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Digging up the juicy details of urban farming… week one.

I started a blog on my own that would be a place to both keep track of my internship and serve the company as another way to update clients and share information. This was my first post when I first started working with them in June. The blog can be found at

I’m currently a junior at Cornell, studying Agricultural Sciences, which has propelled me to embark on this blogging adventure to fill an internship requirement. I’m very excited to be spending my summer in the voluptuous city of Seattle, reading, drinking coffee, knitting, blogging, cooking, and gaining all kinds of urban agricultural enlightenment. My hope for this blog is for it to not only be an internship update provider, but also a cozy place to share insights, ideas, and excitement about urban farming and all that goes with it.

After visiting for three weeks, I found Seattle to be a place of immense passion, brewing tons of fresh ideas, and nearly bubbling over with proactivity. An agricultural enthusiast will never be bored in this city: with Pike Place Market as one of the main tourist attractions (I challenge you to name another city with a farmers market that attracts 10 million visitors each year and is open 7 days a week []), district farmers markets every weekend all year round, P-Patch community gardens scattered about, frequent work parties with organizations that adore volunteers, and tons of classes on a wide range of topics from planting to preserving, it’s difficult to miss out on the movement.

This all of course enticed me to buy another plane ticket about a week after returning home.

Volunteering during my visit helped me to network a bit and meet many enthusiastic community members. The one volunteer experience that helped me most was a trial day with the Seattle Urban Farm Company, a growing enterprise that builds and maintains edible landscapes in the backyards of Seattle residents. Throughout the season, the company grows whatever the clients’ hearts (or stomachs) desire about as close to home as you can get, making fresh produce literally a hop, skip, and maybe a jump away, depending on the size of the yard.

Backyard at "Moon Base"/SUFCo Headquarters

Backyard at “Moon Base”/SUFCo Headquarters

Flourishing crops to the left of the last picture Beds to the right of the last picture where flowers, garlic, onions, brassicas, squash, and more are flourishing

My trial day was spent maintaining some of these backyard farmyards with the lovely farmer Hilary, and some of the customers who wanted to take part. We also visited a rooftop garden on top of the Bastille restaurant in Ballard that the company installed and maintains as well. Now that I have returned, hungry for more urban ag action, I am interning with the Seattle Urban Farm Company for the rest of the summer. What better way to get to know the city and learn all the dirt on urban agriculture? Not to mention crop seasonality, business management and organization, social media, plant varieties, and much more….

So, here I am, starting a blog, ready to share a great summer with whoever cares to take part. The positive energy and excitement are aflowin’! Time to dig in.

Weeks 2 and 3

In the second week, the group continued to tour the different enterprises and obtain a complete picture from production of avocados, tomatoes, and onions to selling it. We went through the packaging, transportation, and marketing. ZZ2 produces 40% of the tomatoes in SA and its impressive production is due to a vertical integration. SA does not have farm subsidies which makes it a hard environment for the production of crops in a world filled with subsidies.
This third week has been the busiest. I have had interviews with six people surrounding the production of tomatoes of ZZ2. The nature of the interviews was to determine the level of adoption of Natuurboerdery practices on the farm and how those changes came to be.
Natuurboerdery Center's compost site
In the end I will prepare a presentation for ZZ2 that includes the history, the channels of communication, and observations I did during the project time.
IMG_0406Sickle bush
There has also being leisure time to enjoy this beautiful country. We visited a baobab said to be over 1000 years old and we moved to a game lodge where we see giraffes, zebras, buffalo, kudu, and other animals. I really recent not having a better camera with all the magnificent birds you can find here. Game lodge giraffes
Time is passing by fast and due to the weather stress of this year our internship had to be cut to four weeks.
Avocado production

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