Ari Baum-Homes '11

This summer I worked as a volunteer at Heifer International's learning center in Perryville, AR. I worked with a small crew, managing the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and Kitchen gardens. The CSA provided a basket-a-week delivery of fresh produce to over 100 Little Rock Residents, and the other gardens provided for local food pantries, senior centers and rehabilitation centers as well as the Ranch cafeteria.

The Ranch educates youth participants on ending hunger and poverty through small-scale sustainable agriculture (including gardening, livestock, agroforestry, aquaculture and beekeeping). While the Ranch provides both youth and adults with experiential programs about environmental responsibility, community development, sustainable agriculture and social justice, it also allows volunteers to gain practical experience in various aspects of these subjects. This summer, I was personally responsible for my food system from start to finish, and was able to feed my community and assist in feeding communities around me. A constant dialogue with participants, CSA shareholders and local residents helped educate about the importance of knowing where one's food comes from and how it came to be.