When we put out a call for volunteer writers earlier this year, Erika Lundahl was the first to respond. Since then she has written three great stories about our trainees before being hired as an intern at YES! Magazine. Erika - we're very proud of you and so thankful for the great job you did for us. Best wishes at YES!
This is a thank you letter more than anything else. Writing for Groundswell over the last many months I’ve gotten the opportunity to talk to local Ithaca farmers, visit budding farms, and learn about Ithaca’s exciting struggle towards a more sustainable farming community. It’s been a real treat to see the widespread support in this community for farm-to-table living, and to learn about the land I’ve been living and eating off of while I’ve lived in Ithaca. So it’s with mixed feelings that I’m writing this send off, in between packing bags and getting ready to move cross-country.
In two weeks, I’ll be in Bainbridge, Washington starting an editorial internship with YES! Magazine. There, I look forward to honing my writing and editing skills, while embedded in a different kind of activist community. I’m thrilled to continue spreading the stories of people and organizations like Groundswell that do the important work of problem-solving on the grassroots level.
As you probably know, Groundswell offers educational programming for the community on sustainable farming, farm business planning. They provide the resources – financial advice, grant opportunities, a community of mentors – necessary to empower people to start their own successful farming endeavors. What you didn’t know, is that through my time volunteering with them, I gained the resources and experience necessary to move forward into the next step of my writing and community-minded life.
I’m grateful for the time I’ve spent with this organization, and look forward to hearing about the many successful farms born out of Groundswell's incubator program and other workshops. After all, for years I’ve reaped benefits of their work unknowingly. My fridge, mid-July, is full of magnificent kohlrabi, kale and cucumbers from my CSA, and Saturday morning trips to the Farmers Market punctuate and distill the whole my experience of living in Ithaca. I know I am far from alone in this fact.
So I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you Groundswell. Thank you for all the work you do in this community, and thank you for giving me a place to grow.