568: Michael McMahon on the Fresh Food Collab.

Improving access to adequate food for the Working Poor.

In This Podcast:

The rise of COVID-19 sent the world into a panic as we saw grocery store shelves emptied across the nation. All of the sudden there was not enough food, distributors were tossing food, and food banks were constrained. However, Michael McMahon saw the problem and wanted to become a part of the solution. Listen in to learn about how he is supporting food banks, eliminating food waste, and what he is doing to create a local food system for the urban environment.

Our Guest:

Michael graduated from State University of New York at Buffalo with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design, and Arizona State University with a master’s degree in Urban Planning. For 30 years, he has been the owner of AEC a commercial landscape company, specializing in native plant salvage and revegetation. Michael is the founder of the community garden Agave Farms, in Phoenix and a non-profit, Urban Farming Education. His non-profit partnered with other organizations  to initiate the Fresh Food Collab as a response to economic impacts of Covid 19 and fill the growing need of adequate food in the community.

Listen in and learn about:
    • What led Michael towards urban farming
    • How Covid shocked the national food system
    • The transformation of Agave Farms
    • How is he saving food from the waste stream
    • What was the inspiration behind the Fresh Food Collab
    • The difference between food banks and the Fresh Food Collab
    • Where is he sourcing local foods from
    • The importance of growing food in cities
    • How Michael is feeding those in need
As well as:

His failure – Growing too many pumpkins without a market to sell them

His success – The collaborative network he inspired to support healthy local foods

His drive – The positive results from the local foods system he created

His advice – “Learn how to grow food on a small scale, don’t worry about mistakes, that is how you learn”

Michael’s Book recommendations:        

The Urban Farmer: Growing Food for Profit on Leased and Borrowed Land by Curtis Stone

Forty Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World by Howard G. Buffet

How to reach Michael:      

Website: www.weareufe.org, www.agave-farms.com

Instagram: @weareufe.org, @agavefarmsaz

Facebook: @weareufe, @agavefarmsaz


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