Say howdy to Lauren Young, Arcadia's new farm manager! While Farm Director Stephen Corrigan works on Arcadia's second production farm (more on that in a future post) Lauren has tackled our headquarters farm at Woodlawn. She comes to Arcadia from the USDA's organic research program and will be doing some cool stuff in our fields. An animal lover (see above), we anticipate her reign to usher in a new era of peace and cooperation with our resident groundhogs and squirrels.
What most excites you about joining Arcadia?
Several things excite me about joining Arcadia, but I will limit it to three.
First, I am very excited to be working with and learning from (in no particular order): Stephen, Morgan, Ben, Pam, Matt, JuJu, Janet, and all of the very enthusiastic and hard-working volunteers.
Second, I am excited about drawing on my past experiences to help further Arcadia's mission.
Third, I think Arcadia's commitment and approach to food and cooking education is very exciting and unique. Not only does Arcadia grow, source, and transport food to people that need it, they are also committed to ensuring that the food will be enjoyed through cooking education for adults and farm camp for children.
What have you done in the past that's prepared you for this work?
I have been involved with sustainable agriculture research in one way or another for about ten years. I have degrees in Environmental Science and Ecology.
My high school had an Agriculture and Horticulture program and we even had a "Bring Your Tractor to School Day." Understanding where food comes from and the hard work that goes into it was very intuitive for my community and me. It was not until college, when I took classes in Environmental Science and Biology, that I realized how disconnected people can be from their food system. I found it amazing that folks could be concerned about their environment and what lives there yet know so little about the land use that comprises about half of the land area of the US, agriculture.
If you were a vegetable, what would you be?
Coffee is actually a fruit, but I think I would be coffee because I am usually well caffeinated.
Which season has the best produce, and why?
I like all of the seasons. I cannot pick one. I love spring asparagus; tomatoes and cantaloupe in the summer; apples and squash in the fall; and red cabbage and citrus in the winter. I like the challenge of having a lot of something around and then figuring out the ways I am going to use it. By the time I have had enough of it, something else has come along.