Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Urban Garden Festival – Success!

This past weekend, the Master Gardners of Davidson County held their Annual Urban Garden Festival. Although it was our first time participating, we enjoyed our overall experience. We got a chance to provide attendees with information about our organization, and our urban farm project. We must have spoken to hundreds of people.


Workin’ the booth.

Our understanding of the festival is that in the past, it’s attracted about 500 attendees, and this year, attendance tripled, bringing in over 1400 people!

We have found the Master Gardners of Davidson County to be incredibly supportive of our project. Giving us an opportunity to participate in their annual festival was just an extension of the support they have given our project.


We had a lot of information to share!

They were many opportunities to network with people in similar fields. We were introduced to producers and artisans of all walks, and witness various demonstrations from experts.


Metro Police showed up. Equestrian style.

We loved the experience, and look forward to participating next year!



We WON! (Seed Money Suppers)

So we got a chance to present at Seed Money Suppers, and won. We are so thrilled that members of the Nashville food community heard our story, and found our idea a worthwhile endeavor. We extend our thank yous to our friends who showed up to support us.


The voting Ballot.

Our competitor was an equally community driven and necessary endeavor. We wish them well as they pursue seed money for their worthwhile journey.

From the Community Food Advocates’ website, Seed Money Suppers is

A once a month dinner event, a gathering of minds, a community driven micro-grant program to build a healthier and more sustainable food system. Each attendee pays $10 for supper and drinks for adults, $5 for children. $8.75 of every $10 is given to the winning presenter, with $1.25 to cover overhead including food and supplies.


Our Vision


Seed Money Suppers is a little idea with a big mission, to empower the people in our community to engage with our food system to make access to sustainable and healthy food an option for all.

Community Food Advocates has long been part of the policy and direct service aspect of our food system, but there are needs unfilled. The community funded micro-grant model gives us an opportunity to bring the community to the table to help create a real and lasting impact.


Nashville’s food system belongs to us all. Everybody Eats is more than a catch phrase to us, it is a reminder that through food we are all connected. Our hope is that we, as a community, will collectively rise to the challenge, find support in each other, and innovate to create new and creative solutions to the issues of hunger and food system work.


Fasha meets Tony of Plumbers of Nashville, Inc

As we continue to bring together the many pieces of the project, we explore irrigation possibilities and having water on the property for thefunctioning of the garden. With that in mind, we met with Tony, a plumber and owner of Plumbers of Nashville, Inc at the garden site. During our visit, we assessed what would be ideal for the kind of garden we would like to set up. He had great insights as to how to bring in the water and we plan to continue consulting with him on this. Continue to check in on us to see what we’ve been up to!

Is it still considered a farm if the floor is made of hardwood?

Beautiful rooftop garden.

We have Yellow Bibiscus on our minds

Cause they’re so darn beautiful aren’t they?

Yellow Hibiscus.

It’s all up to you

You create beauty with your attitude, your behavior, your actions. It’s all up to you.

We need one of these on our farm

Maybe a couple.

Garden Chair, courtesy of:

Forget Not…

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. – Khalil

The FASHA team meets Knowledge Academies and Ada’s Rules teams!

Team FASHA continues to work on the urban farm initiative. We cannot wait to break ground and to get this project up and running. Earlier this month, we met with Knowledge Academies and Ada’s Rules author Alice Randall, Katie Sulkowski (Ada’s Rules), and Trevor Henderson (NashVitality). We discussed possible partnerships, which ranged from creating a green campus, to book clubs, to fitness activities all in an effort to make health a priority for our communities in the Nashville area.  Beyond exploring ways to collaborate, we learned the many benefits of sweet potatoes. It turns out that sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index, contain vitamin A and fiber, and can be stored away for about three months! Who knew?! Stay tuned to our blog to hear more about our efforts towards building self-sustaining communities through urban farming!

Colleen’s Story, and How She Joined Us on Our Journey

One day, we went out flyering (not a word, we know), as we’re prone to do, to keep the community informed on our happenings. We left flyers all over the place including a local YMCA. The flyer asked if anyone out there was interested in joining our urban farm, growing their own vegetables, and being part of an urban agriculture movement in the community. If they were, the flyer said, they were invited to our meeting to learn more.

Among the people who responded to our call was Colleen (she encountered the flyer at the local YMCA). She came to our meeting where we discussed the project’s plans, and got feedback on needs and direction. Colleen was hooked from the very beginning, giving feedback, and asking for ways to become involved in every part of the process. She’s not only helped us in our fundraising endeavors, management and organization of various aspects of the project, but she’s volunteered her services as a designer to help put a plan together for our vision. She didn’t design that first flyer that reeled her in, but she’s designed our flyers and pamphlets ever since!

