1) What did you dream of becoming when you were young and how do you spend your time now?
When I was in my early teens, I dreamed of being a professional dancer, today I have a Pilates and Gyrotonic movement practice, support a modern dance company, and support and subscribe to the Boston Ballet.
2) What organization and/or person do you admire and why?
I most admire the Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture. CUESA is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that does more for sustainable food systems than any other I know. They are dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system that is environmentally sound, humane, economically viable, and socially just. They operate four year-round markets, three at San Francisco’s Ferry Building and one at Oakland’s Jack London Square. The markets are critical to the economic survival of the 175 businesses that sell at the markets, attracting nearly 100,000 shoppers each week during peak season! CUESA activates its farmers markets as learning showcases. Their programs are woven into the fabric of the markets. Market to Table cooking demonstrations teach shoppers to cook with the local harvest. The Food Shed educational tent engages visitors in learning about larger food system issues, like pollinators and food labels. Panel discussions gather thought leaders from the community to discuss and debate important topics such as immigration and labor, technology and innovation in agriculture, and food policy. Seasonal celebrations at the farmers markets like the Harvest Festival, bring a piece of the farm to the city. CUESA’s farm tours bring eaters to explore farms and food businesses from the market community, directly connecting people with where their food comes from. Youth education programs are a priority for CUESA and they offer two free programs -- Foodwise Kids and Schoolyard to Market. CUESA also offers a market match program when a shopper who uses their food stamp dollars at the markets receives free tokens for the purchase of fruits and vegetables.
3) What is your favorite place in Maine and what do you enjoy doing there?
Having recently relocated from San Francisco to the East Coast, my time in Maine has been limited. Even so, I do have a favorite place – the Midcoast town of Belfast. With my passion for creating community and sustainable food systems, Belfast rates high on both counts. USA Today named Belfast as one of America’s culturally cool communities. Belfast reminds me of the small towns in Marin County California. I love the library, the Belfast Co-op (Maine’s oldest and largest co-op!), the farmers markets, and, of course, the beautiful coastline.