The first tomato I grew changed my world. It was red, and when I tasted it, it just blew
my mind. I’d never tasted anything so incredible. And it gave me the bug.” She moved
fully into farming two decades later, after attending a six-month program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems. “They
teach you how to grow on a farm, to grow a community garden, and to grow in an
orchard,” she says.
“Working in community gardens, the plots are small — and I remember for the first time
being able to work on a farm of nine acres, and that was scary. I said to myself, ‘Karen,
either you’re going to get on a plane and go home — or if you’re going to go on this
journey, you’re going to face your fears.’ So, I put my knapsack down and I went to both
fields and I put both my hands into the soil, to find that connection. And right then and
there, I knew that I made the right decision.”
Right: Preparing the beds for spring plants in the Rise & Root Farm Greenhouse.
Above: Preparing the beds for spring plants in the Rise & Root Farm Greenhouse.