Documentary on sustainability reveals local farms, markets

By Jeffrey Swindoll

Baylor gardeners are using a Baylor alum-produced documentary to motivate students to get active in solving hunger issues in Waco.

“We’ve been wanting to reach the community more and have a collaboration for a joint effort to stop hunger in Waco,” Elizabeth Ross said.

Ross is the garden manager for Baylor’s Community Garden and a major organizer for Movie Night in the Garden at 6 p.m. on Friday Oct. 25 in the Community Garden on Ninth Street and James Avenue.

“Farm-City State” a is a documentary produced by Baylor alum David Barrow that looks at Austin’s local food scene. The film seeks to expose efforts that local farms, markets and restaurants are doing to help Austin be sustainable on its own for supply the city with its food.

The films asks “what if a city was able to completely feed itself?” Ross said she believes Movie Night in the Garden is an opportunity for students to start thinking about feeding the hungry in Waco and help those who want to do something be able to do something.

Ross said she wants students and Waco natives to both be able to work together in a similar way that the people in the film are able to do.

The organizers of the event are strategically targeting certain majors at Baylor and other Waco organizations.

“A lot of people are unaware of the benefits of gardening in an urban community,” said Jenny Moore, a staff member in the office of community engagement and service. “Presenting the idea to people is really exciting.”

Moore is part of Community Engagement and Services staff in Student Life.

Environmental science, film and digital media, communications are among the top majors that Ross has been targeting the event toward.

Movie Night is an opportunity for Baylor students, but Ross says its equally as important for local organizations to get involved in as well.

“Practically speaking, hearing back from organizations about students who were getting involved with them would be what I view as a successful movie night,” Ross said. Partnerships with Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, My Brother’s Keeper and Campus Kitchens Project are each among the many organizations that Ross thinks students have wonderful starting points in for stopping Waco hunger.

“There’s a lot of strength in numbers,” Ross said. “Being able to see those connections between students and organizations and knowing that we are all interested in moving forward with this issue as a collective group that night will be great.”

It started as a movie night to help students get to know about the garden, but Ross said that idea for Movie Night eventually changed into an event with a much bigger goal.

“We started to think, ‘what if this was actually a big deal, and what if we could really reach a lot of people?’”

This event will be the first of its kind, but Ross says they are interested in doing more events that utilize the garden as a venue.

“Many people haven’t experienced it,” Ross said. “Gardens are beautiful. I would love to see events like art shows with students showing their art as well as local Waco artists bringing their art. I could see all sorts of events happening at the garden.”