This weekly update from our GMC Campus Farm, written by Kennedy Hunn ’18, Fuquan Ford ’21, Chanel Osorio ’20, and Emily Fish ’19, highlights Session Two of the Farm-To-Table Intensive 2018.
As a final project for this session’s class, Sustainable Regional Food Systems, students designed projects focused on addressing a need in a specific aspect of our community food system that could lead to building stronger interconnections to food and farming. Some of their ideas will be gradually put into action, while others will await motivated individuals to bring life to these visions- watch as their ideas develop!
Isabel Darby is a non-matriculated summer student from New Hampshire who sees the need for farms to be resources for health and wellbeing–not only in terms of nutrition, but also for healing. Isabel has been researching medicinal properties of some of the cultivated plants on our farm, recognizing that our community needs to recognize these plants where they are actually growing. She has designed signage that will bring awareness about the beneficial properties of some of these in our existing beds near the Permahill, and that will guide people into how to use the plants available from Cerridwen Farm for common health needs associated with different life stages. Isabel’s goal for her project is to shift the way in which our community views plants in relationship to their own health. She is calling her idea the Farmacy Project to emphasize that plants growing on farms have the power to replace some pills in the medicine cabinet. Isabel is also designing an information artwork poster to communicate this concept, as visual art has the power to convey emotion and bring about deeper connection to our place. This plan can be further developed into a future Delicate Balance project.
Fuquan Ford ‘21
Fuquan Ford, a sophomore and business major, is newly introduced to farming and food systems. He joined the Summer Farm Intensive Program to learn more about where food comes from. For his final project, he has created a prototype for a cookbook that represents the diversity of cultural backgrounds represented in our community through foods it’s members prepare and eat. Fuquan asked a few community members, on campus and off campus, for a unique, seasonal recipe to add to a GMC’s Finest Community Cookbook.
Through the involvement of these first participants, Fuquan has established the building blocks for a cumulative narrative centered around the table, and with plans to digitize this content as well, and to add links to local farms including Ceridwen Farm where ingredients can be sourced, he will spread awareness about seasonal eating, as well as about the growers in our surrounding local food system. His project draft has been seen by Bob Allen, the college president, and could even be funded as an entrepreneurial project for sale to benefit our college.
Chanel Osorio ’20
Chanel Osorio, part-time farm worker and student, has a vision for creating more community participation space at Cerridwen Farm. Her project idea is to build seating areas and themed spaces around our farm landscape, as well as to post additional informational signage to help people connect to this food-producing space. The purpose is to not only create but protect spaces that will actually serve, benefit, and be utilized by the campus and broader Poultney community. This upcoming school year, the design, funding, and other details of the project will be finalized in cooperation with other stakeholders. Come to the next Summer Farm Semester Program 2019, as this project could form the basis of a summer session class- serving as a hands-on learning experience in “building” community- both in the literal and figurative sense.
Emily Fish ’19
Emily Fish is a Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems major finishing up her undergrad degree this fall. For her project, Emily focused on creating stronger relationships between sustainable farmers and students who may want to work for these growers by highlighting the availability of temporary or seasonal food systems job opportunities around the Poultney area. Her concept to make these opportunities (and needs of the farmers) more accessible to GMC students is to create a physical space and online detailed listing of these opportunities ranging from volunteer to temporary to part and full time positions. Emily has worked many jobs around the area and is enthusiastic to aid any students who want to contribute to their food system for knowledge, skills-building and their own livelihood. She is focused on herbalism and health education through food, as well as on social aspects of food.
Sara Rutigliano ’18
Sara Rutigliano has just completed her undergraduate studies at GMC’s Killington School of Resort Management (KSRM). She joined us here at the farm program this summer to further develop “green” or sustainable facets of a farm-based bed and breakfast business plan that she is working on for launch in Wallingford, Vermont. Although Sara discovered an interest in farming more recently, she has been one of the most dedicated and passionate farm hands during her practicum experience at Cerridwen Farm. She is a woman with many goals, including learning daily care of our goats, vermicomposting, green energy options for a farm-based destination space, and mastering basic operations for running a viable farm.
What is a community food system? According to some of the sources the class read, a community-based food system is continuously evolving, but at heart is about relationships and interconnectivity. Being more place-based, relational, participatory, and community-centered in particular places are attributes to strive for to build a more sustainable regional food system.