SEED STORY: APRAIL JONES 2022
00:01:02.000 --> 00:01:11.000
Alright, hello, good morning and welcome to September Seed Social. I am honored to be in conversation today with April Jones.
00:01:11.000 --> 00:01:23.000
She is the founder of the Pine Hurst Farmers Market in Columbia, South Carolina. April is originally from Akron, Ohio and she advocates for her community as part of the food justice and food sovereignty movement.
00:01:23.000 --> 00:01:32.000
She's passionate about community gardens, farmers markets, and seeds. She's a writer, a public speaker, a consultant, a blogger, recipe developer, book reviewer, event planner, and more.
00:01:32.000 --> 00:01:36.000
April is a joyful and dynamic woman and I am so excited and honored to be in conversation with her today.
00:01:36.000 --> 00:01:50.000
April, thank you so much for joining me. I'd love for you to introduce yourself and share a little bit about who you are and what you're working on.
00:01:50.000 --> 00:02:06.000
Hey, well thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here. So like you said, I'm originally from Akron, Ohio, and my roots go very deep and that region and in that city.
00:02:06.000 --> 00:02:20.000
And I learned a lot of my formative. Sustainability thoughts and ideas and Akron Ohio. So I'm so happy to be with you guys today.
00:02:20.000 --> 00:02:35.000
So I wanna jump right into the story of the Pine Hurst farmers market. This morning before I got on the call with you, I was watching the webinar of starting a farmers market, a case study from South Carolina, from South Carolina.
00:02:35.000 --> 00:02:42.000
And you said the one of the reasons that you moved to the Pinehurst neighborhood in downtown Columbia was because there were 2 grocery stores super close by.
00:02:42.000 --> 00:02:52.000
And so I'm wondering if you could paint a picture for us of what the neighborhood of Pinehurst looks like as far as urban gardening and transportation and local economy.
00:02:52.000 --> 00:03:02.000
Yeah, absolutely. So when I first moved into the Pinehurst neighborhood, we had 2 thriving grocery stores and then they closed suddenly.
00:03:02.000 --> 00:03:11.000
And there was just no discussion with the community. And so there was no discussion of like city council or maybe they knew they didn't tell us the community about it.
00:03:11.000 --> 00:03:21.000
County Council, they never said anything. And so for me, it really was the, informative kind of highlighting of the new ways of being in South Carolina.
00:03:21.000 --> 00:03:35.000
Where people are not communicating, and informing the public about what is coming down the pike.
00:03:35.000 --> 00:03:38.000
And it's sort of like some people know. But then the community at large doesn't now.
00:03:38.000 --> 00:03:59.000
And so that was really like a scary, realization for me because I felt you know you feel unsafe in that sort of situation you feel unsure you feel uncomfortable, you feel unnerved.
00:03:59.000 --> 00:04:07.000
And you know you wanna have some sort of control of your community. Right? It's such a small intimate place that you're investing in.
00:04:07.000 --> 00:04:22.000
And so. That really was the starting point of my activism. In the food system and it taught me a lot about how the values of a community or a culture or region.
00:04:22.000 --> 00:04:35.000
Impact the food movement. And how you have to really be attuned and aware of the values and the culture that you're surrounding yourself with.
00:04:35.000 --> 00:04:44.000
Yes, absolutely. That's so important and I studied urban planning and Arizona State University and the common thread in all of the courses that I took was like the most important thing as somebody that's working for the municipality or for the city or whatever.
00:04:44.000 --> 00:05:09.000
As somebody that's working for the municipality or for the city or whatever is to have relationship and open lines of communication with the community, otherwise you're gonna, you know, cause more harm than any good that you could ever set out to do if you're not in direct relationship with the community.
00:05:09.000 --> 00:05:10.000
So I'm wondering, and, since Piner's neighborhood is like a neighborhood in downtown Columbia.
00:05:10.000 --> 00:05:25.000
Is like a neighborhood in downtown Columbia. Do you see a lot of people like urban gardening, and keeping little gardens in their front I think that it's funny.
00:05:25.000 --> 00:05:31.000
Oh, in the past, maybe it's like 5 years ago that I think there was more urban.
00:05:31.000 --> 00:05:40.000
Gardening but because of the climate change and the drought conditions that we're in, it's really been a challenge for people to grow.
00:05:40.000 --> 00:05:45.000
In South Carolina in general but especially like in our urban environment where you know some lots don't have access to water so that makes it a lot harder.
00:05:45.000 --> 00:06:05.000
And then our water bills have been very happy. City of Columbia. So that also makes it prohibitive for people to grow because of the cost of water.
00:06:05.000 --> 00:06:10.000
And our high water bills and then we've also had a water quality problem in columbia So that kind of makes it hard.
00:06:10.000 --> 00:06:15.000
Your water quality isn't the best to feel like you wanna put that on to your, your vegetables.
00:06:15.000 --> 00:06:33.000
So those are some of the issues that, that we are seeing in the Southeast, especially in South Carolina, is that The drought conditions have made it really challenging for all.
00:06:33.000 --> 00:06:36.000
Crop failure. So we have Bradford, Watermelon, which is the heirloom variety, Water Valley in South Carolina.
