I had a rough idea of what my internship with Seacoast Eat Local was going to look like when I began working with them at the start of this summer. Working at the Saturday Portsmouth Farmer’s Markets, posting weekly on the blog, and attending a few meetings with Jill and Shelly. What I did not realize, however, is that I was becoming part of a community of strong and powerful women who are running a successful nonprofit. In nearly every encounter that I had with them, they had an unending list of tasks to accomplish, always managing to communicate them effectively and keeping organized amidst all of the craziness. This, I am beginning to learn, is the art of running a small nonprofit.
When in this type of work, it is important to find people that you trust and can rely on, potentially for years to come. I experienced this firsthand by meeting many of the past interns, who now either work for Seacoast Eat Local, help out occasionally, or happily come and visit our booth at the market. In this number is my dear friend Caitlin, who put up with me for seven hours every Saturday in Portsmouth. I will miss that time with you dearly!! That being said, I am very happy to part of the SEL family, and will continue to support them in any way that I can.
Another truly amazing experience for me personally throughout this internship was developing connections with many of the local farmers in the area. These people were kind enough to welcome me into their farms, and spend an hour (or more) chatting with me about their lives and their careers. I have learned so much from them about farming, the local food system, and the type of character and grit it takes to succeed in such a difficult (but rewarding) career. Thank you to Anna, Andre, Lis, and Josh for your time and stories! I wish that I had more time to do this with all of the local farms in the area.
Seacoast Eat Local has transformed me into a local foods activist and avid local farm supporter. I will seek and support this community wherever I land in my travels. Next stop, studying abroad in Ecuador! Thanks again to Jill and Shelly for welcoming me into their world for a summer. I will never forget it!