Hillsborough County Extension Services has launched Homegrown Hillsborough. This initiative utilizes district ambassadors who are responsible for community engagement and data collection throughout Hillsborough County. They are ready and eager to meet interested organizations.

Hillsborough County Extension Service has launched Homegrown Hillsborough. This is a community initiative to educate and engage residents on their local food system, or the production, distribution, marketing, access and consumption of food.

Homegrown Hillsborough is a network of community organizations with the mission to grow a strong food system. The network has a vision to support an integrated food system that is diverse, reliable and creates opportunities for active participation.

Homegrown Hillsborough will focus on community nutrition, food entrepreneurship and agricultural production designed to strengthen the relationship that Hillsborough County residents have with their food. Homegrown Hillsborough is a network of organizations interested in collaborating on food system initiatives.

The first step to grow the Homegrown Hillsborough initiative is for residents to complete a survey to help the county create food system programs and projects relevant to the interests and values of residents. The survey delves into the production, distribution and consumption of food for Hillsborough County residents. The survey takes five to 10 minutes to complete. You can also subscribe to a newsletter that will provide you with information on upcoming events, workshops and farm tours.

You can take the survey by visiting https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/hillsborough/homegrownhillsborough/.

Organizations are asked to participate in an interview regarding their current work and goals for the Hillsborough County food system. Organizations or groups do not need to be a formal entity, they just need to be interested in improving the community through food system initiatives. This can include ones interested in supporting a community garden.

Monica Petrella, food systems program coordinator with Hillsborough County Extension Services, said, “Food and the food system have the ability to transform our community for the better. Because everyone has their own relationship with food, there are many ways in which residents can build a personal connection to this program and the community at large.”

Homegrown Hillsborough is in phase one. This is expected to last until the end of the year. Phase two will begin in 2024, with phase three set for 2025.

The Hillsborough County Extension Services is located at 5339 County Rd. 579 in Seffner. You can contact it by calling 813-744-5519.

Previous articleToll Relief Program Has Provided More Than $190 Million In Toll Relief Since January 1
Next articleInnovative Program That Helps Homeless In Hillsborough County Receives National Recognition