Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Summer with GardenShare

I love to eat and I love to learn about what I am eating. Knowing where my food came from, and what my food is made out of, gives me a sense of agency over my health. Although I have never refused to eat a piece of fruit because it has traveled all the way from Mexico to reach me, nor have I denied a piece of candy because of it's high sugar content, I still like to read every label to understand what it is I am putting into my body- the good and the bad.

This interest in food ignited my interest in GardenShare. I was instantly absorbed by the motto, "Healthy Food. Healthy Farms. Everybody Eats". Sounds simple enough, but it's not. Accessibility to healthy, nutritious, and local fresh food is a convoluted issue. Putting food on the table isn't always easy. GardenShare believes that it should be.

I applied to intern with GardenShare for a multitude of reasons. The two main ones were that this internship would allow me to obtain a deeper understanding of the complexities of food insecurity and local food economies, while also allowing to prolong my unwillingness to leave Canton for another ten weeks.

This summer, everything I thought I knew about the north country has been challenged. The most rewarding aspect that has come out of this internship have been the people.  I have had the unique opportunity to engage in stimulating conversations with local farmers about bees, mushrooms, goats, sustainability, etc. I have visited the markets around the county and have seen such a diverse community of farmers and artists that I never would have come into contact with had I not been involved with GardenShare. Similarly, I spent nights volunteering at Campus Kitchens, talking with families who rely on the nutrition and accessibility of community free meals.

Ten weeks goes by fast. The weather has finally decided to act like summer and I feel like I have just started to really understand my role as an intern, yet I am leaving. I can only hope that I can help GardenShare by continuing to share what it is we do here, and how important it is for this community and many like it.