After almost 3 years spent building a program to grow and support farmers in Nevada County, Kalita Todd, Sierra Harvest’s Education Coordinator, is transitioning to focus on her work as a health practitioner. Kalita has worked as an organic farmer, educator, activist and change-maker for over 40 years. From the founding of EcoFarm and the Hoes Down Harvest Festival to starting one of the first school gardens in Nevada County, Kalita has made a deep and lasting impact on the good food movement.
When asked what her favorite crop to grow is, Kalita always responds, “Farmers!” While working with Sierra Harvest, Kalita created and implemented the Farm Crew program, recruiting beginning farmers and connecting them with jobs on mentor farms in Nevada County. She supported host farms and employees to have positive, productive relationships. With Kalita’s facilitation, Farm Crew members set and accomplished learning targets while working on host farms, making the most of their early experiences in agriculture.
An enormous component of the Farm Crew program is the Ag Skills course. Curated by Kalita, Ag Skills highlights innovative and successful farming practices in Nevada County and gives aspiring farmers a jump-start into agriculture. During Kalita’s tenure, over 100 beginning farmers attended Ag Skills classes, representing over 1000 hours of direct education.
A beginning farmer who participated in the Farm Crew program said this about her experience in the Farm Crew program:
“Joining Farm Crew has been a joyful and impactful chapter in my life where I was given the opportunity to dig deeper into sustainable agriculture, my local farming community and my personal relationship to the earth. I was given the information, tricks and tools to expand my knowledge base about market farming. My vision for what is possible has expanded! Now I have the skills, confidence and support to continue farming.”
In addition to her deep and lasting work in the organic food movement, Kalita is also a skilled and experienced healer. An ordained Priestess of Isis, Spiritual Counselor, Hypnotherapist, and practitioner of Alchemical Healing for 25 years, Kalita has great skill in opening the path into the magic, mystery, and practical contemporary uses of ancient healing arts. We look forward to celebrating and collaborating with Kalita as she focuses on this work.
Thank you Kalita, for all you have done to grow farmers in our community! We will miss your joyful and capable presence at Sierra Harvest.