Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chef Frohne Needs People to Get Their Hands Dirty

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 3:05 PM

If you're intrigued by the urban farming movement but aren't quite ready to take a Bobcat to your sidewalk median, here's a way to test the waters (soil, whatever). Chef Brandon Frohne, a frequent Bites commenter who heads up the kitchen at The Dogwood Room in the Park Manor retirement community near Woodmont and West End, is also the founder of Nashville Urban Gardeners, a farm-to-table program feeding into his restaurant.

On his blog, Frohne has been charting the progress of the group's urban plot off Woodmont Boulevard., from cutting trails to installing rain barrels. Last week, he delivered heirloom Cherokee Purple tomato seedlings all over Nashville (including the Scene offices) to call attention to the project.

Tomorrow, Frohne and his urban gardeners are inviting volunteers to help plant this year's crop of heirloom tomatoes, radishes, beets, squash, okra and other vegetables. Anyone interested should meet Frohne in the Park Manor lobby, 115 Woodmont Blvd., at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, May 12. He is asking volunteers to bring work clothes — he kiddingly suggested a Speedo, but I think that was before he saw me — along with work gloves and a hand trowel. Beverages will be provided.

For more info about specific varieties and the overall project, the full email runs below.

Park Manor’s Farm to Table project has already gained much community support. It is being led by local chef Brandon Frohne who serves as the Director of Food Service for Park Manor and founder of Nashville Urban Gardeners, a grassroots group committed to implementing and advocating for local farm to table initiatives. Other leaders of the project are Abe’s Gardeners volunteer auxiliary and master gardener Ann Duncan. They are being assisted by Hawkins Partners, Inc.

Projected benefits will be:

· Growing an abundance of “top quality” sustainable produce for use in the Park Manor’s dining program, The Dogwood Room

· Advocating Support for Middle Tennessee’s growing farm to table movement

· Elevating dining programs in the community by serving as a model

Park Manor’s urban garden is planned to include Brandywine Yellow, Brandywine Black, and Cherokee Purple Heirlooms Tomatoes, Contender Green Beans, White Icicle Radish, French Breakfast Radish, Red Mangel Beets, Purple Cosmic Carrots, Keystone Giant Peppers, Summer Squash, Patty Pan Squash, Black Zucchini, Longhorn Okra, and a large variety of fresh herbs.

Chef Frohne is seeking community volunteers to help advance this unique initiative. All volunteers should bring garden work clothes, a pair of gloves, and a hand trowel. Be prepared to get dirty!

Chef Frohne will be announcing a series of volunteer work dates with the next date on Thursday, May 12th @ 7:30 am. Park Manor is located at 115 Woodmont Blvd. in Nashville. Brandon will meet all volunteers in the lobby of Park Manor. Beverages will be provided.

Park Manor is a nonprofit independent senior lifestyle community dedicated to providing high-quality care, and extensive services.

For more information contact Brandon Frohne @ chef.frohne (at), 615-481-2663, or visit the Nashville Urban Gardeners site at

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