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Published on Apr 3, 2014
For Jim Embry, a community garden is more than just a source of food and beauty. He believes that gardening has the power to change the world.
A social activist since his youth in the 1960s, Embry believes that community gardening is the most important social movement in the country. Through workshops, tours, presentations, and service projects, Embry connects community gardeners—from the private and public sector—to the earth and each other. Dave Shuffett visits with Embry in Lexington and looks at several community gardens.
Community gardens are located in city parks as well as on school grounds and even in road medians. Local governments promote community gardens as a way to provide fresh food for low-income residents and to beautify the area. Gardens also improve the environment: In Lexington, a rain garden of trees and perennial flowers at Limestone, Vine and Main streets catches rainwater.
Embry, who holds a degree in biology, served as executive director of the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership in Detroit for four years before returning to Kentucky in 2005. He has been a three-time U.S. delegate to Terra Madre, a biannual gathering in Italy for members of Slow Food International.