When the Field Course lists come out each semester, most White Mountain students eagerly look through the choices and select three that they would be excited to participate in. But for Julia Crocker ’18, Fall Field Course was the culmination of close to a year of work on her LASR (leadership, arts, service, research) project which was initiated by a lifetime of interest in nutrition and food justice. Julia chose Providence, RI as the location for the Field Course and she found abundant resources to help her address these important topics.
Julia began planning her Field Course in January and worked with faculty member Leah Boch throughout the spring, brainstorming ideas and then solidifying the logistics. As the Field Course approached in early October, Julia felt the expected mix of apprehension and excitement. These are topics she has always had an interest in, and while she loved having ownership of the planning process, she also felt a sense of pressure to present the information in a way that would be interesting and educational for her peers.
Throughout the week, the group visited a farmers’ market and an urban farm, put up flyers for a new food co-operative in a low-income neighborhood, met with the executive chef at RISD to discuss planning healthy meals for large groups and saw the inner workings of a pack house which collects fresh produce from local farmers and distributes it to various locations around the city (RISD being one of them in a full circle moment). They also planned, shopped for and cooked their own healthy meals and many of the students on the trip had things like quinoa, kale and squash for the first time!
As the members of the group reflected on their experiences in a daily debrief, it was clear that Julia succeeded in her mission to bring greater awareness to the importance of healthy food being accessible to everyone. She appreciated everyone’s thoughtful responses and looks forward to sharing what they learned with the White Mountain community.