Summer is a perfect time to get a taste of locavore life, whether it is for personal enjoyment or career exploration. Deborah Denome, director of Seeking Common Ground, Inc. in New York, and Flannery Cerbin, fellow with the FoodCorps in Montana, share their thoughts on growing, promoting and providing local, whole foods.
Q: How did your passion turn into a career?
Denome: My four friends and I met for a year to figure out how to transfer our business education and skills to growing and promoting whole food. The end result was our educational nonprofit, SCG.
Cerbin: I thought critically, asked questions and made sure to always eat a hearty breakfast!
Q: As an expert foodie, where do you think people should go to find the tastiest whole foods that summer has to offer?
Denome: Farmers markets are lively, fun places to find delectable, juicy, healthy, whole foods.
Cerbin: The most local place to find fresh, whole foods in summer would be your own backyard or windowsill. It’s extremely rewarding to taste the fruits of your labor.
Q: What types of internships and volunteer opportunities are available in the summer months for those who want to do more than just EAT local food?
Denome: SCG welcomes internship or volunteer requests and we work to determine projects that are mutually interesting and beneficial. Many farms, CSAs and organizations like NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association) also offer opportunities.
Cerbin: If you like to get your hands dirty, many K-12 schools and colleges have student-led gardens. If you like to teach, consider local public health offices, hospitals or schools to teach about where food comes from.
Q: Any parting advice to those who share your passion?
Denome: Interest in local foods, supporting our local economy and natural health and wellness are all growing exponentially. Start small and let things grow “organically!”
Cerbin: Nourish yourself with fresh foods to be the ultimate role model. Don’t be limited by conventional thinking; we need critical thinkers to solve today’s problems.
Alyvia Burkey is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) who holds a MS in Health Promotion Management from American University (american.edu)