"It's like every carrot is an educational tool, every tomato is a shared excitement. Everyone gets hopeful in the spring for the peas to come up... I love sharing that feeling with people." Says Krista Colleague Ingrid Hannan ('09), who is on a mission is to "revive and cultivate a sense of intimately knowing what we're eating." She credits Krista Foundation ideas with influencing her approach to her work: "Staying for Tea" has become ingrained in how I see service, how I approach a conversation with a community member, how I think about the goals and mission of growing vegetables. The way I see it, there are major problems with food production and distribution in the world. And I am more empowered thinking about fixing it—as Aaron says in the article—'at eye level.' Instead of coming into the scene with all these grandiose solutions and changes, I feel like a member of the community working for and with everyone." Whether growing vegetables, selling at farmers' markets, or building relationships with community members Ingrid brings valuable insights to her daily work.
Last season, Ingrid spent long and busy days working for Cure Organic Farm, a business-minded production farm that sells to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, farmers' markets, and restaurants. This season, Ingrid works for Lykins Gulch Community Garden, whose primary function is not production, but rather creating a beautiful space with very well-tended and healthy vegetables. She has found excitement adapting to working close to nature: "The exciting thing about having a job to grow vegetables is that every day is different. There are so many factors out of your control, so most of the job is about working with and alongside nature. It's incredibly surprising how important things like rainy days and temperature become."
Providing vegetables to people and talking with them about them is a joy for Ingrid, yet an even deeper joy is in reconnecting the local community with where their food comes from. "I am becoming increasingly passionate about steering our food choices away from impersonal, unhealthy, corporate-minded food and towards the community-minded, natural and healthy beautiful food." Her conviction is evident as she says, "Support farmer's markets! Eat local! Eat seasonally! And best of all, grow your own."
Meanwhile, living on the farm and close to the land has taught her valuable life lessons. "I've learned so much about balancing work and rest; about how to integrate myself into a role of serving the community; about what good growing practices are, and..." she laughs, "about how to cook kale when there is a mountain of it growing!"
She appreciates her connection to the Krista Foundation: "Every KF event is a really cool moment in which I feel beyond supported, it's where I know other Colleagues feel the excitement and importance of social food equality...and promoting good health for all."
Even without a clear sense of the future, Ingrid is committed to integrate her service to the earth "as a way of life." "Guaranteed-everywhere I go I will poke my nose into the local agricultural community; now that I am tapped into one, I feel it's vitality and joy. And I never really want to leave that again."
Ingrid's gardening blog is a must read: joylikecucumbers.wordpress.com
See a few photos on Ingrid's KF page.