Thursday, June 24, 2010

Notes from a summer intern

I’m Isobel, the new intern here at Lettuce Link, who will be spending the summer working with the program and updating you blog readers on what exciting things we have going on. I am a college student in Pennsylvania, but I wanted to find an organization to work with at home in Seattle this summer and get involved in all the great things this city has to offer. I thought it would be difficult for me to find a way to pursue both my fields of study at once – sociology and environmental studies – and my love of all things food-related in any organization. Luckily, though, my mom forwarded me an email about Solid Ground on a whim, and poking around the website I found the Lettuce Link and Apple Corps programs and knew that it would be the perfect chance. Even more luckily, they were happy to take me on as an intern this summer.

In my first weeks at Lettuce Link, I have continued to be impressed by the program, the farm, and the staff here at Solid Ground. From the beginning I was struck by how much such a small group of passionate people can accomplish and how hard they work to make the Lettuce Link program as far reaching as possible. It is amazing how much they can do with a topic as seemingly simple as food. I’m also impressed with how well the staff members work together on projects and form the program collectively – the structure isn’t definitive, but it seems like the malleable programming is the most effective way to organize a farm-based program and I think I will be able to learn a lot from taking part in the collaboration.

I was lucky enough to start my internship at the end of the spring season, and it was great to get to jump in at the end and see the results of the kids program at Marra Farm. By the time I started, the kids had learned the difference between chard and kale (something I doubt many of my adult family members know), how to harvest peas, and why worms are worth saving from the road. Even when the kids refused to pay attention, it was often because they wanted to compare whose spinach leaves were biggest. The way the more engaged students talk about their plots of land and the food they grow is something I have seen missing from our understanding of food and the environment, and it’s exciting to see that issue being raised at such an early age. Third graders can be exhausting, but I’m very excited to get to take part in something I see as a very important lesson – I just wish I had gotten to play on a farm when I was that age!

PS: the bags of peas fresh off the vine aren’t bad as a perk, either…

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