Southern food evokes powerful feelings and emotions for just about anyone from the South or who has visited the South. Unfortunately, our food is having significant, unintended consequences on our personal health as well as the health of our environment. Eat South wants to take the great things about southern food and farming to a new level by encouraging healthier culinary techniques and farming practices.
EAT South teaches children to eat with "intention." The programs we provide are focused on one central idea – children will develop healthy life-long eating habits if they experience healthy food that tastes great. We make sure every child that visits our model farms and school gardens has an opportunity to taste food that is grown to be eaten – food that is picked when it’s ripe and prepared using healthy techniques. This simple process opens the door to children accepting healthy food as an important – and delicious – part of their diet.
EAT South encourages urban food production. We believe that food should be grown as close to where people live as possible. When food is grown in close proximity to where it’s consumed, the food is ALWAYS fresher which means it has more nutritional value and a smaller impact on the environment due to reduced transportation. With over half of all humans currently living in urban areas across the globe, urban food production must be prioritized.
EAT South encourages schools to provide the best possible food and access to gardens to all students. When school cafeterias provide healthy locally-produced food, students are eating nutrient dense food that can encourage life-long healthy eating habits. School gardens provide a necessary compliment to what’s served in a cafeteria by showing students that food is actually grown somewhere and tastes better when it’s fresh.
EAT South is developing model urban farms and gardens, youth education programs, and food system outreach programs to directly impact the communities of Montgomery, Alabama and the surrounding River Region. These activities are replicable in all urban areas throughout the Southeast. We are developing opportunities to share our programs and project models with as many communities as possible.
EAT South encourages healthy lifestyles through education and sustainable food production in urban areas throughout the Southeast.
EAT South envisions communities across the Southeast that have access to fresh, healthy, affordable food and the knowledge about food preparation that supports a healthy lifestyle.
Access to fresh healthy food is a basic human right
A healthy diet includes significant quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables
Supporting local food production is good for our economy and our health
Sustainable food production reduces the environmental impact of our food system and supports healthy lifestyles
Well-designed communities encourage long-term healthy lifestyles
The Hampstead Institute:
EAT South is a trade name of The Hampstead Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit entity established in 2008 to contribute to the improvement of the public realm through sustainable design and planning, the establishment of healthy and lasting communities, and the concept of agro-urbanism. Founded by a handful of dedicated New Urbanists, The Hampstead Institute organizes Speaker Series, Design Workshops, and Community Events. Turning its focus mainly to Agricultural Urbanism, Children's Education, and Healthy Local Food Production, The Hampstead Institute has honed its vision by establishing EAT South in November 2012.
EAT South manages two urban farms, at Hampstead in east Montgomery and in Downtown Montgomery along the Alabama River. Both farms are living classrooms for youth and adult education programs focused on growing and eating healthy food. The farms are vibrant gathering places that foster education, sustainability, tourism and economic development for Montgomery and the entire Southeast. EAT South also provides outreach to other communities, encouraging more community gardens and the development of markets for local produce.
EAT South's farms offer educational workshops and field trips for schools and community groups. We teach such topics as sustainable food production, nutrition and healthy living at both farms and in the community. We also provide education through a Speakers Series that brings the brightest minds to our communities to share examples of healthy lifestyles.
EAT South's farms promote sustainability by utilizing natural, regenerative resources and methods in growing food. Local restaurants and individuals can purchase the locally-grown food, resulting in less waste in transportation and fuel costs from farm-to-table. EAT South is composting restaurant and community waste on-site to produce a high-quality soil fertilizer. EAT South supports the SmartCode as a mechanism for improving quality of life.