00:06:36.000 --> 00:06:50.000
This year we had a total crop failure of the Bradford watermelon, which is really, sad because the farmer wasn't able to sell.
00:06:50.000 --> 00:07:11.000
That, you know, watermelon to the community for consumption. And then also, you know, from a seed saving perspective, those are a lot of watermelons that were lost and so some of those watermelon seeds would be saved for the next year and now.
00:07:11.000 --> 00:07:19.000
They probably won't be. So that's. Some of the issues that we're combating for sure.
00:07:19.000 --> 00:07:36.000
Well, thank you for sharing because it's so important just to have the awareness of like the greater, movement, like the national food movement, but also how specific each community in each city, you know, the different successes that they have as well as the different successes that they have as well as the different challenges that they have.
00:07:36.000 --> 00:07:47.000
Because the solutions are going to need to be born out of those individual specific qualities of each space. So I'd like to jump into the Pinehurst farmers market.
00:07:47.000 --> 00:07:56.000
Since you said a lot of people aren't exactly urban gardening or urban growing, that makes it even more important.
00:07:56.000 --> 00:08:12.000
For there to be a space in community for people to go to to access the local farming products. So if you may want to if you maybe wanted to share that story and I also want to do include the detail that the Pineers farmers market is in your front yard.
00:08:12.000 --> 00:08:19.000
I just think that that is so charming and so, so intimate. So yeah, go ahead and take it away, April.
00:08:19.000 --> 00:08:28.000
Yeah, so I started the Primers farmers market because I was in a food apartheid community and so I had farmers in the past come to my home and they would sell on weekly basis.
00:08:28.000 --> 00:08:43.000
They're fresh, amazing, produce and more. And so I tip that for about 2 and a half years and then I had some personal issues which took my focus away from the market and I had to put more focus on these personal issues.
00:08:43.000 --> 00:08:55.000
So now I have changed the format of the market where I'm selling my full greens and kales and more directly to customers.
00:08:55.000 --> 00:09:09.000
So But I've been impacted by climate change myself because in the past I would be able to grow year round.
00:09:09.000 --> 00:09:19.000
But this year it was such a hot summer. So for July and August, all my little crops, most of them burned up.
00:09:19.000 --> 00:09:32.000
And so now I'm just starting again to plant my micro greens and my seeds. So that they can grow and be strong and I'll be able to sell.
00:09:32.000 --> 00:09:42.000
Customers so About 2 weeks ago I put in my seedlings in the crown getting ready for my fall crop so that they can be beautiful, delicious.
00:09:42.000 --> 00:09:45.000
And then we got another heat wave. So my little seedlings, a lot of them have died.
00:09:45.000 --> 00:09:54.000
So I have to go back out and replant and start again. And so that's gonna delay my harvest, for my customers because of the heat.
00:09:54.000 --> 00:10:12.000
And so that is something that a lot of farmers, especially in the Southeast and in South Carolina, are combating, really battling with the climate.
00:10:12.000 --> 00:10:20.000
I think you bring up a really good point about, climate sensitivity as well as seasonality of local food.
00:10:20.000 --> 00:10:27.000
You know, like you said that you'll be pushed back a couple of weeks due to, you know, the weather and personal things.
00:10:27.000 --> 00:10:43.000
And it's so important to bridge the gap of awareness from the farmers and the food producers to the public so that they understand that there are so many things that the farmers and producers need to consider in order to have something to offer.
00:10:43.000 --> 00:11:04.000
Like for example at the beginning of this summer for myself it was the beginning of June and it was our first week at the farmers market and people were already expecting, you know, these comments on Facebook and on the farmers market page about how like people were bummed out and they probably won't be coming back these comments on Facebook on the farmers market page about how like people were bummed out and they probably won't be coming back like they
00:11:04.000 --> 00:11:11.000
want you know it was like as aggravated as I was that people were aggregated that we didn't have tomatoes.
00:11:11.000 --> 00:11:18.000
I was like, this is just an opportunity to educate people on. What it really takes to farm and grow food.
00:11:18.000 --> 00:11:25.000
And how there is such a sensitivity to the climate to the weather and what our own personal capacities are.
00:11:25.000 --> 00:11:33.000
So thank you for bringing that up. I really do. I really would like to hear.
00:11:33.000 --> 00:11:50.000
Hear the story of kind of how the pine horse farmers market was a response to the 2 grocery stores closing and then maybe like what the biggest successes are or were from the farmers market before it kind of evolved into, how you're managing it now.
00:11:50.000 --> 00:12:07.000
Yeah, I think that the key thing that I saw, with the Pine Hers farmers market is that in your communities you have to like you said have a direct communication with the, leaders in the community and it has to have, they have to have integrity.
00:12:07.000 --> 00:12:18.000
They have to have honesty. They have to have forthrightness. And a community minded, spirit and idea.
00:12:18.000 --> 00:12:41.000
And so. I have the Pine First Farmers Market. I saw that through the community power, we were able to talk about our issues in the community, whether it's food access, whether it's high crime, whether it's poor public schools, and really have a dialogue that was honest and forthright and you know, say what's going on.
00:12:41.000 --> 00:12:53.000
And that was, I think, the biggest takeaway of the market is that people were able to really have an honest dialogue about what was going on in their community.
