November Volunteer Spotlight: Al Grossi, the Punk Rock Farmer

Al

When people think about volunteering with WCG, they often think they need to be on the front-line of the gardens digging plots, planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, etc.  But we welcome volunteers with all different talents and skill sets.  

Our November Volunteer Spotlight, Al Grossi, might not know this, but he is an amazing volunteer for Wasatch Community Gardens.  By tapping into his passions of gardening, punk rock music, and talking with others as the Punk Rock Farmer, he has done an amazing job helping WCG foster support for our mission and programs. He is truly an amazing volunteer!

Suspicious Sound System
Al had this to say about gardening, being the Punk Rock Farmer, and WCG:

"I grew up on a farm mid 60's to late 70's. My dad was a gentleman farmer of sorts. No milking cows or cash crops, but we were on the path to sustainability, raising our own cows, chickens (eggs), pigs etc. to slaughter for food. We also had an extra-large garden with lots of tomatoes that all our Italian relatives would come up the hill from the city to pick. 

zucchini

When folks would come to dinner and ask where did we get our beef, we'd laugh and say it's local beef.  I credit my dad for instilling in me what is really an old world ethic that modern society, out of convenience I suppose, has left behind. But for as long as I can remember, there's been a garden in the backyard.

artichoke

After I posted some pictures of my tomatoes last year, an old friend, Lara Jones, now working for KRCL Community Radio contacted me about doing a garden piece for the station.  I said yes, and it came to fruition.  We've done over 20 episodes, most of which are posted as videos on the Punk Rock Farmer Facebook page, including gardening tips and recipes.  An area that evolved naturally was discovering some of the many organizations in our community doing their part to promote growing organic, eating local, eating healthy/delicious meals, AND reducing our carbon footprint. This is a no brain-er, we want to encourage everyone to take part in this fantastic journey.

Wasatch Community Gardens helped to transform my garden and my garden experience to the best one I've ever had this year.  I started with a "Starting Seeds Indoors" workshop and grew 144 plants from seed, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, herbs, etc., with a 97% success rate. The year before I tried on my own with little success. My thumb has always been a shade of olive drab in the past, but I harvested close to 300 lbs. of tomatoes this year!

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All the workshops were great and the summer day camp program gives city kids a chance to get out in the garden!  I want to thank you guys (WCG) so much for all that you do for the community and especially what you did for my garden.  I look forward to exploring the many aspects of the WCG that I couldn't get to this year, and sharing my new WCG experiences with the KRCL community.   

Daughter                                                                                                                                                                   

I'm a predictable Italian. Favorite veggie, tomato for sure (sauce); fruit, grapes (wine); herb, basil.  Growing is truly a great joy, but eating and imbibing is the most pleasurable.

For questions, comments, or inquiries with the Punk Rock Farmer, contact Al at punkrockfarmer23@gmail.com, or through my Facebook page, Punk Rock FarmerAnd if you are interested in volunteering with WCG, contact Felecia at felecia@wasatchgardens.org.  

 

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wasatchgardens

Our mission is to empower people of all ages and incomes to grow and eat healthy, local, organic food. Become a blog contributor and share creative organic gardening tips, frustrating challenges/exciting successes in the garden, and information about local food! To learn more or sign up, send us an email to felecia@wasatchgardens.org. And make sure to check all our programs and events on our website wasatchgardens.org - You can sign up for our e-newsletter, learn how to join our gardening community, be one of our 1300 volunteers who make our events, programs and gardens possible, attend any of our 50 sustainable food and gardening classes, and support an organization that has served the community for more than 25 years. Sign up for our newsletter by going here: www.wasatchgardens.org/connect/newsletter-signup

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