carrots

Brahms Lewis (Teacher, Anderson New Technology High School)

Brahms

1. What did you major in and when did you graduate from the UCD and what was your position at the Student Farm? 

I double majored in Anthropology and International Agricultural Development, and I graduated in 2017. When I worked on the farm, I worked in the Market Garden, and, for the last 2.5 years at the Student Farm, I worked as the Order Coordinator, organizing the orders from the Dining Commons on campus. I also oversaw the microgreens when I worked at the farm.

2. What are you doing now? 

I just finished my teaching credential at Humboldt State University and I am currently teaching high school science (Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, and Computer Science) up in the Redding area at Anderson New Technology High School

3. What kinds of lessons are you reflecting on now that you learned from the Student Farm?/ What did you take away from your Student Farm experience that you apply to your life today? 

One of the most tangible things I learned at the student farm was how to teach. My first experiences teaching were at the student farm, teaching interns how to do farm tasks, and teaching actual lessons in the Kids in the Garden program in the Ecological Garden. One of the life lessons I learned from the farm was to appreciate working on a project from start to finish. I remember how excited I was when I harvested a broccoli and realized that this was a broccoli plant that I had seeded, I had transplanted, I had irrigated, and now I had harvested. The farm helped me to develop an appreciation of participating in something from the beginning to the end. I also learned a lot at the farm about community. What makes a good community, what I wanted in a community, and how can I, an individual, contribute to a community to support it and make it better.

 4. How can we stay connected with you and what you’re working on? 

Well, if you want to see the sort of place I'm working at, my school's website is anths.org. I also am pretty active on social media at @trythefridge. Beyond that, people can feel free to email me at brahmslewis@gmail.com


Chelsea Duncan (Farmer, North Coast Natural Produce )

chelsea1. What did you major in and when did you graduate from the UCD and what was your position at the Student Farm? 

I majored in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (Track 1: Agriculture and Ecology) at UCD and I graduated in 2019. I transferred to UC Davis from Sierra College, so I only spent 2 years as a student at Davis. I started at the Student Farm as an intern and then eventually became a lead student farmer. During my last year at the Student Farm I managed the CSA, helping to coordinate harvest and subscriber communications. 

2. What are you doing now? 

In January of 2020 my husband and I moved to Humboldt County where I have started a small, diverse vegetable farm in Hydesville, CA. I am currently growing on only a quarter acre, but this has been more than enough space for me to manage alone. I have a 20 member CSA, sell a small amount to a couple local restaurants, and attend one small weekly Farmer’s Market. 

3. What kinds of lessons are you reflecting on now that you learned from the Student Farm?/ What did you take away from your Student Farm experience that you apply to your life today? 

Most, if not all, of my practical farming experience came from the Student Farm, and it is what ultimately made me realize how much I love farming and led me to try to make a go of it on my own. My time and experience there gave me enough confidence to start. Aside from the practical day-in, day-out tasks of planting, harvesting, washing, weeding, row cover, csa logistics, etc., the Student Farm taught me to view my mistakes as an opportunity and to learn from them rather than to get discouraged (although, trust me, sometimes I do feel discouraged). I have made many mistakes, and run into more pests and other challenges than I could have imagined (and I imagined there would be a lot!). Don’t get me wrong, on some days, I definitely don’t have the most positive perspective when it comes to these challenges, but when I step back, I remember that these experiences do not amount to wasted time and effort, and that it is often through mistakes or things not going as planned, that we learn and grow the most.

Perhaps the most valuable thing that I gained through my time at the Student Farm is connections with people. I met and formed relationships with wonderful, knowledgeable people and whenever I have a question, need advice, or just need to talk (or cry) it out, I always have someone in mind to call. It seems to me that becoming a skilled and successful farmer is about being observant for a long enough time to have encountered and solved countless pests, pathogens, and problems to the point that you have formed an arsenal of management tactics. There are many folks at the Student Farm who have done just that, and are willing to generously share their lessons learned. For this I am most grateful and blessed. It is my goal to keep at this for long enough and to observe well enough to someday be the same kind of resource for new farmers like myself. 

 4. How can we stay connected with you and what you’re working on? 

I have a website: www.northcoastnaturalproduce.com 

The best way to see what I’m working on more regularly is through instagram or facebook: 

@ncnproduce 

facebook.com/ncnproduce

 

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