Suddenly it’s September! Here in Appalachian Ohio, the end of August brings gorgeous cool evenings and mornings with warm days in between, music from a whole choir of singing insects, gold and purple wildflowers galore, and abundant garden produce.
Part of August’s whirlwind is also bidding farewell to our summer crew and welcoming our 2023-2024 crew! We’re incredibly grateful for the amazing AmeriCorps crew that was part of our team this summer – huge thank you to Oliver, Izzy, Mary, and Sarah for hauling tons of produce and sharing much joy. And we're also very excited to welcome Amy Fugikawa as our new Community Gardens Coordinator (part-time staff), Anthony Warner as our new Food Access Coordinator COMCorps member, and to welcome back Lucy Peloso for her second year of service with CFI as our COMCorps Garden Education Coordinator. We asked Amy, Anthony, and Lucy the following questions, and shared their responses below so you can learn a little more about these good people.
- What drew you to join the CFI team?
- What is one of your favorite food related memories?
- What is something you're looking forward to during the next year?
- If you were a fruit or vegetable, what fruit/veggie would you be?
- I was drawn to service at CFI because I wanted the opportunity to give back to the local communities that had always welcomed me during my time as a student in Southeast Ohio.
- One of my favorite food related memories is getting to taste the strawberries my dad and I would plant and harvest each summer when I was a child.
- I look forward to getting to know everyone I am going to get to meet throughout my year of service.
- If I were a fruit or vegetable, I would be an asparagus because, like me, asparagus is tall and thin
- I love the holistic approach CFI takes to addressing food justice, particularly the emphasis we have on community connections. I love how all our programs weave together. I also love the opportunities for gardening and garden education with kids!
- When I lived in Bethel, Alaska for a year of service there were so many opportunities to harvest and enjoy local and native Alaskan foods. I loved picking berries on the tundra with my friends and snacking on them as we picked buckets and buckets full. It was a very peaceful time. We then would freeze the berries to enjoy in the winter and use them in different treats to share with our neighbors. I still remember the smell of the tundra and taste of the bittersweet berries!
- I am looking forward to continuing to develop relationships with the community and particularly our partners at the schools with our school garden programs.
- I'd probably be a fruit, maybe a peach or cherry. I feel like those fruits are ones that are not the most basic or bold, however they are very sweet and always a delightful treat which I think that resonates with me. Peaches and cherries always make people smile and I hope to make people smile too :)
- Southside’s garden community has been my happy place for the past nine years. I am loving getting to know the Hope Drive, Eastside and Nelsonville gardening community, the CFI staff, interns, VISTAs and COMCorps members and all of the work they do!
- Sharing what I grow makes me happy. I also love being part of a community that shares a salmon dip seasoned with dill harvested from our gardens, pickles they made from cucumbers we sowed and harvested together, their favorite heirloom tomato and a new way they have discovered to enjoy carrot tops, green beans or a surplus of summer squash.
- Every year I look forward to harvesting volunteer arugula. This fall I am excited to collaborate with community gardeners to construct cold frames and season extension hoops. CFI’s seed and plant start giveaway is a great way to welcome Spring!
- Any sort of root vegetable