J500 Media and the Environment

food: bringing us together by jessicasb
May 1, 2009, 11:23 am
Filed under: Food + Health, Society + Media | Tags: , , ,

Growing up in Kansas, farmland was always just down the road from my house and a regular sight driving on I-70. I always took for granted how much of the food I ate was grown on these farms and I never really understood what agriculture could teach me.

Drumm Farm is located in Independence, Mo.

Meeting with the farmers behind Drumm Farm, I realized that food is not just a personal way of life; it’s a communal way of life. Food is all about connecting with people. You go to a farmers’ market, pick up some fresh vegetables, get some flowers — but you also undoubtedly meet a farmer or two. And our work with KCCUA went one step further than visiting a farmers’ market. I heard their stories, saw the farmland they are so proud of, and understood their job just a little more — which including incorporating children in the process of growing and eating local food as much as possible. They taught me that children tasting a fresh carrot while they’re young helps them appreciate local food.

But finally, writing about a farm with such character showed to be a new lesson in writing for me. Oftentimes, writers can get straight to a point with a few facts and quotes. But when I reached my farm for my first visit, I knew immediately that the inverted pyramid format wasn’t going to work for this one. I would have to describe every sight with great detail and include every energetic quote in the podcast to give this farm justice.

Now, when I think about what’s for dinner, I’ll be able to envision the farms that grew my food, the faces behind that work… and how I need to make up for some lost time of local, fresh eating.

— Jessica Sain-Baird


4 Comments so far
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I agree that food is all about connecting with people. When I lived with my family we would reconnect everyday at dinner through long conversations. I would have never thought about connecting with the person who grew it until this class.

Comment by tylerw09

I too feel that this experience with urban farmers have helped me become a better writer. Food is such a sensory experience, one that isn’t merely stimulating for the eyes, but the nose and mouth as well. Trying to capture those feelings so that your audience will be encouraged to visit the farms themselves was challenging but so much fun.

Comment by janiec52

Same here, Tyler. One of the advantages of going on the KCCUA farm tour is to meet the people who grow your food and see how and where it’s grown.

Comment by jessicasb

I liked what you said about these visits making you look at a different way of writing…. inverted pyramid definitely didn’t work! It was kind of a pressured feeling trying to let other people know about how cool of an experience it was to see these farmers in action.

Comment by amandat09

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