00:12:53.000 --> 00:13:03.000
And I think that's really important. And as I have traveled, through my work, consulting and speaking and working with institutions such as universities, nonprofits and individual farmers.
00:13:03.000 --> 00:13:25.000
I'm able to see how the cultural values of places really impact directly the food system. And so when I was in Kansas, I saw so much amazing beautiful work being done in the food movement.
00:13:25.000 --> 00:13:33.000
And I really saw that they had. A sacred honoring of the land and they had lost that value.
00:13:33.000 --> 00:13:45.000
So they had really clear streams and they had less polluted air and soil and water like I just said and so I really saw that those value systems based on where you are in the country really restonate fully in the food system.
00:13:45.000 --> 00:14:11.000
And now that I'm doing the selling of the micro greens directly to customers. I really am happy that I'm able to still give people access to like you said high quality tasty food and and we're able to talk about the challenges that are occurring with drought and climate change.
00:14:11.000 --> 00:14:20.000
Yeah, that's something that farmers markets. That's like the the umber like the most beautiful like emergent thing that happens from farmers.
00:14:20.000 --> 00:14:34.000
Like, yeah, you get to go and you get to do your shopping and get your great food. But what's really so important is that actually gathering and the exchange of knowledge and the exchange of knowledge and the exchange of ideas that happens that's actually gathering and the exchange of knowledge and the exchange of ideas that happens that all that can often prompt.
00:14:34.000 --> 00:14:44.000
Like community organizing and change. I wanna ask you if during the Pinehurst farmers market when you were having farmers there.
00:14:44.000 --> 00:14:57.000
If there were any kind of, standards or regulations. For what you would allow to be sold at the farmers market or what you would not allow to be sold at the farmers market because I know you're so personally.
00:14:57.000 --> 00:15:09.000
A huge proponent of like regenerative farming and culturally supportive foods. Yeah, I think it's super important to make sure that people are getting high quality, nutritionist food.
00:15:09.000 --> 00:15:21.000
And so we really focused on those sort of aspects. And so we wanted to make sure. That there are a lot of vegetables or a lot of healthy, high quality things that were available for people to consume.
00:15:21.000 --> 00:15:27.000
And so, you know, I feel like people can get donuts and fries, lots of different places.
00:15:27.000 --> 00:15:33.000
And you know, you just have to decide on what kind of farmers market you want to have.
00:15:33.000 --> 00:15:34.000
And I think that all goes back to your cultural values and the sense of place and the values of your place.
00:15:34.000 --> 00:15:47.000
But the Pine Hose farmers market we really focused on making sure it was high-quality, nutrient-dense food.
00:15:47.000 --> 00:15:56.000
I'm amazing and that has definitely remained your focus with your micro greens because micro greens are such a high quality nutrient dense product.
00:15:56.000 --> 00:16:05.000
They're so beautiful for the body. On the note of food access. Well, let me just let me back up for a second.
00:16:05.000 --> 00:16:19.000
When I was involved in the Phoenix farmers market. They offered SNAP and EBT and they also implemented like the double up box program where those, the value of box program where those, the value of that was doubled when people shop at the farmers market.
00:16:19.000 --> 00:16:24.000
And so I'm wondering if you see things like that, program where those, the value of that was doubled when people shop at the farmers market.
00:16:24.000 --> 00:16:29.000
And so I'm wondering if you see things like that, with the farmers market. And so I'm wondering if you see things like that emerging, in your community or maybe like the farmers market.
00:16:29.000 --> 00:16:32.000
And so I'm wondering if you see things like that emerging, in your community or maybe like the greater Columbia area Yeah, so this is a problem that has occurred.
00:16:32.000 --> 00:16:41.000
In Columbia, South Carolina, where we don't really have a strong support system for those sort of programs.
00:16:41.000 --> 00:16:56.000
So. It's it really takes a lot of implementation to make those sort of programs success and we just have not laid the groundwork here in Columbia, South Carolina for that.
00:16:56.000 --> 00:16:57.000
But I as my through my work as I travel across the country, I would love to highlight some places.
00:16:57.000 --> 00:17:12.000
I did see fabulousness with that. There's a lot of great work being done in Vermont and New Hampshire where they're actually doing triple box.
00:17:12.000 --> 00:17:17.000
So you pay $10, you get $30. Which I have never heard of and I was like, that's so amazing.
00:17:17.000 --> 00:17:21.000
So shout out to Vermont. New Hampshire is also doing some really amazing programs. New Hampshire is also doing some really amazing programs where they're really engaging with the community.
00:17:21.000 --> 00:17:31.000
It's also doing some really amazing programs where they're really engaging with the community regarding these programs.
00:17:31.000 --> 00:17:35.000
I was in New Orleans. And at the Crescent City farmers market, they have a fabulous program.
00:17:35.000 --> 00:17:45.000
With SNAP and ABT where they kind of give you tokens and it just makes it really nice.
00:17:45.000 --> 00:17:51.000
Some people are using cash. Some people are using tokens. I really love that system as well.
00:17:51.000 --> 00:18:03.000
So what I've found with these programs is that you really have to have a really strong. Groundwork laid out and that normally happens to the Department of Agriculture of your state.
