Whew! This freelancing business is hard work ya’ll.

So here I am spending my Sunday scratching off one to-do at a time. Since I just got wrapped up editing a batch of photos from my latest event shoot, I figured I may as well blog about it…while the going is good.

Read on to hear more about this great local organization (and workshop event) promoting real change here in Austin.

This past weekend, The WellGro Co. held an Herb Garden Workshop at Contigo – and they signed me on for photography duty. It was a gorgeous day.

The WellGro Co. was one of the first folks I met and worked with when I started this photography / blogging game just over a year ago (see this old post). So it was somewhat fitting to shoot this event, just days after I turned in my badge and became self-employed. It’s people like the WellGro Co. that gave me the courage to do it. Here are two people, Ed and Kerri Hughey, who saw a problem and stood up to do something about it.

Ed and Kerri formed The WellGro Co. with the goal of battling childhood obesity (after hearing a scary statistic that more than 1 out of 3 children in this era are overweight). The WellGro Co. hold several events and fundraisers throughout the year that aim to change this by promoting the benefits of real food.

This particular event I photographed, was organized to raise money to complete a school garden for Travis High School . What better way to drive home the importance of local, fresh food then to have kids see the benefits themselves…in their own (school) backyard.

You want to know the most surprising thing for me, though?

Travis High has a culinary program! And some of the kids from the class joined in on the event, and helped prepare a barbecue for the attendants. This city continues to amaze me, as does its people, and its bright youth…

The WellGro Co. also brought out Sam Thorp, from Johnson’s Backyard Garden, to give some tips on raised herb gardening. I’d love to tell you what tips he shared, and I’d love to put them in practice on my own. But at this stage of the event, I was fully zoned out with photography duties. Maybe women photographers don’t have this problem, but I know my single-tasking self gets so caught up in…”Frame. Focus. Snap. Snap. Snap.”…that I think my sense of hearing phases out.

At least I have photos to share…and from what I can gather afterwards, one of the tips must have involved breaking up the soil after its lifted from the container.

While attendees got down and dirty planting herbs in the raised beds just in front of Contigo, the chefs in training where inside getting a kitchen tour and advice on working in a restaurant from Contigo chef Andrew Wiseheart. Doesn’t that name just totally fit this guy?

The students were in particular awe of the 3-ring binder Andrew has just for pickles. “I wonder what the book on bacon looks like?” one of them thought.

After getting a tour and tasting some of the food that comes from the kitchen, the students started preparing a meal for the event attendees. Everyone had a hand in it.

With the meal prepared it was time to eat. Everyone gathered around the table to enjoy real, freshly prepared food.

It goes without saying that the meal was a delight. One of the students even commented that this was the first salad he’s eaten every bite of. Fresh food has a way of changing your perception on things doesn’t it?

Check out The WellGro Co. for more info on how you can get involved in great events and programs like this. They’re great people effecting a real change, and I’m glad to know them.


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