2017 UMass Amherst Permaculture Summer Garden Crew member Lizzy Keery on her experiences working in the gardens:
When I started applying for summer jobs I knew I wanted to do something different. The previous summer I’d scored a competitive internship at a public relations company. While I learned a lot that summer, and still consider that internship an invaluable experience, the biggest thing I learned was that I wanted to do work that mattered in a different way than public relations matters. I didn’t want to spend another summer in an office helping big companies sell products to people who didn’t need them. I wanted to have a direct impact on the community I was a part of.
It connects the people who eat at the dining halls to the earth and the crew in the garden to the staff at the dining commons. Working in the permaculture garden has made me understand the importance of knowing where our food comes from, how it is being produced, and made me passionate about engaging with my local community.
I believe that change starts with small, personal action. The permaculture gardens only makes up a fraction of the food supply at the UMass. But even small scale initiatives like this can make big change. I know that after experiencing the beauty, simplicity and satisfaction that comes with working in the garden, I think about food on my plate differently. If we can change people’s relationships with their food, we can make a large-scale difference in our community.
UMass Permaculture Crew Member Summer 2017
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