Food for the Body and Soul: Goizueta Gardens Evolve in a Global Pandemic | Sarah Roberts and Emily Roberts in conversation with Staci L. Catron

Food for the Body and Soul: Goizueta Gardens Evolve in a Global Pandemic | Sarah Roberts and Emily Roberts in conversation with Staci L. Catron

This is a virtual talk!

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Goizueta Gardens at the Atlanta History Center is a place to unplug and unwind in the beauty of nature—a place to learn, explore, and be inspired. This 33-acre landscape holds nine distinct ecologically beneficial and educational gardens, including the Entrance Gardens and Smith Farm, which will feed your soul, your mind, and local communities in need.

Sarah Roberts, Olga C. de Goizueta Vice President, will share stories about the newly opened Entrance Gardens, inspired by the New Perennial Movement. Using over 15,000 native and non-native species selected to benefit pollinators and withstand challenging weather and soil conditions, these gardens are a work of art, engaging and educating visitors year-round about sustainable gardening practices. Roberts will discuss the transformation of a 140-year-old white oak tree into a 60x30 foot expansive tree table, adding a unique element to the Entrance Gardens that offer a place of rest to take in the butterflies and birdsong, while having a socially distant picnic.

Emily Roberts, Director of Urban Agriculture, manages the landscape of Smith Farm, a representation of a working slaveholding farm from the Atlanta area in the 1860s. Roberts will discuss the history of the enslaved people’s garden, the kitchen garden, and the crops at the Smith Farm, and her ongoing work to grow crops for production rather than for educational purposes alone. With the outbreak of COVID-19 the need for food among elderly and vulnerable populations is higher than ever. Food insecurity is worsening in our area, with disproportionate effects on Black community members. Atlanta History Center is partnering with Concrete Jungle to address this issue by delivering groceries weekly to neighbors experiencing food insecurity. Roberts will discuss the importance of making connections between the past and present when it comes to racism, injustice, and food access in nineteenth century and present-day Atlanta.

Staci Catron, Cherokee Garden Library Director, manages more than 32,000 books, photographs, manuscripts, seed catalogs, and landscape drawings included in the Cherokee Garden Library collection at the Kenan Research Center. These rare and valuable resources tell the story of horticulture and botanical history in the Southeastern United States and areas of influence throughout America, Europe, Asia, and beyond. In addition to serving researchers daily, the Garden Library assists the Goizueta Gardens curators with resources that support their projects and work throughout the year.

Come explore contemporary books at the Cherokee Garden Library about the New Perennial Plant movement, such as Planting the Natural Garden (Timber Press, 2003; updated 2019) by Piet Oudolf and Henk Gerritsen and Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes (Timber Press, 2017) by Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke as well as books about food justice, including Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement by Monica M. White, Ph.D. (University of North Carolina Press, 2018) and Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C. (University of North Carolina Press, 2019) by Ashanté M. Reese, Ph.D.

This virtual event is free and open to the public. Registration required.