So who are these lovely ladies and why are they doing this? Each story is a bit different, but at the end of the day, the authors are young food-enthusiasts curious about the future of agriculture and their role in it, united in the belief that if you eat, you should be curious, too. They are women based all over the country, from Miami, FL to Olympia, WA, all involved in the local food movements in their area. Read more about them as individuals and follow their individual stories from the drop down menu!
“Eating is an agricultural act.” – Wendell Berry
Ali studied community development and the history of food and agriculture at The Evergreen State College, and graduated in June of 2014 with her B.A. She is a food-lover, organizer, gardener, and aspiring social entrepreneur. Recently, she has accepted a position as the new KGP Backyard Gardens Coordinator (AmeriCorps) at her favorite non-profit, Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB) in Olympia, WA.
Ali has three years experience organizing and fundraising for student organizations, ranging from her work at the University of Southern Maine with the International Relations Association to her role coordinating the Evergreen Community Gardens during her time in the PNW. Ali has a passion for community-based learning and action, as well as event planning centered around skill-sharing.
Her most recent work has been focused on examining food, community, and garden based non-profit models, along with exploring film production. She was first inspired to use film as a medium when she realized that it is one of the most effective ways to get information out there, fast.
She was recently awarded the People’s Choice Award at the American Community Gardens Association Conference for her video “The Kitchen Garden Project,” telling the story of Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB), a non-profit organization located in Olympia, Washington (www.goodgrub.org). See the video here: http://vimeo.com/70349069
Ali embarked on the first Driving Food Home trip with the desire to gain and spread information about local food movements across the west coast. How does food relate to building resilient communities?, was her predominant inquiry. Afterward, she spent some time in a garden, and eventually took a similar mini-trip to learn about sustainable food-based efforts closer to home.
Ali hopes to one day take her passion home to Boston, Massachusetts and work with not-for-profit food based organizations, all the while trying to excite everyone she meets about growing their own food!
Evelyn is a Florida native who ventured out to the west coast to attend The Evergreen State College and study Environmental Studies and Agriculture. She has always been passionate about creating, whether it be drawing, painting, photography, or growing food! In her eyes, farming is an art and acts on a conscious desire to care for ones self and loved ones.
Wanting to farm and explore the melding of agriculture and community stemmed from her childhood in Miami. As she grew up and watched urban sprawl swallow farmland, it was hard for her to conceptualize where food was coming from and why no one seemed to be talking about it.
Evelyn’s goal for taking this trip is to deepen the conversation around agriculture and food movements, while learning all she can from established farms and communities across the United States. In hopes of buying land and eventually starting her own farm, she is elated to meet with farmers and community members who are making sustainable agriculture models a reality.
Rachael previously studied Philosophy and International Studies concentrating in Environmental issues at Muhlenberg College. In her studies, she deduced that sustainable agriculture is the way that she feels she can change and progress the world on a large scale, in the long term, as well as in her every day life.
She has worked on conventional organic, permaculture, as well as biodynamic farms for the past three years primarily around the western slope of Colorado. She also completed a Permaculture Design Course in Costa Rica with Scott Pittman through the Permaculture Institute. Currently, she is a student at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA studying Agroecology and Soil Chemistry.
Sera has been studying microbiology and agricultural sciences at The Evergreen State College, and graduated in June of 2014 with her B.S. Her two loves in life are apparent opposites – meticulously sterile lab work vs. the rolling-in-the-muck work of the farm – and she’s on a constant search for how to integrate both of them in her everyday life. She believes that having a rounded education in both micro and the macro leads to critical systems thinking.
Her agricultural studies have been focused on animal behavior and husbandry, integrating animal nutrition with management of Soul Brother’s Farm in Olympia, WA. Being raised in a co-housing community has made her particularly intent on exploring various intentional community development models, as she hopes to become a part of one in the future. She is also interested in mixed (plant/animal) production and “closed-loop” systems as one of the most viable models for truly sustainable agriculture.
Sera is currently writing from the West Coast (Oregon and California) for the fall 2014 season, and will continue with the Driving Food Home Journey Part II in November (with a homesteading theme!), as she migrates out Boone, NC. For the winter, her plans are to develop DFH as a non-profit, continue to work on the website and recruit more authors to create an online magazine, all alongside studying for the GRE’s. A winter of cabin hermitage awaits!
Sarah was born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado. Like many, she grew up very disconnected from her food. After participating in a year-long exchange program to Brazil, she begin to notice the differences in how cultures treat food. Buying fruits from the farmer, and bread from the baker, was a new exciting concept for her. Upon returning to America, her view of food and our part in its production and consumption had changed and she was hungry to learn more.
Sarah stayed in Colorado long enough to obtain her massage therapy license, then decided to get more involved with the food movement (and satisfy her desire to travel) through WWOOFing. Soon she was in Hawaii working on a small Bed and Breakfast. Living in such a fertile place opened her mind to the world of foraging. She soon hoped islands to Kauai, to spend some time in Kalalau Valley. There she lived very close to the land, gathering wild tomatoes, basil and breadfruit, trapping and eating wild goat, bathing in a waterfall and drinking from the clean river. After this deep rooting experience in it was hard for her to look at this consumer-based society with out a desire to improve it.
The birth of Driving Food Home allowed a perfect avenue for Sarah to continue exploring wail keeping a deep since of involvement in this movement. The two month trip allowed her to get closer to this cause and deepened her commitment to a more sustainable life. She is so thankful to have the opportunity to work alongside such unique and amazingly dedicated women. Sarah will soon be moving to California for a little more hands on experience in the agriculture business, but is looking forward to the developments in Driving Food Home Part II.