Emily Patt, bottom left, attends Oregon State University, where she studies Horticulture and Spanish.
A few years ago our Community Health Specialist, Jenny Peña participated in a study with USF faculty and students, in which it was discovered that food source instability is a problem in the Monteverde area. Emily works with Jenny to help develop a circular economy design, for greater food stability. She helps maintain the demonstration and kitchen gardens at the Institute and works with Julio Rojas, who is studying soils in the area when farmers in the area request help. They’ve been able to offer answers for “Why is the soil in one part of the farm more productive than another that is nearby, and what can I do about it?”
Has her time in Monteverde been an experience that matched her expectations? Here are her thoughts on what the program has meant to her.
“During my ten weeks at MVI, I am working on a variety of interesting projects, getting to work in community gardens, lead agriculture-based workshops for students in local elementary schools, and helping to implement a survey of producers in the area. This survey is being distributed with the hopes of gathering information that will lead to more produce being bought and sold locally within the region, an act that would help boost the local economy. This project has especially showed me practical ways of how to make our agriculture system as a whole more sustainable- from the seeds being planted in the ground to the food ending up on people’s plates. Overall my time here has been a joy, and I feel grateful to be a part of a community that is doing so much positive work for our environment and the people in this community.”
Rylee Rawson, bottom right, is from Oregon State University, where she studies Environmental Sciences and Geography. At the Monteverde Institute she works with Randy Chinchilla, our GIS specialist, learning how to use mapping to help with ecological restoration. Both Rylee and Emily Patt, below, assist with gathering soil information and Rylee uses the campus laboratory to analyze soil samples to help farmers improve their practices in an area with very difficult and varying soil conditions.