00:18:03.000 --> 00:18:06.000
And in America, we think that every single Department of Agriculture is the same, but they all have different values.
00:18:06.000 --> 00:18:12.000
Right? They all have different ideas, different concepts. And so those ideas, those cultural values really play out in your agricultural system.
00:18:12.000 --> 00:18:25.000
So shout out to Vermont. Hey, hey, I'm sure. Louisiana, they are doing it.
00:18:25.000 --> 00:18:28.000
They're doing amazing work.
00:18:28.000 --> 00:18:33.000
Yeah, shout out. I look to those places. I love hearing about.
00:18:33.000 --> 00:18:46.000
The little victories that come up beneath little community and then as time goes by, you know, how things change and you know how they go from double bugs to triple bucks like that is the first that I'm hearing of it.
00:18:46.000 --> 00:18:59.000
So as you know, of our organization is a huge advocate for like community held seed stock. And that's often done in like C libraries.
00:18:59.000 --> 00:19:07.000
So I was so happy to just hear that your community has a C library and there are so many different models for community seed storage and community seed sharing.
00:19:07.000 --> 00:19:16.000
And so I was wondering, what that looks like in your community and, when the C library started and how it's managed.
00:19:16.000 --> 00:19:28.000
Yeah, so we started our C library about 2 years ago. And so basically people can, you know, message me and say, I need to see. And I say, what kind of seeds would you like?
00:19:28.000 --> 00:19:34.000
And then they let me know and then we're off to the races and normally they just meet me at my house and I give them seeds.
00:19:34.000 --> 00:19:44.000
So we have an amazing partnership with Baker Creek Seed Company. They've given us a lot of seeds and also high mowing seed company.
00:19:44.000 --> 00:19:49.000
And so those are our 2 suppliers, which I love because they're local, relatively speaking.
00:19:49.000 --> 00:20:06.000
High knowing I think is in North Carolina and then Baker Creek is obviously in Kansas. And they just have really high quality seeds, which I think is so important whenever you're looking for seeds, you want to look for high germination rate.
00:20:06.000 --> 00:20:25.000
And then you also want to look and see how is this seed performing and my soil and my climate in my environment and you will find that some seats from some C companies have a higher germination rate than others and some see from stun seed companies do better in your soil.
00:20:25.000 --> 00:20:32.000
So there's a lot of trial and error with deciding what seed company to use, I like that.
00:20:32.000 --> 00:20:43.000
I think it's like a Stafford. It's exciting. And then also. I personally have done a lot of seed saving workshops with people in the community.
00:20:43.000 --> 00:20:50.000
And that really allows people to have seed sovereignty, seed autonomy, or they're able to save their own seeds year to year and you can really say things that you love.
00:20:50.000 --> 00:21:02.000
You love sunflowers, you can save those some flower seeds. And if you love cow peas, you can save your cow peas.
00:21:02.000 --> 00:21:06.000
And then you don't have to save all the seeds. You can just save seeds that are easy for you.
00:21:06.000 --> 00:21:17.000
So I always say carrots are easy to save, some flowers and cow peas. Those are really good starter out seed saving methods.
00:21:17.000 --> 00:21:26.000
Yeah, and if you have those 3 growing in your garden, you have a such a diversity, you have your flowers, you have your You know, your Calp is your nitrogen fixers, then you have your carrots, which are just so delicious.
00:21:26.000 --> 00:21:40.000
This was the first season that I myself have grown. Carrots and I was just so thrilled to pull that first bunch out of the ground.
00:21:40.000 --> 00:21:51.000
Room vegetables for whatever reason are just so exciting to me because you don't really get to see them until you really get to see them, you know, when you pull them onto the ground.
00:21:51.000 --> 00:22:00.000
And so, did you maybe want to share a little bit more about what you're seeing saving workshops look like and how you gather in community around seeds.
00:22:00.000 --> 00:22:09.000
Yeah, absolutely. So. One of my talks was actually in North Carolina. It's with a black woman farmer group I'm associated with.
00:22:09.000 --> 00:22:37.000
In the Carolinas. And so basically we just had a fabulous gathering and we talked about seeds, we talked about the different kinds of seeds that we like, we talk about our memories of planting seeds and so I really think it's important to have a robust dialogue about seeds and really get in tune with our cultural values and how we see the seeds and how we plant the seeds in our memories, right?
00:22:37.000 --> 00:22:43.000
So important. And so we had a fabulous workshop. We talked about our seeds to see legacy.
00:22:43.000 --> 00:22:47.000
And then we talked about the ways that we can save our seeds. And then we also had seeds to give out from Baker Creek Sea Company.
00:22:47.000 --> 00:22:53.000
So it was a really. Fun, exciting workshop. And so those are workshops that I can conduct all across the country.
00:22:53.000 --> 00:23:04.000
And that's some of the work that I'm doing.
00:23:04.000 --> 00:23:25.000
I love that. Thank you for sharing that. Do you find that since you've been giving workshops in your community that more people are interested in seed saving or contributing to the C library so that you're, you know, like hyperlocal with the seeds saving or contributing to the C library so that you're, you know, like hyper local with the seeds that you're able to offer through the seed
00:23:25.000 --> 00:23:34.000
library. Or is it more just people just kind of seen saving in their backyards and just replanting at a smaller scale?
