A simple conversation on bus between farm tours has sparked an Entrepreneurship Project network.
Liberty Hunter of the Salad Garden and Daniel Soetaert from the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture brainstormed on their way to a winery in California. Both were members of the second cohort. Hunter said she wanted to foster collaboration among the farmers. They brought others into the conversation and now take turns hosting monthly potlucks with farmers from all three Entrepreneurship Project cohorts, and other area farmers. In addition to sharing good food and camaraderie, members of the group have come together to help plan events, plant garlic, construct a high tunnel and process a pig.
Liz Graznak (cohort 2) of Happy Hollow Farm said each time the group gathers she’s reminded of a story her neighbor, a 71-year-old farmer, shared with her when she started farming. “He and his neighbors used to make molasses from sugarcane and they would do it together–moving from farm-to-farm till the work was done,” Graznak said. “When we get together we’re doing something that was commonplace long ago–neighbors helping one another.
It’s an opportunity for them to come together, tour farms, share ideas and network. “We wanted to get together and see a farm and have fun—nothing too formal,” Hunter said.
See their collaboration in action in this slideshow.