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New Crop of Farmers :: Jessica Liborio

Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
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Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
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Photo of a young farmer.
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The Food Project, Lynn, MA

Jessica has spent half her life working with The Food Project, a Massachusetts nonprofit whose mission is to connect urban youth with sustainable agriculture. Each year The Food Project produces a quarter million pounds of food for donation to shelters, farmers market sales, and CSA shares.

“Before spending a summer working at The Food Project, I thought farming was a weird thing for a teenager to do. But at age 15, I knew that I wanted to make new friends and help people. In 1994, I joined a group of 30 teenagers who planted, weeded, and harvested vegetables for sale at market and donation to food pantries. I began to love being outside all day, working while telling stories and laughing with all kinds of people, and producing fresh food. Over the next few years, I became a crew leader and served on the organization's first board of directors. I went on to study economics in college and do public health work until I missed farming in 2005.

“Now at 30 years old, I have managed urban land for The Food Project in Lynn and Boston, Mass. I still love working with groups of teenagers and adult volunteers to produce healthy food. I love doing such necessary work in our society: growing food using sustainable methods fills an essential need for people. It's great seeing how much food can be produced—we grow 20,000 pounds of produce for local residents on one acre of land in Lynn, MA. I can feel good about using urban land that would be otherwise unproductive to bring people together and grow vegetables, feed all kinds of folks, and build community.”

Learn more at www.TheFoodProject.org.


Anna Stern and Kim NochiAnna Stern and Kim Nochi interviewed the young farmers in this series for Food for Everyone, the spring 2009 issue of YES! Magazine. Anna and Kim are editorial interns at YES!

 

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