionary act! It reconnects you with the source of nutrition essential to maintaining your health and well-being.

One of my most important responsibilities as a Deacon is to contact, visit and pray with/for our members that are at home and in hospitals and nursing homes throughout the area. In doing so, I’ve learned of the challenges many face in health care, treatment and the prevalence of chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure, asthma and other respiratory illnesses that take away our loved ones way too soon.

As I became aware of the disproportionate numbers of people affected in our community and in my own family, my natural response has been to do the research to determine what was being done and the prognosis for remedy or cure. What I found was increasingly more expensive treatment options that in many cases, was worse than the illness being addressed. I learned of the connection between the quality, freshness and nutritional content of the food we eat and what our bodies really need to fight off colds and viruses and other common illnesses.

I wanted to sound the alarm, make some picket signs, get some folk together,

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