00:23:34.000 --> 00:23:39.000
Yeah, I'm seeing more people replanting on a smaller.
00:23:39.000 --> 00:23:46.000
Smaller scale for sure, but I'd love to highlight my fun, Bevan Cohen of Michigan.
00:23:46.000 --> 00:23:57.000
I think his farm is small house farm. And he is doing amazing work in Michigan where he's working with libraries.
00:23:57.000 --> 00:24:06.000
And the city of Detroit, the city of Detroit school system. And so I love the work that he is doing and he's really.
00:24:06.000 --> 00:24:11.000
Pushing the envelope, getting the seeds out. And he actually runs his own seat company as well.
00:24:11.000 --> 00:24:17.000
The guy does it all. And he's pushing out, and to the community, which I love.
00:24:17.000 --> 00:24:24.000
And then they're really trying to up their rate of seed retention. Meaning bringing those states back.
00:24:24.000 --> 00:24:32.000
To the libraries. And so he's doing amazing, amazing work within our structuralized systems of libraries and institutions.
00:24:32.000 --> 00:24:40.000
And so. That is really a part of the amazing work being down in the Midwest. I'm here in the South.
00:24:40.000 --> 00:24:47.000
It's more of just personal saving. You've grown your seeds and then you save your seeds.
00:24:47.000 --> 00:24:54.000
Probably last sharing of that. But I think that that is based on the cultural values, right, of your sense of place.
00:24:54.000 --> 00:25:04.000
And the institutional strength of the institutions in your region and the funding, right? The funding of those resources and sell.
00:25:04.000 --> 00:25:10.000
Every place looks different and I think that's okay.
00:25:10.000 --> 00:25:19.000
Yeah. That's definitely something that we talked about on our phone conversation last week was just how every place is different.
00:25:19.000 --> 00:25:35.000
Every place has different challenges. Every place is going to have different solutions. And based on like the cultural values, the geography, the economy, things are going to relate to or people are going to relate to, agriculture and seeds saving in different ways.
00:25:35.000 --> 00:25:49.000
And I do want to also give a shout out to Baba Cohen. I'm growing his And yeah, he's black pepper that he has in his catalog this season.
00:25:49.000 --> 00:25:55.000
And they are so beautiful. It's my first time growing green tomatoes. And I'm loving it.
00:25:55.000 --> 00:25:59.000
I can't wait to make some fried green tomatoes. And the Hungarian black pepper.
00:25:59.000 --> 00:26:05.000
I haven't yet decided what I want to do with it. I'd like to experiment with like hot sauce.
00:26:05.000 --> 00:26:11.000
Or, or perhaps trying it to use as like a dried pepper, you know, later in the season.
00:26:11.000 --> 00:26:24.000
So we'll see. I can stay tuned for that. That sounds amazing. So a common theme in your blog for all, Americana is health and beauty.
00:26:24.000 --> 00:26:41.000
Whether it's sharing your favorite beauty care product or making a seasonal recipe. And that's something that I so appreciate because My introduction in the seed saving was kind of through the premise of like survival.
00:26:41.000 --> 00:26:48.000
You know, we need seeds that are drop tolerant that are locally adapted. And that are highly nutritious.
00:26:48.000 --> 00:27:01.000
And so moving from Arizona to a new community here in Michigan and having the small farm, what I would try to talk to people about why I'm seed saving or what I'm doing, I would often go into it with the context of.
00:27:01.000 --> 00:27:08.000
Climate change and this is really something that we need to be doing. And it was really off putting to people I noticed.
00:27:08.000 --> 00:27:16.000
And so I thought to myself like I don't want to turn people away because of like the dwindling of climate change.
00:27:16.000 --> 00:27:24.000
I want to invite people in because seed saving is fun and it's beautiful. And so I love that help and beauty.
00:27:24.000 --> 00:27:34.000
Enjoy it's just like such a pillar in your work and just the way that you are just your whole energy is so contagious and so joyful so I just wanted to acknowledge that.
00:27:34.000 --> 00:27:51.000
And I also just want to say how you're writing just invokes a sense of slow living, you're encouraging people to pay attention and appreciating like the process, whether it's the process of the creation of fabrics like, and silk and how to care for them over time.
00:27:51.000 --> 00:27:57.000
And so I'm wondering if you'd like to share a little bit about the inspiration for your blog Frolicking Americana.
00:27:57.000 --> 00:28:06.000
And then maybe go into, your inspirations for natural fibers and your, your thrifted, your J crew thrifted shop.
00:28:06.000 --> 00:28:18.000
Yeah, absolutely. So I love writing. I think it's a great way to express yourself. And I do think like you said, we have so many problems in our country and with the environment and sometimes people can feel really overwhelmed.
00:28:18.000 --> 00:28:25.000
But I have a firm belief. That everybody has a good heart and they want to do the right thing.
00:28:25.000 --> 00:28:55.000
And sometimes people just need little small steps that they can take. Whether it's having a rain barrel, right, to save the rainwater so you can lower your water bill and just use that for your potted plants or you know things of that nature just simple steps that people can take to make their lives easier, more enjoyable, fun, and exciting.
