This project has beckoned me into nut butter production lines, guided me through the vast expanse of meat freezers and introduced me to the warmth of fresh cider on biting winter days. It’s welcomed me to corners of my community that would have otherwise gone undiscovered, and for that I’m forever grateful.
In the age of industrial agriculture, it is so refreshing to find small operations that have found unparalleled success. I’m hopeful for the future of these producers, and see capacity-building organizations like the Durham Co-Op becoming more common. Judging off my Fullsteam gallery, there certainly exists a strong demand for them among the conscientious consumer.
I had embarked on my independent study in the hopes of learning more about what goes into local, sustainable food. What I found is that, as harrowingly cliché as it is, the stories behind this food are just as important as its ingredients. The eight producers I got to know were guided by extremely pure and admirable motivations and their journeys made me appreciate the narratives that are weaved into each bite of food I take.
Moving forward, I vow to stay hungry for these stories and think deeper about my food and the incredible people who spend their lives crafting it.