Growing up in South Florida, I was constantly surrounded by citrus groves and various species of tasty backyard mangoes, but “Farming” was never really a part of my life. However, that all changed when I was lucky enough to be introduced to some of the people growing our food.
Once a week, “the Lettuce Lady” from Swank Farms in Loxahatchee came to my house to deliver a plethora of fresh leafy greens along with some seasonal vegetables. This opportunity lead me to learn about edible flowers and the astonishingly tasty and beautiful multitude of colors carrots, turnips, tomatoes, and other veggies could come in.
The summer after eighth grade I ended up working at the Woolbright Farmers Market. I began to learn what it meant to be “organic” and just how far some produce traveled simply to sit on my plate. After high school, I found myself WWOOFing on a vineyard in Spain where I learned about the manual labor, dedication, and the blend of emotions associated with farming (especially on organic farms).
A few months later I was off to College in Charleston, South Carolina to study urban planning and environmental science. Coincidentally, these things go hand-in-hand with urban agriculture, and I became obsessed with the College’s Student Learning Garden and the farmers who ran it. Farming never seemed like a serious viable career path for me, but it was always finding its way back into my life. It wasn’t really until I moved to New York City and found Square Roots that I discovered the chance to farm in a city, bring people closer to their food, and learn about the incredible opportunities we all have to change our food system.