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The Real Dirt on On-Farm Educators: Josh

Here is the next installment in our ongoing series "The Real Dirt on On-Farm Educators." Our Duffy intern Lauren Strug from Beloit College is conducting interviews with members of our On-Farm Educator team so that you can get to know the people who make our On-Farm Initiative happen. Read on to meet Josh, one of  the newest members of our team.

How long have you worked at Angelic Organics?

I taught a home mushroom cultivation workshop March of last year, so one year this March.

What experiences inform your work at the Learning Center?

One of the most important things that really brought me into the work at the Learning Center was working in agriculture, for four seasons and on different farms (both CSA, rural farms and an urban farm), so that hands on agricultural experience definitely informs my work at the Learning Center. Something that carried through that but didn't show up until my work at Growing Power was during my college career I was very involved in education.  I did a lot of tutoring and working in non-traditional schools that were experiential-learning based. So those experiences have been combined through my work at the Learning Center.

What classes do you teach?

I taught the home mushroom cultivation class. Since then I've been teaching a variety of classes and overnight groups that want to learn about the farm and agriculture in general.

What is one interesting fact about you?

I always think of this story when I get asked that question: When i was in elementary school we had to draw on paper grocery bags what we wanted to be when we grew up. They said “I wanna be _____” and then we had to draw in the blank. So lots of the other boys’ responses were like fireman, astronaut, policemen, but on mine, I wrote that I wanted to be a mad scientist. That mad scientist ethos has carried with me today, in recombining my interests in growing and creating things.

What is your favorite thing to grow and/or eat? Favorite farm animal?

I love growing kale, mostly because its the easiest thing in this climate. You put the kale in the ground and then bam! you have kale. And I also love eating it! It’s very multi-functional. I’m gonna have to go with goats as my favorite animal. They’re just spunky, funny little things. They’re smart and quirky and personable. It’s funny how each goat has its own temperament and personality. There’s an intelligence there that you can interact with. I appreciate that.

What has been your most rewarding teaching experience at the farm?

You know, I think it’s hard for me to say just one. The thing that gets me at the farm is the joy of kids' faces when they’re at the farm and interacting with the animals: touching an egg for the first time and picking up a chicken. It’s an unexpected beautiful thing that they’ve discovered. Every time I go back and have a group, that is my favorite thing over and over again.



Want to meet Josh AND learn to grow mushrooms at home? Josh is reprising his role as the instructor of our Home-Scale Mushroom Cultivation class coming up on Saturday, March 21. Get more information and register here.