432: John Wann-Ángeles on Place Making on an Urban Farm.
Cultivating a community with a non-profit urban farming project.
John Wann-Ángeles is the Director of the Orchard Community Learning Center, and Incubator Farm Coordinator at Spaces of Opportunity. The Orchard also manages the Spaces’ Farmers Market. They are a non-profit in south Phoenix founded in 2011. Their work centers on urban food systems, organic farming, STEA³M programs for youth, and economic justice in the local economy.
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John is an educator by profession, serving 22 years as principal of Valley View Elementary School in the Roosevelt School District. The dual language, K-8 school specialized in project-based and multi–aged learning opportunities which included gardens and adventures in the creation of an edible landscape on the campus where some of the first trees were donated by The Urban Farm.
In This Podcast:
John Wann-Ángeles is building the south Phoenix farming community in a big way! He shared with us how a school project turned into a community farming effort that now involves a 19-acre piece of land and a local farmers market. Listen in to learn about community farming opportunities and programs available to support small farmers in south Phoenix. John also shares tips for selling at a farmers market, creating healthy soil, and a local weed that is actually an edible crop.
Listen in and learn about:
- How a school project grew into a community urban farming effort
- The diversity and growth of south Phoenix over the last century
- South Phoenix farming and gardening projects that bring the voice of wellness to the community
- The 19-acre Spaces of Opportunity land
- “Place making” and developing community ownership and participation in farming
- The support systems in place that give community farmers resources that help them sell their harvest
- The school composting program that helps feed the garden soil
- How to sell at a farmer market
- STEA3M programs
- Tips for creating healthy soil
- The local weed that is actually an edible crop
As well as:
- His failure – Staying safe and not taking big enough risks.
- His success – Always learning and continuously teaching.
- His drive – Possibilities.
- His advice – If you want to be a leader, grab a shovel!
John’s Book recommendations:
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
How to reach John:
Thank you to LaCrosse Boots for sponsoring this episode
Lacrosse Boots – The go to boots for big tasks!
Note: You can also find these books mentioned above at one of our favorite local independent bookstores and have the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a small business.