Real Food Hero Award for 2016
This year the award goes to Oscar Carmona of Healing Grounds Nursery, a passionate local food advocate connecting people to the land & their food for over 30 years. Creating innovative programs encouraging people to grow their own healthy food while using beneficial practices good for the planet, Oscar teaches in both institutional settings & backyards.
From 1991 to 2004 Oscar was the Director of Garden Programs for the Community Environmental Council (CEC) in Santa Barbara, CA where he managed the City of Santa Barbara’s community gardens and CEC’s Urban Farm. He started CEC’s Green Schools Gardening Program, Farming Fun Summer Camp, the Santa Barbara Youth Gardening Coalition, taught Green Gardener’s Sustainable Practices courses, and served as the President of the Santa Barbara Horticultural Consortium.
One of the first certified organic nurseries on the Central Coast, Healing Grounds Nursery grows Biodynamic vegetable and herb seedlings. Beginning as a horticultural therapy program for the Transitions Mental Health Association, the nursery now sells seedlings both wholesale & to the public at the Santa Barbara Farmers Markets. A key member of the Santa Barbara Seed Saving Guild, Oscar saves seed stock for the Santa Barbara Food Bank and other community groups; while participating in local seed exchanges and teaching seed saving workshops. http://healinggroundsnursery.com/