As garden nominations roll in, edible flint prepares to start the evaluation process. Every year many gardens in the Flint area are nominated for the Food Garden Tour. Only a select few gardens are chosen to be featured on the Tour each year. The goal of the selection process is to choose a variety of gardens in the area, whether they are home gardens, non-profit based, or even owned by a large organization, edible flint believes that people can be inspired by a variety of gardens/farms.
The Food Garden Tour meetings kick off in June, but many preparations occur before then. The group meets once a week to finalize ideas, collaborate, and assign action tasks for the upcoming weeks. The team at edible flint works very hard throughout the summer to make sure the tour is always a little better than the year before, and runs as smoothly as possible.
Evaluations begin once the nomination deadline has passed. Two members of the edible flint team head out to each garden and evaluate what they see. After each garden has been attended, the group presents everything they found at the next Food Garden Tour meeting. At the meeting is where the decision process begins, and the final gardens for the tour are selected. While this can be a large task, it is well worth it to ensure the most inspiring gardens are chosen for the tour.
After the evaluation process is complete, the garden interviews begin! The edible flint members set up interviews with each gardener who will be on the tour. The interview process occurs at each garden site, which allows the gardener to show the specifics of their garden. The interviews become an inspirational learning experience. This process really allows the interviewers to connect with the gardeners and learn about each garden, the gardener themselves, and the community they live in. The experience allows edible flint and the gardeners to share a sense of unity and passion for growing food.