Not everyone can boast that they are from the asparagus capital of the world. Born and raised in Hadley, Massachusetts, I am lucky enough to declare myself a proud citizen of this beautiful and delicious kingdom. My summers as a young’un in Hadley were spent at the farm stand, distributing local produce from family farms to chatty townspeople who were just as excited about today’s strawberries as I was. These experiences gave me a closer look into the community that surrounded me – one of farmers and supporters. It is these attitudes and ethics that I’m happy to bring with me through the rest of my life’s work and passions.
With a supportive community came a world of opportunity as I grew up. My time in high school was spent primarily on music: listening to it, learning new instruments, teaching the youth of the town, performing with my friends and neighbors in our local Kinks tribute band, and exploring the greats through an array of musical outlets. My listening perusal included a range of jazz ensembles and soloists, classical masters, indie rockers, folk legends, and the all encompassing live acts in the music scene of Northampton, a short drive away from my home in rural Hadley. This fascination with music is what led me to pursue a more formal education in music industry, which happened to be offered at the experiential learning behemoth that is Northeastern University.
I’ve already had great experiences at Northeastern – I’ve been able to continue performing in the school’s ensembles, take lessons, complete an internship, study classical music in Austria last summer, and learn from some incredible professors in the wonderful College of Arts, Media, and Design. Of course, Northeastern has proven to be good to me by connecting me with Farm Aid for my first official co-op. One cannot imagine my excitement when presented with the offer to work for an organization that combines my interests and past, and fits in perfectly with my goals for the future.
Though they always took a back seat to music and school, food and cooking have always, and will always, be on my radar. Between serving and hosting at Judie’s Restaurant in Amherst (co-owned by my mother and home of popovers “the size of your head”), enjoying weekly “hummus feasts” with my sister and her boyfriend, and baking vegan dog treats with my hometown pal for the furry friends in our lives, food brings me nothing but joy.
And so comes my natural next step, a co-op at Farm Aid – the organization that for 30 years has sought to keep family farmers on their land – and my perfect fusion of hard-working non profit organization, benefit concert, and good food. I’m thrilled to be able to spend my next six months working with and learning from Farm Aid’s all-star staff, researching the world of agriculture, and sharing my thoughts and findings.