The Grow Local OC Conference: The Future of Urban Food Systems slated for Nov. 10 – 11 at Cal State University, Fullerton is excited to announce that Jeremy Samson, co-director of Cultivate Together and Slow Food Orange County Garden chair, will speak to conference attendees on the community development benefits of school gardens in Orange County.
Jeremy is an urban farmer, who works with several different organizations to improve the food system in Orange County with gardens. He is co-director of Cultivate Together, a non-profit focused on facilitating the creation and sustainability of neighborhood farms and community garden spaces. As an Orange County Master Gardener he is a member of the Speakers Bureau that teaches gardening classes around the county. After attending the Edible School Yard Academy in Berkeley last year, he now serves on the School Garden Team for the Master Gardeners and as the Slow Food Orange County Garden chair.
Gardening is one of Slow Food Orange County’s primary focus areas. When Jeremy moved to Anaheim a few years ago, he was surprised by the city’s dearth of public gardens.
“In 2012 there were no community gardens in Anaheim,” says Samson, who grew up in Maine and is well-versed in Slow Food culture.
He moved to Anaheim after serving in the U.S. Navy, quickly joined the Master Gardeners of Orange County, and became involved in gardening and sustainability endeavors. Soon after joining Slow Food Orange County, he became chair of its School and Community Gardens program.
“Slow Food Orange County put out a call for new board members,” he says. “It relies on the skill sets of volunteers, and my skill set is school garden programs.”
Samson has put his talents to good use, as Slow Food Orange County has played a key role in numerous garden endeavors. These include the installation of a new drip irrigation system in a church garden, giving an heirloom seed grant and cooking demonstration to Tustin Memorial Academy students, providing volunteers to the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center, and collaborating with The Ecology Center’s Grow Your Own! program to bolster the efforts of teachers developing school gardens.
Jeremy also owns a small landscape design and consultation business specializing in edible and drought tolerant landscaping with an emphasis on resource conservation and wildlife habitat.
Register now to hear Jeremy speak about the local food systems benefits that accrue as a result of the development of community and school gardens: http://growlocaloc.eventbrite.com