Through our recent involvement with the Southern Makers festival, we had the good fortune of getting to know Edwin Marty and his wife Andrea. Edwin is the executive director of E.A.T. South. Southern Makers was an event organized not only to celebrate the creative spirit of Alabama, but also as a way to raise funds for this non-profit organization. E.A.T. South’s mission is to teach children to eat with “intention”, encourage urban food production, and encourage the school systems to provide the best possible nutrition to its students by providing access to locally produced whole foods.
One of the primary missions of Southern Accents is to educate people on the importance of historical preservation as well as the importance of salvaging and repurposing architectural materials. We are passionate about what we do. Upon our first meeting with Edwin, it was obvious that he shared that same level of passion for what he does. His mission of educating children on the benefits of healthy food choices as well as his promotion of urban food production is a worthy goal that we fully support. Not only are we both in the business of education, we also share a goal of making this world a better place to live by reducing some of the negative impacts on our environment. Our salvage operations reduce the amount of materials that are taken to our landfills. Edwin’s mission of promoting locally produced food reduces the need to have it transported from outside areas which has a positive impact on the environment.
When posed with the question of “where does your food come from”, many children in urban areas will answer “the grocery store” or “the refrigerator”. Most have never had the opportunity to experience food production on a farm. Through E.A.T. South’s education program, children are allowed to experience what it is like to grow, harvest, prepare and then eat fresh food. E.A.T. South’s programs focus on one central idea – “children will develop healthy life-long eating habits if they experience healthy food that tastes great.”
When asked about how his involvement with E.A.T. South has affected his own family, Edwin talks about his two young children. “My children’s bodies are being created by the foods they eat. My oldest daughter is learning how to help on the farm. She knows how to take care of the chickens and knows which eggs come from which chickens. She is developing an intimate relationship with her food and learning the benefits of making healthy food choices.”
The primary message that Edwin wants to pass on to our readers is that fresh, healthy food can be the most affordable when purchased locally.
50% of the funds that support E.A.T. South come from donations. The rest come from grants, corporate sponsorships, program fees, the sale of produce grown on their two farms, and fund raising events like Southern Makers. If you would like to learn more about E.A.T. South or would like to make a donation to their worth wile cause, you can visit them at www.eatsouth.org.
Southern Accents is proud to be a partner that shares it’s passion and resources with E.A.T. South!
Written By: Lisa Jones
Edwin recently completed a book about urban farming in America called Breaking Through Concrete. This beautifully illustrated book documents twelve successful urban farm programs. It also offers advice for budding farmers on topics including composting, keeping livestock in the city, decontaminating toxic soil, even changing zoning laws. This is an important book with practical application that explores a current environmental and social movement that has the potential to transform how we view our current food resources.
WE ARE GIVING AWAY A COPY OF THIS BOOK! Visit our GIVEAWAY page and follow the easy Rafflecopter instructions to enter! You can also look for the GIVEAWAY TAB located on our Facebook page. Giveaway will run from 05/23/2013 until 12:00 am on 05/31/2013. Winner will be chosen at random and contacted via e-mail. Winner will have 24 hours to respond once contacted. Winner will be announced after entry requirements are verified. Giveaway is open to residents of the U. S. only.
Congratulations to Sue Evans! Sue was chosen at random as the winner of our Breaking Through Concrete book giveaway.