HUERFANO—After a very successful 2013 growing season, Wahatoya Community Initiatives (WCI) is up and running for the 2014 farming season. WCI is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and strengthening a flourishing, vibrant community in the Wahatoya region. The emphasis is on education to raise awareness and to encourage action and participation to create a rich, interconnected, vibrant local community. WCI supports the development of a thriving local economy, based on locally sourced food, goods, and services. This year, 10 interns from throughout the U.S. joined the WCI “Farm to Table” Education Program—an experiential, hands-on learning program that covers all aspects of a local food system. The interns will explore innovative practices in market farming and bio-intensive farm production, community service and activism, permaculture principles and design, and preparing and preserving seasonal local food. Here are some goals the
interns have outlined for themselves: • Philomena Polizzi from West Palm Beach, Florida: “I am here to learn and to share and to be part of a project greater than myself.” • Matthew McCarthy from New Smyrna Beach, Florida: “I came to La Veta to encourage conscious change in lifestyle for myself and others by developing a connection to the land and its fruits.” • Matthew Castile from Medford, New Jersey: “My love for food is insurmountable, for it connects us with the most fundamental products of life.” • Alissa Weiss from Chicago, Illinois: “I came here to La Veta to learn from and be part of this wonderful community.” • Jake Hendrickson from Upper New York State: “I am here to learn and grow from a new community and a different point of view. My goal is to leave here having changed for the better and to leave the future in better hopes and circumstances.” • Mike Stjernholm was born and raised in Pueblo, Colorado: “After spending lots of time traveling and exploring, I am excited to be back in Southern Colorado to learn and contribute to the beautiful La Veta community.” • Stephanie Magoon grew up in East Tennessee: “I hope that by joining the Wahatoya Community Farm internship I can share the connection to food, the earth, and to a sense of community that I have found by working on the land as we work together to a beautiful present and future.” • Jon Brumbaugh hails from Long Island, New York and has spent considerable time in the Midwest and abroad: “After starting a career as a broadcast commercial producer, I have since gone independent and I am excited to tell the story of the Wahatoya Community Farm through film, photography, and special event planning.” • Alexandra Bujanow from Saranac Lake, New York: “I am a former biological researcher for Lyme Disease and am here to be surrounded by possibility; to learn how to be the change I want to see in the world. I hope to build an earthship at the close of the program and share my experience with the world.” • Jon Scheineson from Cincinnati, Ohio: “I have a background in engineering, cooking, and gardening and hope to cultivate community health.” For more information about the WCI, please go to www.wahatoya.org. In upcoming articles, The Passionate Gardener will announce WCI 2014 classes and initiatives.