Naomi Neal, Kathryn Stresak, Dorian Gomberg, Ed Vlcek, and Brad Krautwurst are Shimer students participating in the Shimer Internship/Mentorship (SIM) Program. They regularly post updates about their internship experiences.
This post is from Kathryn Stresak, who is interning at Growing Power in Chicago, Illinois.
Hello again! Kathryn from Growing Power, here. It's been another week on the farm, and I'm finally getting into the swing of things. The other interns have all arrived and it's awesome to hear about all the different reasons for their respective interests in GP. Unfortunately though, I haven't gotten to talk with them much because we are all spread out through the city, hard at work on our farms. My permanent location is at the Grant Park farm, of which I posted about in my last post. I feel very lucky to get a location with so much artistic flair, as well as foot traffic. I will even be giving tours during the Taste of Chicago! Y'all should come to check out the farm if you can! It's located in between Michigan and Lakeshore on Congress Parkway. This week I have also started doing markets on the west side of Chicago in areas with a high need for fresh food. We will be doing markets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays with a different location each day. For these markets, Growing Power partners with Fresh Moves, a mobile produce store on a renovated bus!
Today I began the day at 5:30 to get trained at the Green City Market, one of Chicago's biggest farmers' markets. Then at 9:30 am, I headed back to our Iron St. headquarters to get more produce for the Westside Market, which was at Laramie and Hirsch. By noon we were on the road again to the Park & Rec center. I met up with my Youth Corp crew, an awesome group of teenagers who will be helping me out for the markets, and we set up camp. I left the market early, at 3:30, but we had already some great sales for the day. It was encouraging to see how many people were excited to buy fresh food and gave everyone encouragement.
I have an insane schedule, often covering miles and miles on bike to get to where I need to be. I bounce between being overwhelmed and overjoyed by the experience, often in the course of an hour. Tomorrow is GP Iron Street's One Year Anniversary party. When I look at everything they have built up in such a short amount of time I realize that it's all due to the crazy schedules we all have. It's a surreal experience to go from Shimer, where we put such emphasis on verbal dialogue, to Growing Power, where there is an equally strong emphasis on physical action. I realize, having been immersed in them both, how important both are needed for a healthy, strong community. Hopefully I will figure out how to strike a balance.