Personal journey

Delivery to Rooted, West Side Market in Cleveland

Delivery to Rooted, West Side Market in Cleveland

Flower CSA at The Youth Farm in Brooklyn, NY

Flower CSA at The Youth Farm in Brooklyn, NY

Kale and Nasturtium harvest from Terra Firma Farm

Kale and Nasturtium harvest from Terra Firma Farm

CSA (weekly vegetable shares) at Terra Firma

CSA (weekly vegetable shares) at Terra Firma

 
 

Growing up

Since I can remember, I loved food, people and storytelling. I grew up wanting to be a famous chef, a grocery cashier and a waitress. I fulfilled two of those three dreams, I'll let you guess which ones. Over the last decade I have dedicated both my professional and personal life to learning about agriculture systems and have been a part of every step of the farm to table movement. I have planted and seen seeds grow to bear fruit, harvested, delivered, cooked and served it to the community, all in one season. 

Experience

Photo Credit: Shannon Lai  Flower CSA at The Youth Farm in Brooklyn, NY

Photo Credit: Shannon Lai

Flower CSA at The Youth Farm in Brooklyn, NY

I have always equally been fascinated with being an entrepreneur. As I've learned its far more difficult than I had ever imagined, but 100% worth it. In 2015 I moved to Brooklyn, NY and decided to take my life long gardening passion to the next level and learn how to farm on a small scale. I apprenticed at a 1-acre urban farm, The Youth Farm, hands on experience all through the lens of creating a more equitable food system.

If I learned anything from my experiences farming in an urban space, its that farming is nothing without the support of your community. Its essential that what you produce is for the community, by the community that you’re in. With that in mind, I decided it was time to go home, to Cleveland. Once back, I quickly got involved with the surrounding farming community, including managing a small vegetable farm and working for Spice Acres. Shortly after my season at Spice Acres, I accepted a job at Squire Valleevue, CWRU’s farm in Hunting Valley. There I manage the greenhouse as well as assist our team in vegetable production for the CWRU dining hill and local restaurants.

Food for the soul

Once I decided to take the opportunity of land my family had passed on to me, I learned very quickly how powerful flowers are. They too have stories, like the nutrient dense veggies that I love. Similarly to my journey through food, my curiosity for floriculture has lead me to discover the unfortunate realities that permeate all agriculture systems.  Many cut flowers are also grown and processed in incredibly harmful ways, on a mass industrial scale just like our produce and livestock. With a shocking amount of waste in the floral industry, as it is in food retail spaces,  it is clear that we have a long way to go in bringing about more regenerative practices to all aspects of this trade.  My current mission, to bring the joy and beauty of locally grown flowers while supporting a regenerative system.