2/19/2013

Establishing Connection


Since my move to Santa Cruz last fall, I've set the intention to intern at as many local farms as I can during the two years that I'll be at UCSC.  Last quarter, I interned for 3 months at the 25 acre farm at The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) where I got to work closely alongside the apprentices learning ecological horticulture with an emphasis on small-scale crop production.  It was a great learning experience where I made lasting connections to the land and people.  The majority of the apprentices were all empowering young women with a passion for local food and community and activism in food justice.  It is so inspiring to see these women work so hard and passionately in a line of work that is traditionally male-dominated.  My intern supervisor and farm manager, Christof, also provided me and my fellow interns with a wealth of knowledge and in-depth answers to our continual curiosity.

Passing the time outside amongst the beautiful oak woodland and redwood landscape and being part of a collaborative effort growing food that fosters community is what I love about going to school here.  I am so grateful for this beauty that I am witness to everyday.  It is a continual process of learning and gaining life-long experiential knowledge; it is also about developing a deeper connection to the bioregion and creating an intimate relationship with our food that surpasses all theoretical knowledge about food systems.  Having awareness and substantial theoretical knowledge about sustainable food systems doesn't mean anything until you get in the soil and experience for yourself what it is like to grow food from seed to harvest in a wholesome and ecological manner.