SEEED: Growing the Garden through Community Engagement

Written by Taria Person


Welcome to SEEED’s Weekly Voice! For this week’s blog, I have interviewed Lauren Kataja, SEEED’s Community Garden Coordinator. The interview will highlight some of the gardening events that SEEED has hosted this year regarding healthy eating and gardening.


(Interview with Lauren Kataja)

Me: Okay, Lauren. Explain what the responsibilities are of a Community Garden Coordinator?


Lauren: Well, our main focus is to build a connection with the community through the garden. Raise awareness and build connections, so that people come to get local food. Half of it is growing food, and the other half is growing community.


Me: What events has SEEED hosted to engage the community in the garden?


Lauren: We’ve hosted two “People in the Garden Healthy Food Fairs.” We were able to provide plant-based food, information about plant-based diets, and for the one in the spring, we gave out plants and seeds.


Also, we’ve hosted the “Grow your Garden Series”; there have been two events, already. We were able to inform people about the difference between fall plants and summer plants. The next one is July 26th, where we will have a “weeding day”. Summer time is a great time for weeds to grow in the garden. We’ll be informing people about how to get rid of weeds in the gardens.


We’ve made connections with the District Attorney and Bank of America. We partnered with Knoxville’s Permaculture Guild, which has been a great way for volunteers to know what’s going on. And we were donated fruit trees!


Me: What is one of the biggest takeaways that you’ve experienced from being in your role?


Lauren: The general interest in learning is great. At one event, we setup stations with grains, nuts, and beans. Children were confident in their responses about what each food item was before them, and their parents were asking them how they knew. One child responded, “That’s couscous. I saw it at the store!”


There was a composting system. A guy pulled a worm out of fertilizer, and people were grossed out. By the end of it, they put it all to the side, so it was fun and interactive!


Thank you for Reading SEEED’s Weekly Voice. Please note that SEEED’s edible forest is a community garden, so come enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, learn about growing your own food, and learn more about SEEED.


Please share, comment, and like the post. Until next time…keep growing!


Posted in Community Garden, SEEED's Weekly Voice.