Hi to all the Farm at St. Joe’s blog readers!
My name is Brooke and I am the new dietetic intern working with the farm for the next two weeks. I am from a tiny little farming town in Michigan near the thumb. No, I did not grow up on a farm; however I lived near many, many horse farms. My parents have always had a garden to grow our own cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, and occasionally watermelon; but I never stopped to talk to them about HOW they did it. All I remember is planting the seeds, watering the garden, and viola here’s some food you can eat! And oh, how it tastes so good! Some years we would have an over abundance of zucchini, so we would gift zucchini left and right to our friends, family, and people we meet. It never occurred to me that there is much more that goes into producing and growing your own food. So here I am now, a dietetic intern who is, like all interns, interested in nutrition and food, but also interested in how to educate others so that they will be able to grow their own healthy food.
I first set foot onto the Farm at St. Joe’s on a cool September morning. I took a breath and looked around. I saw the three hoop houses, the trailer, the equipment, the fields. With a breath of fresh air, I took everything in. I was going to be here for the next two weeks and I knew that I was going to have an experience unlike any other. Farmer Dan took me around, orienting me to everything on site–the accessible hoop house with the raised beds and the wheelchair accessible aisles; the rows of tomatoes, peppers, kale, and carrots; the composting pile; the beehives… As we walked around, we chatted about different farming things, some of which I had to look up later to fully understand (like a tomato blight map). He told me about the idea behind the accessible hoop house and how it is meant for a type of recreational therapy and that there is a Farmer’s Market inside St. Joe’s main hospital.
And let me just say this: I am completely awestruck!!