Sowing the Seeds

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  • Title: Sowing the Seeds: Intersections of Faith, Celebrity Philanthropy, and Neoliberalism in an Orlando Learning Garden
  • Author(s): Ty Matejowsky, Emily Herrington
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Food Studies
  • Journal Title: Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal
  • Keywords: Urban Gardens, Edible Schoolyard, Slow Food, Adventist, Health, Children, Foodscapes, Orlando
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2160-1933 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2160-1941 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Matejowsky, Ty , and Emily Herrington. 2019. "Sowing the Seeds: Intersections of Faith, Celebrity Philanthropy, and Neoliberalism in an Orlando Learning Garden." Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 9 (3): 1-15. doi:10.18848/2160-1933/CGP/v09i03/1-15.
  • Extent: 15 pages


Slow food ideologies are put into practice through experiential learning gardens. As spaces for food education, these venues are instrumental in instituting and developing healthy eating and lifestyle habits for local households and individuals. Across US towns and cities, a multiplicity of factors influence how these ventures eventually operate within local foodscapes. The role of highly motivated individuals and groups prove vital in ensuring learning gardens’ success in meeting their objectives over both the short- and long-term. In this article, we examine the recent experience of Edible Education Experience (EEE), an Orlando-based non-profit variously involved with different educational, religious, and neighborhood communities. Collected data in 2017 and 2018 from EEE’s Emeril Lagasse Foundation (ELF) Kitchen House & Culinary Garden contribute to today’s critical food studies literature by placing our research findings within ongoing debates about hegemonic neoliberalism and its role amid diminishing state support. We demonstrate how EEE’s development, launch, and continuous fine-tuning of operation reflects both flexibility and adaptability as well as a passion for local food and garden-focused kitchen programming.