00:28:55.000 --> 00:29:04.000
And so when you have a rainbow, you are more in tune with when it rains. And how often it rains.
00:29:04.000 --> 00:29:22.000
I'll never forget I was not paying attention and I went to my brain barrel to turn on. The spacet first rain water and there was nothing And then I realize we've been in a drought and it hasn't rained in 3 weeks.
00:29:22.000 --> 00:29:38.000
And so. Those sort of connections are really good and then you do a rainbow, you are directly connected with how often it rains, if it's raining very lately, if it's raining nice and hard, so you'll have a full water barrel.
00:29:38.000 --> 00:29:55.000
Also, that also got me into thinking about sustainability. And everybody wants to be fun and fashionable and you know also because the climate change we want to have cool nice soft fabric on our body because it's so hot outside.
00:29:55.000 --> 00:29:57.000
And so I thought about my legacy. I grew up in Akron, Ohio, and my family had the parms cleaners.
00:29:57.000 --> 00:30:09.000
So we have been with fabrics for a long time. And so I thought about my own cultural legacy with clothing and I was like I want to do a thrifted business because it's sustainable.
00:30:09.000 --> 00:30:25.000
And I can highlight the clothing that I love and the style of building that I love. And the fabrics.
00:30:25.000 --> 00:30:32.000
The vintage clothing has such higher quality of fabric. And higher quality of craftsmanship.
00:30:32.000 --> 00:30:41.000
And so you're able to experience. Better quality, clothing that will last longer. For your money and then it's also.
00:30:41.000 --> 00:30:55.000
More likely than not going to be more cooling because with Jake who drafted, I'm selling patterns and the rules which will keep you warmer in the summer in the winter.
00:30:55.000 --> 00:31:15.000
And they also have really great breathability, right? The air is able to get. In and out of those fabrics and that's what you want when you are in hot summer you want to have a nice fabulous silk or linen or cotton that is able to grieve and then in the winter you want a wool or a cashmere which is able to keep in the heap.
00:31:15.000 --> 00:31:29.000
You're still able to breathe and it's better for your body, it's better for the environment, and it's super cute and fashionable.
00:31:29.000 --> 00:31:39.000
I am such an advocate for second hand clothing or the reasons that you just listed. You know, it's a fun adventure.
00:31:39.000 --> 00:31:55.000
To go thrusting and see what's out there you know your style just becomes uniquely your own and then you have much more appreciation for the craftsmanship that has gone into it because it's been cared for.
00:31:55.000 --> 00:32:01.000
Through time and isn't just something that you get through from the store. That looks like everything else.
00:32:01.000 --> 00:32:22.000
That's probably not, you know, made super well. And one of your blogs you talk about how you just find moments of joy and just like So, you're, you're, you're browsing your, closet because of the beautiful items that you have in there because of, you know, makes you think about the fabrics.
00:32:22.000 --> 00:32:30.000
In the process of the fabrics and how it just brings you joy and I just loved so much that you shared that.
00:32:30.000 --> 00:32:38.000
I would like to go into, like soil health. You said that you do a lot of consulting.
00:32:38.000 --> 00:32:47.000
You know, with local food movement and like one of the pillars that you love to. To share and educate on is how important it is to build soil health.
00:32:47.000 --> 00:32:54.000
Yeah, I think that's really important and I think it's a really overlooked part of, the sustainability movement.
00:32:54.000 --> 00:32:59.000
It's not quite sexy and it's fun as other parts, but it's so important.
00:32:59.000 --> 00:33:04.000
And so you're right, that's a lot of the work that I'm doing where I'm consulting directly with.
00:33:04.000 --> 00:33:19.000
Institutions talk to farmers or to nonprofits or right now I'm working with Dillard University in New Orleans and we're talking about how climate change is affecting the food system, which is affecting the soils, right?
00:33:19.000 --> 00:33:30.000
And we talked about today how Chicago had. Huge amounts of rain that fell. And you know it's flooding the road, it's flooding the basement.
00:33:30.000 --> 00:33:40.000
And so we really have to think about our soil health. Do we have enough? Green grass in our areas, right?
00:33:40.000 --> 00:33:47.000
Do we have enough places that can absorb the water when we have these heavy rains, which are part of climate change.
00:33:47.000 --> 00:34:04.000
And so that's part of the work that I'm doing. I have a fabulous talk with the Carolina Farm Stewart Association in November and I'll be talking about soil health and how to help farmers be more profitable and then I also have some talks coming up.
00:34:04.000 --> 00:34:10.000
The mother earth news conference and I'll be and belton Texas in February and then in April I'll be in Lawrence Kansas.
00:34:10.000 --> 00:34:19.000
Hello Kansas. And I will be in July, I'll be in Erie, Pennsylvania, which is always exciting.
00:34:19.000 --> 00:34:35.000
And so I'll be talking about soil health there as well. But yeah, it's super, important topic that we all have to delve into.
00:34:35.000 --> 00:34:51.000
And when I think about soil, I think about how. Like so much of these foundational pieces of gardening and being more environmentally conscious and being more supportive to the ecosystem.
00:34:51.000 --> 00:35:02.000
How a lot of that information has been like co-opted to like large universities or large organizations. Hey, to get.
