Meet Lindsey Jo Smith, our newest member of the Certified Naturally Grown staff. Born and raised in South Texas, she comes to us with a huge interest in local food and sustainable farming. Here's an interview between our marketing specialist, Aly Miller, and Lindsey Jo.
AM: Tell us about your new role here at Certified Naturally Grown, and when you started working here.
LJ: I'm the Membership Services Coordinator, which means I am your point person for questions about the program requirements and how to get certified. I started working here in May, just about 2 months ago.
AM: Where are you from, and how did you land in Brooklyn, NY?
LJ: I grew up in a small town in South Texas. In college, I studied sustainable ("green") architecture at Texas A&M University, which definitely sparked my interest in sustainability. After graduating, I moved here 10 years ago for an internship in sustainable architecture.
I battled with my want to "fix" the world and how to reach a broader audience, so I decided to go to the root of sustainable issues, something that would reach everyone in their homes--their food! It seems like a small step, but it can have a much larger impact than trying to convince people to up-cycle their used flooring.
AM: How did you shift from architecture to working within the local food system?
LJ: Well, I grew up raising cattle and hogs and chickens, so we had a little homestead. I tried working in architecture and art, but my heart was still in food systems and sustainability. About a year ago, I moved to Austin to live and work on an organic farm. The program was called FarmerStarter through FarmShare Austin. It was a learning program where we did farm work and learned in a formal classroom setting. I decided there that I would not abandon my passion for sustainable agriculture again! When I returned to New York, I decided I would find my fit in an urban setting, where my skills and my heart lie.
AM: How did you hear about CNG?
LJ: I heard about CNG after I moved back from Texas. I started working with urban farms as an educator here in NYC, at Queens Farm and then with City Growers at Brooklyn Grange. I made connections with the urban farm community and heard about CNG through them.
AM: What do you like to do in your spare time?
LJ: I bake quite a bit. I also hang out with my dog a lot. I also enjoy reading up on sustainability and sustainable and urban agriculture!
AM: Are you growing anything right now?
LJ: I have a small community garden plot. I farm naturally--all of the seeds I purchase are organic, and all of my starters are organic. I pluck all of the bugs and slugs out by hand! It's a tiny little way for me to supplement my diet with local produce, and it's extremely therapeutic.