VISTA Stories: APRIL 2010


Like Daughter, Like Mother

By Brooke Saias, Food Justice Coordinator at Hazon

A lot of the work I have been doing for my AmeriCorps VISTA placement with Hazon is involvement with Hazon’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program. There are more than 40 Hazon CSA’s throughout the country, out of those, I am responsible for supporting the 8 New York CSA’s. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job has been helping to start up 3 new ones here in New York, one of which was started by my very own Mother.

Over the past couple of years my parents have tolerated my endless blabbing about food justice and my “back to the land” mentality. Initially, they found it amusing, even calling me “Farmer Brooke”. As time went on, I think they began to realize how serious and passionate I truly was about changing our food system. I saw my mom starting to become more intrigued with the information I was throwing at her and consequently, shopping at the farmer’s market became her routine every Saturday. When she learned about the CSA program through Hazon, she immediately jumped on the chance to start one at the synagogue I grew up in.

On top of having a full time job and being a full time mom, setting up this CSA has taken a ton of work on her part, including investing time to come to the Hazon Food Conference in California.  Even when the project was on the brink of falling through, my mom continued to push for it without hesitation. I was blown away at the first CSA meeting as I listened to her defend sustainable agriculture as if she had been a part of this movement for years.

Both my parents have continued to strongly support me in the work I do which so deeply embodies my values. It’s a wonderful feeling to finally be able to share with my mom the same support and sense of community she has raised me with. I couldn’t be more proud of her.