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My First Week in Philly

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Posted: June 6, 2016

This past week was my first week interning at the Penn State Center Engaging Philadelphia. Having a class in the spring and doing preparation for this internship, I was excited to say the least.

Our supervisors, Tommy and John have been very helpful in streamlining Karina and my project, putting us in contact with many people who are involved in urban agriculture. Our first day consisted of orientation, becoming familiar with our surroundings, meeting the other interns, and touring some of Philadelphia.

In terms of our project, Karina and I are attempting to investigate the business operations at urban farms and compile that research into a completed brochure by the end of summer.  To do so, Karina and I plan to work at these urban farms in order to get to know these farmers and then hopefully obtain a more personal interview.

Last week, we were fortunate enough to travel to two farms that were part of an organization called Teens 4 Good. Adam Lauer, a Penn State Alum, was running the operation.  Having a background in Agribusiness management, it was super beneficial to pick his brain about profits, business management, his successes and failures, and his point of view on the Philly urban agriculture movement.

Personally, I loved being on the farm and having hands on experience. Being able to fully emerge yourself in the farming process gives you a larger appreciation of where our food actually comes from. I thought our visit to the two Teens 4 Good farms were very cathartic in a way. 

As of now, this internship is not what I expected coming in but I'm really enjoying the work I've been doing. Having both an opportunity to go to these farms, talk to the farmers and community members, but also experiencing the working in an office makes me feel like I'm partaking in the best of both worlds for this internship. I hope to keep up this positive experience and to keep on learning about the urban agriculture infrastructure that exists in Philadelphia.