Ask Eartha: How can locals join in the county’s sustainable food movement?
I am a CMC student and sustainable-food activist, I’d love to learn more about growing sustainable food. Can I get involved in some greenhouses and gardens around the county? – Hillary, Breckenridge
Thank you for your question this week Hillary. Growing sustainable food is a huge part of sustainability and hats off to you for wanting to do your part in the industry! Let’s start with some background on the benefits of local farming and gardening.
There is so much potential for our community to learn the story of food. The first step is acknowledging where your food currently comes from and the energy involved in growing, harvesting, transporting and landfilling. Bringing farms into communities helps cut down on energy and emissions involved in transportation and packaging, provides healthy food options, eliminates toxic pesticides and fertilizers, and helps circulate money back into the community. Not to mention, there is something very comforting about knowing exactly where your food came from.
Although the growing season is limited, we are fortunate here in Summit County to have the opportunities to grow our own food or purchase it from local farmers markets or from a community supported agricultural farm. If you are a student looking to get deeply involved in the behind-the-scenes operations of locally grown food, apply for one of the High Country Conservation Center’s Summit CSA internships. The Summit CSA is a partnership between local farmers and members of the community. The farmer agrees to provide high quality produce for 75 members, who in turn agree to support the farmer by purchasing a share for the entire growing season.
Community Supported Agriculture Internship
In HC3’s case, CSA also stands for “Cultivating Students of Agriculture” because the program involves students in the management of the farm. Students will gain experience as farmers, volunteer managers and entrepreneurs through a sustainable-food operation that directly benefits our community. You will also help coordinate all garden and food-related projects including greenhouse production, produce sales, marketing and outreach. Interns will be able to get their hands dirty sowing seeds, irrigating, weeding, composting and harvesting.
In addition to working in the greenhouses, students will be engaged in programs focusing on environmental education and nonprofit job training. The goal for this program is to inspire students to start careers in the healthy food and sustainability movement. Not to mention, it is an excellent stepping stone for graduate applications and resumes!
Students will also get to dive into their individual skills and interests by completing an in-depth project of their choice such as nutrition and recipes, soil fertility and garden longevity. Sharing your creative knowledge is a great way to help organizations grow and advance.
Through this internship you will have the opportunity to make a direct positive impact in our community while also gaining experience and skills in sustainable food. To learn more and apply, visit HighCountryConservation.org/summit-csa or call 970-668-5703. Now you can help cultivate a sustainable community.
Ask Eartha Steward is written by the staff at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation. Submit questions to Eartha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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