Alan Powell, who runs Jeff Poppen’s CSA (community supported agriculture), will speak at the Gardening Partners of Dickson County monthly meeting Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Tennessee Technology Center at Dickson. His topic will be Rediscovering Eden, a guide to foraging wild foods in Middle Tennessee.
Powell has a degree in Music from Berklee College of Music in Boston, and has been a private guitar instructor in Nashville for 20 years. In addition to being a member of the Nashville Food Policy Council, he runs Jeff Poppen’s (The Barefoot Farmer) CSA, distributing food to 175 people each year, sells farm produce to local restaurants, and coordinates charitable donations for the farm. An avid home cook, Powell preserves much of the food he eats in the winter.
He has always had a love of the outdoors, but an interest in wildflower identification led him to study plants. A few Native American philosophy courses inspired the search for more practical, useful knowledge for the plants he was familiar with, which he investigated on his own. This led to the study of primitive skills at Tom Brown’s Tracker School.
Powell has been teaching about plants and food for a decade, including lectures at Belmont University, TSU, a regular workshop at Nashville’s official Earth Day celebration, at primitive skills gatherings, and at private organizations. He offers plant hikes to individuals and small groups year round.
Other skills he teaches are cordage (extracting fibers from local plants and making rope/thread for basic use), fire making, flintknapping (making stone tools), food preservation classes, and cooking classes. He also forages wild foods for local restaurants.