For the show on Monday December 20, 2021, host Brent Ragsdale has done a farm tour at KC Farm School on Gibbs RD in Kansas City KS.
We wish this hour could be only good news of this remarkable place, but recently their greenhouse sustained damage from the tremendous winds that have been terrorizing our countryside.
Beginning the tour, Brent speaks with Ari Fish, Education and Outreach Director and Alicia Ellingsworth, Executive Director and Co-Founder.
Alicia has been bringing the community on-farm, hands-on at Gibbs Road Farm since 2009. She saw the impact getting outside, moving about, and working with others has on an individual. The idea for KC Farm School sprouted from those days and has developed in the years since. They have mentored the New Roots for Refugees farmers for Cultivate Kansas City and brought food producers and wholesale buyers together with KC Healthy Kids and The Kansas City Food Hub.
Alicia has sat on the Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Committee at Johnson County Community College, on the organizing committee for Growing Growers Kansas City, and the Program Development Committee for K-State Extension Wyandotte County. Alicia has BA in Sociology and Middle Eastern Studies from the Ohio State University, is a fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and is the 2019 recipient of the John Kaiahua Mentorship Award. Her farming roots go back to the melon fields of southwestern Indiana, and were refined at The White Violet Center for Eco-Justice in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. For Alicia, the land at KC Farm School grows possibility; and she knows hope lives here.
Ari Fish is a fourth-generation education with more than 16 years of experience as an educator. She is a professional artist and her works specialize in large scale multimedia installation. She is the winner of the Charlotte Street Visual Artist Award and a two-time recipient of the ArtsKC Inspiration Grant. Her passion is in community engagement and cultivating curiosity and a love of learning at all ages.
The second part of our tour will feature Lydia Nebel, Farm Director at Common Ground. Lydia began farming at KC Farm School in 2013, following her heart’s interest in social justice issues of food insecurity and human trafficking. After two years, she moved east to manage New York City’s Harlem Grown and also worked a short period at Hudson Valley’s Four Winds Farm as well as the famous Second Wind CSA. She returns to Gibbs Road Farm eager with curiosity and ready to learn from the land and the community as they continue producing as much food as they can in loving, regenerating ways.
During the final part of Brent’s tour, he sits in round table discussion with Dave Bennett Freeling, Alicia Ellingsworth and Cherie Smith. Brent, Dave Bennett Freeling and Cherie Smith are all on the Kansas City Farm School Eco Team, a vital group of volunteers that insure growth.
A recurring theme is that every it makes sense to understand nature and use it to our mutual benefit. This means the end of one-size-fits-all industrial solutions and a return to decentralized plans based on local conditions.
Our modern world is lucky to have the Kansas City Farm School on Gibbs Road!
Their story is our holiday gift to our listeners! We at EcoRadio KC are glad to encourage awareness and protection of our world. We can create a sustainable present for a sustainable future!
This will be a great radio hour! We hope you can tune in!