8/31/12

A new crop of farm education interns!

We're welcoming a new crop of fall interns to the farm - and what inspiring bunch they are! Over the next couple of months, Teiji, Amanda, Morgan, Marta and Lacey will spend one day per week on the farm doing field work and one day per week working with young folks who come to the farm for our field trip program.

Read on to virtually meet each of them! Interestingly, if our interns were vegetables, we'd have two carrots and two potatoes, plus a pumpkin - all fall veggies!

Meet Teiji Epling...

What experiences have prepared you for this position?
I am currently working at a small library, so I have the opportunity to interact with children from the area and understand what they are thinking. Probably because of my involvement with the library, I do a lot of reading, lately mostly focused toward issues in local/sustainable food systems. I also volunteer at my local food bank in the community garden, where we grow produce to help out those who are hungry around the area. Since learning more about food issues, I've started my own garden and even have my own small chicken flock!

What are you hoping to learn as a Farm Education Intern at Arcadia?
As a farm education intern, one of my main goals is to learn effective ways in which to get youngsters interested in where their food comes from. I'd also like to continue my own learning about food issues and continue to gather resources on ways to get involved with local and sustainable food efforts. As an organic gardener, I'm excited about learning hands-on techniques for keeping plants healthy and productive.

If you were a vegetable, what would you be?
If I were a vegetable, I would be a potato. They're not particularly flashy, but pack a calorically efficient punch while always finding ways to grow regardless of the soil.

Meet Amanda Green....

What experiences have prepared you for this position?
The majority of my farming experiences until this year have been in international agriculture, so I have a lot to learn about sustainable farming in Virginia! Since
this spring I've been working as a volunteer both at Arcadia and at the Washington Youth Garden at the National Arboretum in DC, and I also have an educational background in sustainable ag.

What are you hoping to learn as a Farm Education Intern at Arcadia?
I am hoping to learn the ins and outs of small-scale, organic farming in Virginia and also the organizational and project design behind Arcadia. I'm also excited about guiding field trips at Arcadia and learning what makes children enthusiastic about eating fresh vegetables. And I'd like to get to know the chickens a little better!

If you were a vegetable, what would you be? Definitely a carrot. I would be sweet enough for desserts, good for juicing, and I'd have a good chance of being present at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Plus I'd have a totally wild head of hair!

Meet Morgan Maloney...

What experiences have prepared you for this position?
My experience with teaching youth volunteers construction techniques and low income housing issues has prepared me for the Elementary school Field Trip aspect of this position. I loved empowering high school students to use their hands, and a few power tools, to transform their communities. Hands-on education skills and a passion for healthy foods will allow me to teach these budding minds about the wonders of vegetables!

What are you hoping to learn as a Farm Education Intern at Arcadia?
I hope to gain a better understanding of the farm system and the role that it currently (and could later) play in the food system. Taking part in the care of the produce and learning from farmers like Mo and Liz can only lead to amazing things.

If you were a vegetable, what would you be? A carrot. I love the way carrots are dirty and strange on the outside but exquisitely crisp just beyond that outer layer. Plus, I’m a red head; obvious correlation there.

Meet Marta Spangler...

What experiences have prepared you for this position?
In addition to keeping my own community garden plot for a couple years in Pittsburgh, I have worked for several years for my neighbor’s fruit farm, located in Ortanna, PA.

What are you hoping to learn as a Farm Education Intern at Arcadia?
I’m interested in learning more about the interpretive and educational piece. I’m especially interested in seeing an example of how can we make growing more accessible to the larger community and to see how to empower people with knowledge about their food and food sources.

If you were a vegetable, what would you be?
I’m pretty sure I’d be a potato! So versatile, and so tasty, or perhaps I’d be a carrot, also delicious. I think I must be craving root veggies as it gets closer to fall, but I just love the simplicity and heartiness of good potatoes and carrots, and they can be fun to harvest, because it feels like you are digging for buried treasure.

Meet Lacey Walker...

What experiences have prepared you for this position?
I've never worked on a farm before so I'm coming at this position with an eagerly open mind. I grew up around dairy farms, small flower gardens and more recently I have gotten involved in work with animal sanctuaries.This environment, digging in the dirt and really transforming seeds into edible produce, is rather new to me. So let me speak to what sparked my interest in this position. I spent a year teaching English in France. It's impossible not to fall absolutely in love with produce in France. The open air markets, the stacks of carrots, the fresh soups, salads and quiches packed with vegetables - it's heaven! Food in France is not just an obsession for the tourists though, the children in France seemed to be much more in touch with their food systems and food options than I had been during my childhood in the US. My time there was really spent in an equal exchange of knowledge and when I got back I was eager to continue my love affair with fresh, local produce but I also wanted to find a way to include the youth in my area. Enter Arcadia.

What are you hoping to learn as a Farm Education Intern at Arcadia?
I want to learn what it means, first hand, to have a healthy farm. I am hoping to experience and really appreciate the work that goes into producing our food and understand the special thought that goes into a sustainable, organic farm. And hopefully I'll pick up some edible weed identification skills while I'm at it!

If you were a vegetable, what would you be?
If I were a vegetable I would be a pumpkin. As a kid my aunt called me Pumpkin Head and it is something that has stuck with me. I love fall weather, pumpkin pie for breakfast and toasted seeds as a snack. I like how pumpkin picking brings friends and families together. In fact, my father met my step-mother when we were at the pumpkin patch for a field trip when I was a kid!

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