00:35:02.000 --> 00:35:15.000
To get the information. There's like a fly that will leave me alone. And how that is a little is like disheartening to me because when you think about how easy it is to compost.
00:35:15.000 --> 00:35:24.000
And how easy it is to build soil. I'm like, I hate to think about the people that are just enchanted or feel disempowered to do so.
00:35:24.000 --> 00:35:31.000
Because they feel like they can't do it because they don't have access to this. Education, whether it's through a paid.
00:35:31.000 --> 00:35:37.000
You know, a paid workshop or you know they're unable to go to school or whatever.
00:35:37.000 --> 00:35:46.000
And. You know, I love that you're involved in just educating on soil health because it's so important that people just know.
00:35:46.000 --> 00:35:57.000
What it is, you know, how to do it. Like one of the biggest things that I like to share with my friends who are now, you know, moving out of apartments and buying homes and things like that.
00:35:57.000 --> 00:36:04.000
And They want to start gardens and they wanna start composting and they're like, you know, you're the farmer, you're the gardener, how do I do it?
00:36:04.000 --> 00:36:10.000
I'm like, keep it simple. Keep it simple. Like everything, pretty much everything can be composted, right?
00:36:10.000 --> 00:36:29.000
Make sure you take your food waste. And you know put it outside in a pile your cardboard boxes if they don't have you know plastic tape or weird wax lining like mix it up smell it I'm like it's all part of just like building a relationship with the things that are of the earth.
00:36:29.000 --> 00:36:39.000
You know, it's not this big puzzle to be solved. It's really just about paying attention to the process of life itself because composting is.
00:36:39.000 --> 00:36:54.000
It is a pillar and that life cycle of needing things to, die to eventually, you know, be synthesized into something nutrient, infertile that can give birth to something new.
00:36:54.000 --> 00:37:02.000
And so it's really just that simple. To be able to compost and to be able to build soil health, you know, putting that compost in those eggshells and the cardboard if you're doing.
00:37:02.000 --> 00:37:09.000
Oh, lasagna gardening. Like it is, there are so many beautiful simple solutions.
00:37:09.000 --> 00:37:20.000
And so it's so awesome to hear that you're able to travel nationwide to offer that information to people.
00:37:20.000 --> 00:37:27.000
Absolutely. It's so important, like you said, and I'd like to shout out Riddle Farm in Cleveland, Ohio.
00:37:27.000 --> 00:37:33.000
They're on the east side, like East, 80, I think it's 80 s or 80 third and they're doing amazing work with soil.
00:37:33.000 --> 00:37:48.000
And soil help. And so a little bit about their story, they were allowed to get this property in the city of Clayton, Ohio, and it had so much trash, like 80 tons of trash.
00:37:48.000 --> 00:38:18.000
And so they were just going out clearing out all of this trash. And then they had to remediate the soil and then build up the soil and then build garden beds and start planting and then now they have aqua panics where they have beautiful fabulous fish that are growing in an urban environment and then now they have like a vegan restaurant next door and so all of that came from starting out with the soil and
00:38:22.000 --> 00:38:31.000
building it up and going from there. The soil and building it up and going from there. So there's a lot that you can do and they're doing amazing work.
00:38:31.000 --> 00:38:39.000
It Awesome. Thank you for sharing. I'm definitely going to capture that and have that in the notes when we share the video out.
00:38:39.000 --> 00:38:45.000
So. Be sure to look for that. And I think you bring up another really good point, April, about like.
00:38:45.000 --> 00:38:54.000
Building things from the bottom up like literally starting with good soil to build You know, a beautiful garden.
00:38:54.000 --> 00:39:03.000
Because that's what's going to feed your plans over time. Like when you're eating plants or if you're eating animals you think about what the animal or what the plant.
00:39:03.000 --> 00:39:09.000
Has been eating and what they're eating is what is available with living in the soil body. And I think that also is true to community organizing.
00:39:09.000 --> 00:39:23.000
Like you saw firsthand with the the city of Pinerst. Closing down these 2 grocery stores without informing.
00:39:23.000 --> 00:39:31.000
Or talking to the community about it at all. And so that was a problem because the people that are higher up.
00:39:31.000 --> 00:39:40.000
You know, in control of the city, let's say. You know, weren't talking to the people that actually exist that call the city home.
00:39:40.000 --> 00:39:46.000
And so if the roles were flipped, you know, if the city were to say, hey, due to pandemic.
00:39:46.000 --> 00:39:57.000
Whatever the cause is, we're considering closing down these grocery stores. How can we work with you to make sure that you still have food access?
00:39:57.000 --> 00:40:15.000
Like, it's just such a simple shift that could have been made that could have allowed for. And emergence of You know many things, but it's wonderful that you took it upon yourself to organize from the bottom up and your Pine Hurst neighborhood community to start the farmers market.
00:40:15.000 --> 00:40:24.000
And so I just love like drawing the parallels between what we see happening naturally of the earth. In our ecosystems.
00:40:24.000 --> 00:40:41.000
With how we can align like our social systems to that same kind of wisdom. Absolutely. And you know, I was, yeah, that's exactly what happened in Columbia, South Carolina, where it was just no communication and people were just left to struggle, right?
