“Long before I knew the multiplication table, I was a wild child. I was the unruly kid in school that always got in trouble. My first memory of this was in kindergarten. Everyday after lunch, I used to sneak out of class to the school garden to help Ms. Kay, the garden caretaker. I quickly realized that being outside eating tomatoes, playing with snapdragons, and chasing Swallowtail butterflies was far more exciting than using number tablets in the classroom. Besides taking pleasure in the fact that all my teachers loathed having to come find me each afternoon, I was utterly mystified by what I learned in that garden: to care for life that wasn’t human.
As I grew older, surfing the waves of Northern California and breaking into abandoned buildings became my primary concern. I was privileged enough, at the time, to not have to worry about where my food was coming from or to whom I should be thanking for growing and nurturing that food. It wasn’t until I moved to the Pacific Northwest to attend the University of Washington that I was introduced to problematic food system our country had adopted and let spoil our planet– the nitrogen farm runoff that kills entire marine ecosystems overnight, the unjust distribution of fresh produce that cripples the less fortunate, or the farm subsidies that promote corn production for cattle rather than the cultivation of vegetables for people.
Being a part of Good Cheer and working at the community garden brings me back to the days when I was a kindergartener, realizing that there is more to care for in this world than myself. This internship is a way for me to become a more heedful person and to acquire the skills I need in order to look after the earth, to help people overlooked by our food system, and to be a part of a solution to relieving the plight of reckless agriculture. I am grateful to be a part of this community and to have the opportunity to learn from such grounded, experienced people.”