US (FL): Eckerd helps build community of urban agriculture advocates

On Saturday, February 11, students and community members gathered in Fox Hall to discuss the strategies for developing urban agriculture in the Tampa Bay area. The event was organized by the new St. Pete Center for Civic Engagement and Social Impact and run by Professor of Environmental Studies David Himmelfarb, a faculty fellow for the organization. 

There were over 100 attendees from various backgrounds, including farmers, gardeners, marketing executives, and community organizers, to discuss sustainability and food security issues in the Tampa Bay area. The roundtable event allowed these community members of various backgrounds to mingle, debate, and network. 

Also present were students from Himmelfarb’s Food Movements class. In the class, students discuss the complex supply chains that get food to communities. They interviewed the community members to get a real-world perspective on the issues faced by our society’s food systems in an ever-changing world. 

Most students are familiar with the Eckerd Community Farm, of which Professor Himmelfarb is the faculty director. The Farm is an experimental agricultural project that aims to grow to produce using methods that directly mimic natural ecosystems. This is directly contrary to how most modern agriculture works with its heavy use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which may have been why so many farmers were interested in visiting the Farm.


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