My name is Nick and I am so happy to be joining the Learning Garden. I was born in Cornish, New Hampshire, a little town on the border of Vermont. Growing up, I was surrounded by agriculture of all kinds. In addition to growing a large kitchen garden, we boarded a neighbor’s cows and helped him to harvest hay from the fields. Later in life, I spent time in Nova Scotia, Canada, and travelled through South America —Brazil, Bolivia and Peru— volunteering on organic farms through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). WWOOFing provided my first experience with organic farming and gave me a chance to work with some great crops that aren’t available here in the Northeast. In Bahia, Brazil we harvested and dried coffee, as well as planting banana trees. I came to appreciate the care and close attention to plants, animals and soil that growing organically requires of a farmer. After returning to the United States, I apprenticed at Last Resort Farm, a beautiful family-owned and operated organic farm tucked into the hills south of Burlington, Vermont. We grew a huge variety of vegetables, from garlic to potatoes, as well as many fruits like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Here I had the chance to follow crops from germination all the way to market. It was a lot of fun, a lot of work, and very tasty.
For the past couple of years I have been working as a gardener in Central Park, but I’m really excited to get back to agriculture. I have always loved the connections that farming forges between producers, the community, and the land. These relationships are incredibly important in urban settings where it’s harder to connect with farmers and with the food we eat. Through urban farming, I hope to help make food production more accessible to the community, from eating locally to making healthy choices. Working with school groups, in particular, provides a great chance for kids to learn about the natural world outside of the classroom, and to get their hands dirty. I hope to see you out in the Garden!