Know Your Local Farmer | Gianna Costa

Square Roots | 08.14.19

Our Next-Gen Farmers operate next-level technology, grow delicious food, and do it all in the middle of cities. We think that’s pretty cool. So every few weeks we spotlight their perspectives on food, farming, and how the industry is changing for the better. Go ahead, get to know your local farmer. →

Square Roots Next-Gen Farmer Gianna Costa

Has farming always been part of your life, and if not, what led you to this career.

The Next-Gen Farmer Training Program is my first farming experience, but I have always been an avid gardener and believer in the power of food to bring people together. Growing up, it was always a top priority for my family to eat local and organic food, and my mom rarely missed a home cooked meal. I sought out a career in controlled environment agriculture because I believe this industry will be a powerful helping hand to future food shortages. Hydroponics and other alternative farming methods offer a great opportunity for urban communities to feed the population while minimizing their urban footprint.

How has becoming a farmer impacted your point of view?

Becoming an indoor farmer I have sympathized with our current food workers and how we as a society undervalue local farmers and the labor they put forth. Even as a consumer who cares, it is not always easy to support sustainable agriculture. Something triggered deeper within me when I became a “farmer.” Farming requires persistence, planning and a detailed eye to to grow nutritious food. Through this sense of understanding, I am able to feel compassion towards the struggles our ethical farming communities face today. After this experience, I hope to further advocate for farming communities through operations management, green infrastructure, and food safety.

When you look at what’s happening in food and farming world right now, who is inspiring you?

I have a fascination with how food and herbalism enhance our lives medicinally. How can we create modern preventative measures, using traditional techniques? Rosemary Gladstar has been a woman of inspiring courage and dedication towards the stewardship of our lands and our health. She has taken her traditional knowledge of gardening and botany and pursued a flourishing craft in herbalism. I had the chance to meet her at the annual New England Women’s Herbal Conference and experienced her humble guidance towards the well-being of earth, mind, and body. She continues to inspire me through her books and website, MountainRoseHerbs.com.

In 10 words or less, what are your hopes for a better food system?

I hope humans will forge a healthier relationship with nature.

Favorite local restaurant?

Five Leaves in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Go-to book?

Anything written by Jodi Picoult

Best thing to do in NYC on the weekend?

Go to a street fair, take a boat tour on the Hudson, eat at a rooftop, I could keep going...

You can follow along with Gianna Costa on Instagram @planthealthyways and learn more about our Next-Gen Farmer Training Program on the Square Roots website.

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