Sierra Harvest is so pleased to welcome two new farm educators at the Food Love Project Farm – Sara Lieber and Brianna Abundiz. Farm educators work part time throughout the growing season, sowing seeds, potting, amending/prepping beds, watering, harvesting, cover cropping, and educating children from the community through a hands-on learning experience about how to grow their own food, connect with their environment, and learn about the eco-system of a healthy farm.
We featured Brianna in a newsletter last year when she joined Sierra Harvest as a farm intern, building out Sierra Gardens, helping with field trips, and working at the farmer’s market. This year as a Farm Educator at Food Love, she gets the best job ever: raising baby chicks at her house and getting them ready to move to the farm. Brianna loves learning through teaching, and is thrilled to continue her work with Sierra Harvest: “It’s so great to be part of the community and be known as Farmer Brianna.”
We are also welcoming Sara Lieber to the organization as a farm educator. Sara told us: “I’ve been preparing my whole life for this position. It was my number one goal to get a job with Sierra Harvest.” She learned about our organization through a friend at Three Forks, where she works part-time. Her friend suggested that she volunteer for Sierra Harvest, and she jumped right into Tasting Week, teaching 2nd and 3rd graders how to prepare spaghetti squash. She went on to volunteer at Soup Night and help prep veggies for the Harvest of the Month program.
Sara did not grow up farming – she grew up “on the East Coast with grocery store food and fast food.” But everything changed after she moved to California and started reading books by Joel Salatin, Michael Pollan, and Barbara Kingsolver. (“Animal, Vegetable, Mineral was a huge inspiration.”) In her marketing job in Marin County Sara knew people who were working with kids outside every day and loved their job. She started volunteering for a plant nursery, and then a farm, and never looked back. After spending 5 years on a small biodynamic farm in Santa Cruz, taking horticulture classes, and teaching gardening and cooking classes on the weekend, she moved up here and discovered the impact that Sierra Harvest is having on the local food and farming community.
Sara is optimistic about the future of food in the U.S.: “There’s a lot of negativity focused on the fast and easy food culture, but I’ve seen a cultural shift in people’s minds and pocket books, and I’m really excited to be part of that shift. I see how Sierra Harvest is working with young people, who are affecting their parents and grandparents. I’m optimistic about the state of the local, organic food system and the return to our food roots.”
When she is not working at the Food Love Project Farm, Sara works at 3 Forks (in the back, prepping and cooking), tends her own garden, goes to see live music, hikes around our beautiful community, goes to the river with her dog, reads, makes new friends, and travels.