Monday, July 12, 2010

More words from our interns....

We want you to hear from our interns what they are learning, what they are thinking about, and how their Growing Places Indy internship is influencing the way they think about food and farming.

From Stuart Harvey:

7/4/2010 - As an intern at Growing Places Indy, I have begun to see society in a way that is far less like a spectator and more like an active participant. Being a consumer in America makes you feel as if you have so many choices and so much control over the things you buy. Yet, there still fails to be healthy, organic, sustainable food options in the cities we live in while we continue to have the resources to cultivate. Working at the garden at White River State Park allows me to participate in a garden that promotes all of these attributes that our food systems lack as well as help spread awareness of better ways to get the food we eat everyday. Taking part in such a project allows me to practice and support a food system that I believe in by trying to make a difference in a society filled with industrial agriculture, even if it is in the smallest way. Carrying out what I believe in makes me feel empowered. This sense of empowerment gives me a sense of hope and belief for our future not only in Indianapolis, but in America for what our food systems could look like. Growing Places Indy has allowed me to envision it.

Stuart Harvey is a junior at Butler University studying Education. Stuart hopes to bring his experience in urban farming to his future teaching career, both in the classroom, and from schoolyard gardens to school cafeterias.

From Sara Swan:

7/4/2010 - I, first, am a food person. I prefer grocery stores to malls, and have been known to spend an inordinate amount of time reading cookbooks. However, it wasn’t until this summer that I really understood the world behind what I was eating. Formerly, farming in my mind was the iconic farmer on a tractor in a field of corn, and that was it. Then one day my English teacher announced the opportunity to intern with Growing Places, and I found myself in this network of urban farmers (who, for obvious reasons tend to not use tractors), city gardens (with no corn anywhere in sight), and local chefs with a desire for the freshest, healthiest vegetables. I learned how much weeding goes into maintaining an organic garden, that there are beets that are actually not red, and just how passionate people are for what truly is becoming a movement. The only problem with this new-found awareness is that now I am aware of how much I have to learn, from the politics of using a college farm’s produce in the cafeteria, to when to plant certain crops, to soil chemistry. The exciting part of this internship, though, is that everywhere there are people who are willing to share their knowledge, always with a genuine excitement for helping others feel that same enthusiasm for growing produce. Besides gaining some knowledge of farming, I have also developed a sense of connection with the everyday food I eat. I now wonder how the vegetables and fruit I eat are grown, and feel more conscious of the many implications of what I eat and of the food system that brought that food to those grocery stores I so adore.

Sara Swan graduated in June from Herron High School. She’ll be starting college at Beloit College this fall where she plans to study Sociology.

From Samantha Atkins' lastest blog post for the Center for Urban Ecology at Butler University:

When the Most Interesting Thing is Interest...

7/11/2010 When asked to think about what has been the most interesting or surprising thing about working with Growing Places Indy this summer, as I was recently asked by one of the founders of the non-profit, Laura Henderson, my first thought was about how many people are interested in growing food, especially myself. Raised in a rural area but “in town” nonetheless, I was always around farms (big, mechanized ones mainly) and was also simultaneously led away from that lifestyle and encouraged to pursue education in literature, science, music, what have you. By many of the kids who lived in town, farming was considered a “poor people” thing. My goal, whether I could tell you about it or not, was to have a job where I could stay out of the sun and out of the dangers of farming.
Read the rest of Samantha's blog post here.

Samantha graduated from Butler University with a degree in Creative Writing and Spanish. She will be moving to Spain for graduate school in August.

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