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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Urban Foraging: Taking Local, Sustainable to New Levels

Wow ~ talk about inspiration! Craig Durkin and Aubrey Daniels brave the urban environment in search of forgotten fruits and vegetables in public and private property. A substantial portion of their bounty is donated to feed Atlanta's hungry population. These young gentlemen, along with a crew of volunteers, spend most weekends May through October in the southern heat to ensure these local treasures end-up in human bellies.

Concrete Jungle is their local organization dedicated to urban foraging. At their website, residents may register their property for harvesting or volunteers may connect with the foraging team. The site works similar to a blog with posts on their weekly adventures along with a map of crop locations within the metro area and plenty of great pictures.

It is the drive and ingenuity of individuals like Craig and Aubrey who will shift consciousness to the next levels of local food commitment. Concrete Jungle is recognized as Elemental Impact's THE IMPACTOR for July. To learn more about THE IMPACTOR program and read about previous outstanding accomplishments visit the Ei website

Thank you Christiane Lauterbach of Atlanta Magazine for featuring these heroes in your It's a Jungle Out There, Urban foragers harvest fruit for charity article in the August issue.

Chase Donates Trucks to Food Bank

Amazing ~ in these challenging economic times Chase donated new trucks to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Read on to learn how the ACFB may now increase their impact on both diverting organics to the hungry from landfills and feeding the hungry ...

At a time when more families in metro Atlanta face the threat of going hungry, the Atlanta Community Food Bank announced that Chase has donated three new, clean fuel-burning, refrigerated food delivery trucks. The donation will increase the Food Bank’s ability to collect donated product and distribute food to its more than 700 partner agencies in 38 counties serving those in need. In addition, Chase has donated funds to help with the operation of these trucks for the first year.

After one year, we expect to have expanded our service of picking up product at our retail partner locations to approximately 416,000 pounds per year. In addition, we expect to increase distribution in the same year time frame to 658,000 more pounds per year.

"After closing out our fiscal year in June, we now know that we had a record year in distribution,” said Bill Bolling, executive director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “Demand was up 33 percent over last fiscal year and we distributed over 25 million pounds of food compared to the 23 million pounds we distributed last year. These three new vehicles in our fleet will boost our efforts significantly and help us reach more of our neighbors in need. We are deeply grateful to Chase for this generous donation."

Watch Out: It's KILLER!!

The 2009 Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival lived up to its name and was KILLER! What a fabulous way to spend a summer afternoon ~ enjoying an amazing array of tomato concoctions by Atlanta's top culinary talent. The creative vodka drinks were especially tasty!

Here is the official copy:


Join us on Sunday, August 8 from 1pm to 5pm at JCT. Kitchen and Bar where over 30 of the best chefs and mixologists in the south will team up with a selection of fabulous local tomato farmers to produce an afternoon of tomato-inspired dishes and cocktails. High-profile judges including Restaurant Editor Andrew Knowlton of Bon App├ętit and Restaurant Editor Kate Krader of Food + Wine will be choosing the best dish and best beverage. Festivities will also include live entertainment by the Spazmatics. Who will be crowned the Tomato Queen/King in 2010? Join us to find out! Top Tomato, Ford Fry, owner and executive chef of JCT. Kitchen & Bar, is heading up the celebration and turning his restaurant into a tomato sanctuary that will also span the upstairs bar and outdoor courtyard area. All proceeds benefit Georgia Organics, a non-profit working to integrate healthy, sustainable and locally grown food into the lives of all Georgians.

JCT. Kitchen and Bar is located at 1198 Howell Mill Rd, Suite 18 Atlanta, GA 30318

Tickets are $45/person for members of Georgia Organics, $50 General Public until August 1st. After August 1st, all tickets $65.

Tickets can be purchased on the Georgia Organics site or at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market on Saturdays in July.

A Helping Hand for Sustainable Efforts

What is a business to do when they are ready to embrace sustainability initiatives yet have no idea where to begin? The GA Department of Natural Resources Sustainability Division is ready, willing and able to assist for FREE(!). Support comes in the form of the Division's staff and their mentor program of companies with successful environmental practices. Along with personalized assistance, the Division provides educational and networking opportunities throughout the year.

Note the Division was instrumental in the Zero Waste Zone launch and remains a foundational support system for the program.

To join the program, click here. This is copy from the Sustainability Division website:

The Sustainability Division provides free and confidential environmental assistance to business in pollution prevention, waste reduction, water and energy efficiency, and sustainability. We...
  • Are a non-regulatory division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

  • Promote and recognize environmental leadership and performance through the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia.

  • Work with any business with any type of waste or resource issue, including air, water, wastewater, and solid waste.

  • Provide networking opportunities with regulatory and industry leaders to share ideas and craft solutions.

  • Foster environmental leadership and seek to establish a conservation ethic in Georgia.

We are proud to support Conserve Georgia and provide all Georgia organizations with resources to help them create a culture of conservation.