Meet the New Faces of Sierra Harvest!

Clockwise: Rachel, Miriam, Jessica, Brianna. Welcome, ladies!
Clockwise: Rachel, Miriam, Jessica, Brianna. Welcome, ladies!

Four amazing women who are all passionate about food in different ways joined Sierra Harvest recently, and we want you to meet them!

Brianna Abundiz and Jessica Gimpel will be serving as interns at the Food Love Project farm this season, and Rachel Berry and Miriam Limov have taken the helm as engagement managers for Sierra Harvest’s communications and outreach.

Meet Fabulous Food Love Interns Brianna and Jessica

SH: Why did you want to be an intern at Sierra Harvest?

Jessica: My head is exploding with reasons. When I saw the Food Love Project internship I got really excited because I wanted to find a place to learn how to grow food where I could integrate education and working with kids with healthy eating. It brings all of my interests together.

Brianna: I am a mother of five and there is a garden cart in each of my kid’s schools so I was familiar with Sierra Harvest. When I saw the email about the internship it just called out to me. I thought: if I was a part of something like this it would be perfect, because I am already doing so much of this and I was looking for a farmer to teach me more.

SH: What were you doing before you came here?

Jessica: I was living on a permaculture/native foods farm in Tucson, Arizona, learning about natural building and rainwater harvesting through catchment and earthworks systems.
We also learned about harvesting and processing native foods like cactus fruit and bean trees, and teaching the community what we learned. Learning how to live off of 12 inches of rain a year is going to be really useful in this drought. I’m so grateful to be a part of this tight community where people value good food and supporting their local farmers.

Brianna: I moved up here thinking I was going to start a farm, and it was a lot harder than I thought it was. I have been volunteering at Scotten Elementary school and turning a dirt-filled swimming pool into a backyard garden, teaching myself how to grow food. I’m just really happy to have this opportunity.

SH: How will you use what you learn from this internship?

Brianna: I hope to have my own farm where I can do farm education and field trips. I want to give back to the healthy food movement and continue to educate children and inspire our future farmers, including my own kids!

Jessica: I also hope to teach people about nutrition and growing food. I would also like to combining gardening with social work – working the soil can be so therapeutic, especially for urban/city kids.

SH: Who is your hero and why?

Brianna: Cesar Chavez has influenced my belief in and support of small farms.

Jessica: I really admire Barbara Rose, the woman I worked for in Tucson – she has designed a property in the desert that is working towards being regenerative and giving back more than it is taking, restoring the disturbed parts of the property. She has been able to accomplish this within a very tight political system (zoning laws, etc.) and become a stellar role model in her community.

Meet Engagement Managers Miriam Limov and Rachel Berry!

SH: What is your role at Sierra Harvest?

Miriam: We are both engagement managers – we share the job of communications, public relations and marketing, which includes coordinating volunteers, and planning events like Soup Nights, farm potlucks and fundraisers. We also do outreach at booths. Our job is to engage and inspire the community to get involved in Sierra Harvest’s mission.

SH: How do you hope to get more families connected with local food through this work?

Rachel: We have a lot of great events planned for this year, including a summer potluck series at local farms. They are a great way to check out who is growing our food and meet other great people. We are planning to be present at more community events in order to meet new families. Miriam is looking for community volunteers to install gardens for people who want to grow their own food. We’ll also be promoting other ways for children to get involved, like Food Love Summer Camp!

SH: What were you doing before you came here?

Rachel: I am really happy to be reconnecting with the folks from SH because I was working with Living Lands Agrarian Network when it was just a few farmers meeting in a basement. I organized a membership program for them and got paid in food. The interest in that membership program showed us how much interest there is in our community to support local farmers and local food. I’ve always had an interest in promoting health – I’ve done that through Public Health and other organizations. This feels like a continuation of my work to empower people to improve their own health. I also have a lovely daughter who loves to garden.

Miriam: I was the River People manager at SYRCL for eight years, inspiring and motivating people to get behind having a healthy Yuba River Watershed. I’m very excited to be supporting another fantastic organization with the mission of food instead of water. I also own a cookie company called Rainbow’s End, and I have two daughters, two blind cats, and chickens that I slaughter myself.

SH: What is your favorite guilty food pleasure?

Rachel: Chocolate. Definitely dark chocolate.

Miriam: Being dairy and gluten free, I’m pretty boring. I can’t eat most guilty pleasures. Do smoothies count?