Thursday, February 10, 2011

get ready to grow - get ready to go to Spring into Gardening 2011

Spring into Gardening 2011
Sunday March 27, 2011 - Pierce School - 50 School Street

Pre-Register online February 21 - March 25

Check back here at for updates about how to register and for a look at the exciting, informative workshops, demonstrations, exhibits and kid’s activities planned for this all day celebration of edible gardening in Brookline.

Introducing the Keynote Speaker, Greg Watson

“You are no doubt aware that anyone who has been involved with urban agriculture in any way is hooked for life!”  So said Greg Watson, in an email accepting our invitation to be the keynote speaker for Spring into Gardening. Watson is Senior Advisor for Clean Energy Technology in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, on loan from MassTech where he was the first Director of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust.

But Greg Watson’s roots in local and sustainable food production go deep, extending back to involvement in the 1970s with Boston Urban Gardeners (BUG) and working with the New Alchemy Institute which developed ecologically self sustaining food systems. In an interview with an alumni group at his alma mater Tufts, Watson described BUG as an on the ground resolution to the conundrum he felt as an African American coming into adulthood during the 1960s era of civil rights activism but who also was very concerned with environmental issues. He found that, ”BUG organized inner city residents for the purpose of gaining access to land and tools so they could meet some portion of their own food needs with their own hands.  In the process I came to understand that environmental issues were very much an urban concern.”

As Massachusetts Commissioner of Food and Agriculture in the Dukakis administration, Watson encouraged the development of local food chains and rural-urban connections, bringing farmers’ markets into urban neighborhoods.  In the mid-1990s he directed the Dudley street Neighborhood Initiative, the Roxbury-based community economic development project that is renowned for innovation in land use policy and success in community building. Now, as Vice Chair of Bioneers, an organization dedicated to meeting human needs with processes derived from the ecological principles found in nature, Watson continues to engage with the cutting edge where social justice and environmentally sound practice merge.

Greg Watson combines visionary thinking with practical accomplishment. With a systems approach inspired by Buckminster Fuller, he has a profound appreciation of the connections and synergies between healthy people, healthy communities and a healthy Earth. We are thrilled that he will be speaking at Spring into Gardening and hope you will join us..