00:40:41.000 --> 00:40:51.000
And I do think that there is a systematic way in some parts of our country where you know, people above, so like they're above.
00:40:51.000 --> 00:40:57.000
Even though the elected officials sometimes they feel like they're above the law and then that kind of just trickles down into society, right?
00:40:57.000 --> 00:41:10.000
And people aren't communicating and then other people feel like they're above the law. And there's a sense of lawlessness and, unrest.
00:41:10.000 --> 00:41:12.000
And then, you know, really oppressive systems, right? That are hard on people. Like you said, it's really hard.
00:41:12.000 --> 00:41:25.000
When people don't have, the communication, the information. And I think there's other parts of our country where people do.
00:41:25.000 --> 00:41:34.000
Communicate, right? They value communication, they value integrity and amnesty and forthrightness and they move forward in that direction.
00:41:34.000 --> 00:41:37.000
And you see in those communities where they have supports institutional supports for the work that they're doing.
00:41:37.000 --> 00:41:45.000
There's an openness of dialogue, right? And of mutual respect in harmony and love and care.
00:41:45.000 --> 00:42:05.000
And I think we all have to. Really reflect upon our own values, right? What are our values and then move to places that reflect those values on whatever they may be and I think that we have to have an honest conversation.
00:42:05.000 --> 00:42:14.000
About people moving based on value systems, right? I think that's really, really important to highlight.
00:42:14.000 --> 00:42:21.000
And I was just at the Native American climate change conference in Minnesota and they were saying exactly what you are saying is that the land has so much to teach us, right?
00:42:21.000 --> 00:42:35.000
It's a model for how we should be conducting ourselves, right, and how we should be interacting with each other.
00:42:35.000 --> 00:42:48.000
And so I think the more opportunities that we in the sustainable movement can get out into nature and get out walking and can get out with the trees and you know just living that more sustainable lifestyle.
00:42:48.000 --> 00:42:54.000
I think there's so much revelation and you know just connectedness. That happens there. And so that was literally a life-changing conference for me.
00:42:54.000 --> 00:43:09.000
I just learned so much from the people from the culture. From the talks. It was really amazing experience.
00:43:09.000 --> 00:43:24.000
Hmm. Yeah, I bet that was incredible and I bet you took away so much from it that you're now able to use to inform your work as a consultant and a community organizer and as a gardener and to the organizer and as a gardener and, and, for yourself.
00:43:24.000 --> 00:43:32.000
So, April, you are just such a joy. You're so dynamic and I just love how you're able to pull.
00:43:32.000 --> 00:43:42.000
Full topics that some people may not see as, as connected. I love how they are able to pull up together and really integrate them.
00:43:42.000 --> 00:43:51.000
Into having relevance. To one another so thank you so much I'm wondering if you would like to reiterate.
00:43:51.000 --> 00:43:59.000
Where people can find you where you're traveling to, in the next year to give, workshops and lectures.
00:43:59.000 --> 00:44:04.000
And if you also wanted to do a shout out to your blog posts again. Yes, thank you so much for having me.
00:44:04.000 --> 00:44:12.000
This is so magical, so much fun. I love talking to sustainability. I really appreciate it.
00:44:12.000 --> 00:44:25.000
And, so I have frolicking Americana. It's my blog. It's a, so you can just put in frolicking Americana and April Jones and it'll come up in Google.
00:44:25.000 --> 00:44:39.000
Then also I have the J crew thrifted on Instagram, which is my sustainable clothing store. And then it also have pine hers coffee so I sell sustainable handwritten coffee.
00:44:39.000 --> 00:44:57.000
That's awesome on Instagram. You can find me there. And I will be at the agricultural law conference in November in New Orleans and that is about law and the land coming together which are like really one of my favorite things.
00:44:57.000 --> 00:45:02.000
I love the law and I love agriculture so it's exciting and I'll be talking about food system.
00:45:02.000 --> 00:45:19.000
So I'm really excited about that talk and my co-presenter will be Alexia. She's the Job director of the farm to consumer legal defense fund, which is a nonprofit that supports farmers and advocating for them in legal spaces.
00:45:19.000 --> 00:45:30.000
So definitely check them out. And I'll we both will be presenting at the agricultural law conference in New Orleans.
00:45:30.000 --> 00:45:42.000
And I can solve as well. So I'm happy to come to your institution to consult on food systems, put a parkad, food sovereignty, diversity work and soil.
00:45:42.000 --> 00:45:52.000
Plans. I also do speaking engagement. I'm happy to come and speak to your organization, to your conference, etc.
00:45:52.000 --> 00:45:58.000
And I'm just so thankful to be here today. It's been such a fabulous fun conversation.
00:45:58.000 --> 00:46:02.000
Yes, thank you. April. It is just a joy to be able to connect with beautiful people like yourself through this platform.
00:46:02.000 --> 00:46:17.000
And so I will definitely be sharing like the links of all of the things that you mentioned, that Farm in Cleveland, the Farm to Consumer, Legal Defense Fund, and the notes.
00:46:17.000 --> 00:46:23.000
So stay tuned for that. And thanks again, April. I wish you a beautiful rest of your day and a beautiful week.
00:46:23.000 --> 00:46:53.000
Oh, thank you. You too. Take care. Bye.