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Rabbit Holes no 9: Stories from the edges of regenerative agriculture

Updated: Mar 18, 2022

Did anyone else go outside on Tuesday morning to the welcome surprise of an early Spring? My goodness, we hit nearly 80 degrees in Georgia last week! Although Spring doesn’t technically begin until March 15, the fruit trees in my yard are budding out and letting loose! Let’s hope there isn’t another frost to kill off that progress. The average last frost date in Atlanta is April 15, so don’t rush to get summer plants in the ground just yet.

In the meantime, we are excited to begin planning and designing our work in DeKalb County. We should have updates about our first community forum in the next week or so. Stay tuned to future Rabbit Holes for updates on how you can get involved in this ambitious project, or better yet, sign up for our weekly newsletter to stay in the loop for everything Roots Down!

Here are this week’s links:

Black Georgians dominate Ag power in Congress

The “significant time” is this moment in American history, with the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging minority communities especially, 17 million children living in hunger, rural communities struggling without broadband access, and Black farmers, in particular, hit by natural disasters, trade wars and COVID hurdles. Coming in to oversee Washington’s response to all of it are Scott, and Bishop and Warnock, who last month rose to become the three of the most powerful voices in American agriculture. Scott is now the first Black chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. Bishop just began his second term as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture. He’s also the first Black lawmaker to hold that job. And Warnock was elected Georgia’s first Black senator and quickly appointed to the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Instead of a Balcony, How About a Garden Apartment?

Pandemics and potential health threats posed by living in close quarters have long had an impact on the way homes have been built. About a century ago, some developers responded by creating garden cities — low-slung housing, set far apart and extra leafy. And then after World War II, came garden apartments, which despite less fancy architecture didn’t skimp on the greenery.

Though both types of these garden communities cropped up from coast to coast, the borough of Queens is something of a national hotbed, with dozens of examples from Sunnyside Gardens to Parkway Village to Glen Oaks. Now, as anxiety about germs again informs housing decisions, these simulacra of the suburbs may be getting a fresh look.

The City Where Cars Are Not Welcome

Mr. Würzner’s goal is to reduce dependence on cars, no matter where they get their juice. Heidelberg is buying a fleet of hydrogen-powered buses, building a network of bicycle “superhighways” to the suburbs and designing neighborhoods to discourage all vehicles and encourage walking. Residents who give up their cars get to ride public transportation free for a year.

“If you need a car, use car sharing,” Mr. Würzner said in an interview at Heidelberg’s Baroque-style City Hall, which was nearly deserted because of the pandemic. “If you can’t use car sharing because you’re living too far outside and there is no mass transportation, then use the car, but just to the train station and not to downtown.”

TikTok Sensation Alexis Nikole Nelson Wants You to Love Foraging as Much as She Does

Nelson’s interest in finding the seaweed in its natural environments is more than personal. She hopes to share it on the social media platform TikTok, where she’s teaching nearly half a million people how to identify, harvest, and prepare everything from sumac to acorns to ginkgo nuts—all while presenting an alternative to the mostly white-male image of modern foraging.

Tree Corps Has A Green Job For You: Planting the ‘Healing Power’ of Trees in Low-Income Neighborhoods

American Forests, the non-profit, and TAZO Tea, the corporation, have teamed up to create TAZO Tree Corps—a paid, locally hired workforce that will increase and maintain the tree canopy in lower-income urban areas—starting in parts of Minneapolis, Detroit, Richmond, the Bronx, and San Francisco in the spring of 2021.


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