NEXT Steps is pleased to announce our second year partnership with Debra Robinson and the SWOOM Market Project to launch the SWOOM Farmers Market at Atwood Community Gardens. (Market opens Thursday, June 7th (4-8pm)!!! Atwood Community Gardens is located at 779 Atwood Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30310. Our growing partners for the 2012 SWOOM Farmers Market will include:
- Batdorf and Bronson Coffee Roasters (Dancing Goat, Downtown Decatur, GA)
- Life Essentials Market (West End Atlanta, GA)
- Mother Clyde Memorial Community Garden (West End Atlanta, GA)
- Patchworks City Farms (Atlanta, GA)
- Atwood Community Gardens & Urban Farm (Atlanta, GA)
- Metro Atlanta Urban Farm (College Park, GA)
- East Lake Community Learning Garden (Decatur, GA)
- The Atlanta Community Food Bank (Atlanta, GA)
- Westview Community Garden (West End Atlanta, GA)
- ….and many, many more!
Our History. Summer 2011, Ms. Robinson mentored our kids from the Westview Community (a USDA nationally recognized food desert in West End Atlanta) and taught them how to setup and manage the Wholesome Wave and the EBT/SNAP programs at the West End Atlanta Beltline Farmers Market at Space Atlanta Restaurant. NEXT Steps provided business development training in the form of farm management, marketing, customer service and special event management. Our growing partner and youth instructor was Master Gardener Sister DeBorah Williams of the Mother Clyde Memorial Community Garden — a staple in the Historic West End District and founder of the West End Atlanta Beltline Market.
Our Upcoming Activities & Events. One of the first promotions we will host at Atwood Community Gardens is the 2012 Youth Culinary Tour (click link to download flyer). It is a Chef mentoring promotion for young culinary artists (18 &under ) to teach their peers how to cook fresh, naturally grown produce at local urban gardens and farms in the Metro Atlanta area. Through a partnership with the Hands On Atlanta Civic Leadership Program, The 2012 Youth Culinary Tour will occur every 3rd Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Atwood Community Gardens, Truly Living Well Urban Agriculture Center and the East Lake Community Learning Garden from 4-8pm.
Our second activity at Atwood Community Gardens will be the Herb & Farm Summer Internship Program in partnership with the Mayor’s Youth Program, the Harland Boys & Girls Club and the Break Away Alternative Spring Break Program with Georgia State, Georgia Tech and Emory University. This 8 week S.T.E.M.-based summer training program will teach middle and high school schools the transferable business development and management skills that come from managing and operating a farm and outdoor event facility. Our university partners will provide college mentors to work with these kids during the month of June to demonstrate how farm tasks are directly related to career pathways in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.).
Lastly, in a partnership with FILM Atlanta, we will be creating a two-year documentary project about the impact SWOOM and NEXT Steps will have on the Westview Community Food Desert. We want to use this medium to continue our mission to create a culture of health in food desert communities throughout Metro Atlanta through public awareness promotions and educational training sessions that address issues of health, the food movement and culture.