The 168th recipient is Irmgard Aidoo @Sadie_Sankofa of AnB Farm in Foster, RI. Irmgard writes, “I love watching things grow and being part of their existence. Of course, it is watching by providing the best possible conditions for it to flourish. It can be raising poultry, small ruminants or growing herbs or vegetables. I also value knowing where my food comes from, and share the produce with friends and family. No organic salad mix from a store tastes as good as the one you make with the freshly hand-picked lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and herbs.
When I didn't have a space to garden around my residence, I signed up for community gardens. When I built my garden beds for the first time in my backyard, I learned from the missteps I took. When I moved to a house with a bigger backyard, we built multiple raised garden beds with cinder blocks. Now that we moved to a house in a more rural area with a lot more land, we are working on raised garden beds using the Hugelkultur techniques. Since this is a task too much for two adults with other full -time jobs, we are initiating a community food share project to get some helping hands with all these sustainable ways of vegetable farming and animal husbandry. Not everybody has time and space to be farmers, so this is perfect for someone who can volunteer for a couple of hours and go home with fresh eggs and a bag full of seasonally grown fresh vegetables. Snuggling with baby animals would be the mental health component of this experience.
Gardening and raising animals are therapeutic and mindful activities on their own, but bringing people who don't mind getting their hands dirty together is the most enjoyable part of my farming experience. Why exchange money when you can barter with food, animals and time?”