Over the course of our journey, we’ve gotten to know her personal story. She is a local business owner, at Echo Design, she is a mother, she is married to a local musician (very Nashville), and she loves the idea of a farm in the community!  We are excited to share with you the story of her family, and her interest in our urban farm project. We asked her some questions, and below are her answers.

Can you give us your family background?

I was born and raised in St. Louis, Mo. I have one brother name Brian who is 2 years older than I. My parents also were born and raised in St. Louis, MO. So, needless to say, we’re your typical mid-western family. If you grow up in MO, you don’t leave MO. The decision for me to go away to college was not totally accepted at first. However, eventually my family was completely on board and extremely supportive as they knew I always have been a little “out of the box”.

I went to Anderson University in Anderson IN. I met my husband there and we got married a month after graduation in 2004. We moved to Nashville because my husband is a musician and I could go anywhere to do graphic design. I’ve now worked in graphic design for about a decade but became a full time stay at home mom two years ago when my son was born: Oliver William Boyle. I continue to work part time from home freelancing as a graphic designer.

Colleen’s Family: Chris, Oliver, and Collen.

How do you spend your free time?

I love to thrift shop, antique, garage sale, and peruse flea markets. I don’t just love it, I’m actually totally obsessed with it. Although, since I’m not a hoarder, I finally had to come up with a reason to keep going in to these places. Idea, I’ll sell vintage baby clothes! 6 months ago I started selling on My store is called Schatzi Vintage after my grandma and it gives me something to “collect” now. After doing this for 6 months, turns out I’m not to keen on the business side of things. I’d rather be a buyer instead of doing the tedious tasks of photographing, measuring, shipping, etc. Basically, this will probably always remain a hobby since I’m lazy at posting. I did have a booth at the flea market last month to clear out some of my inventory. It was fun, but I’d need to invest in a lot more inventory if I did it again. Which would be fine with me because it would mean I would have more reasons to shop!

I’ve also gotten obsessed with the YMCA. It’s my home away from home now. It’s my “me time” as most women say. I get a break from being mom, and it’s a way to work off all the extra food that I eat because I don’t want to waste what my son won’t finish! I guess you could say, I’m your typical girl. Shopping and working out. Sounds pretty lame now that I write it. Ha! Hopefully we get the garden going soon so I can acquire a more dignified hobby!

Can you talk to us about why our urban farm initiative is appealing to you?

Let me start by saying why we moved to the neighborhood. That will help answer, why the urban farm initiative is appealing. Originally when we moved to the Paragon Mills neighborhood we were interested in living in a multi cultural neighborhood. We wanted to gain community with people who weren’t just like us: young, white, etc) But, I guess naturally, the goal of community has proven to be a bit more difficult than expected. We were robbed twice in the first three years we have lived here. We have also had several other instances that made us feel violated and vulnerable. This, unfortunately, has made us put our guard up and become quite bitter; the opposite of why we felt led to this neighborhood. Instead of building bridges we’ve just kept to ourselves and tried to plan a time for when we could move. When I heard about the urban farm initiative, I was excited to hear that there were others in this neighborhood that wanted to make a positive difference. It is a great community builder and a positive step for a struggling neighborhood. When I learned more about the project, it was a faith builder for me as I felt God bringing redemption in his purpose for bringing us to this neighborhood by giving us a way to break down the walls we’ve built.

What are some of the things you hope to gain out of the experience?

Of course the given: gardening experience, community involvement, and a way to get to know those that live close. I also think it will be a fun way to teach our son about agriculture and being a part of a group that has a positive goal.

What are some changes you hope to see in the neighborhood as a result of the gardening initiative?

 Lots of things! Community involvement, a focus on the importance of fresh, natural foods in our diet, an outlet for people who don’t have community (refugees, retired folks, stay at home moms, the homeless, etc) to come and be a part of something fun. I think this kind of goal can build local pride, which is what we need! It would also just be great for the Paragon Mills area to have something new and alive, active and growing. Something that’s beautiful and created by us!

What would you like to communicate to readers of this blog who would like to get involved in the initiative?

Come teach us or learn with us! We need lots of people to make this happen. If you have any desire at all to be a part, please join forces with us to get it up and running!

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

If you don’t want to be a part of the urban farm, would you at least consider giving financially to help us support it? Much thanks in advance!