I really enjoyed writing this article because of the interview Eleanor and I had outside on a bench in downtown Jonesborough.
Intern working to bring farmers to film
Published Aug. 5, 2014 in the Herald & Tribune
The Town of Jonesborough will be featured in a film highlighting farmers, thanks to the work of an intern who arrived in town in June.
Eleanor Goodrich, a Marion, Va., resident, arrived in Jonesborough at the end of June to work as a media intern volunteer until the end of August. Goodrich, a Volunteers in Service to America volunteer was hired by Appalachian Resource Conservation and Development for the summer position.
Goodrich and Veronica Limeberry, an AmeriCorps Vista member, are providing assistance for Jonesborough Locally Grown. Limeberry is a community development coordinator with the Appalachian Coal Country Team, which is in partnership with ARC&D and Jonesborough Locally Grown.
After graduating from William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., two years ago with a degree in social justice, media and environmental studies, the task of finding a job was difficult for Goodrich. She worked on her family farm in Marion for some time before she was hired by the nonprofit.Her family purchased the farm seven years ago and found themselves in the middle of a farming community. Their farm produces beef, lamb, pork, goat, veal, eggs and honey. They also have a garden that supplies produce and ginger to local markets.
“Local farmers know each other in the Appalachians,” she explained. “There’s a sense of helping each other out.”
Goodrich’s love of the farm only intensified her passion for helping other farmers.
“I can’t think of a way I can get more connected with the land,” she said.
Goodrich said when she is working to make food to feed the people in the mountains, it is one of the few things she can do with her time that is clearly good.
Her love of the farming community shines through her work with ARC&D.
Goodrich said the organization works with conserving the resources and the community, while building the economy locally. This summer, ARC&D’s focus is on local farming, food and the importance agriculture has for the economy.
“We are trying to connect farmers to resources, farmers to markets and locals to the markets,” she said.
The ultimate goal is getting the food from the farms to the locals to help with the demand. She said they are trying to encourage individuals to look for foods that are grown by their neighbors.
As a media intern, Goodrich is working on making a short film by documenting the work of farmers. She hopes to showcase six farms in the film, which includes the White’s Farm and Dusty Saylor’s farm, both of Jonesborough.
“It’s been really fun visiting the farms,” she said. “It helps remind me why I am doing this.”
Goodrich said the film will contain interviews of why they are farming. She said she has found that most farmers are passionate about selling locally. The film will also track what the farmers are doing and how the community can support them.
In Jonesborough, the community supports its farmers through the Saturday farmers market and soon to be store, Boone Street Market.
She said the farmers market provides a place to allow farmers to stay in the area and have income.
“It’s a real way to connect and build on our community and keep the tradition our grandparents started,” she said. “You are forming bonds with your neighbors that we haven’t had for a while. It’s a return to our traditions and back to our roots.”
After arriving in Jonesborough, Goodrich said she was very impressed to find a market that thrives in a small town, especially since it runs on volunteer efforts and focuses on local growers.
“It’s wonderful to be a part of that and work for them,” she said of the market. “They have such great visions for the farm store and I think it’s going to be wonderful.”
Goodrich said she hopes the film will tell everyone what is going on in the town of Jonesborough because there is so much good happening.
Although a film screening will be shown at the end of August, the location is yet to be determined. Goodrich said the film will be included on the website, http://www.arcd.org.
In addition to the film, Goodrich and Limeberry are working on a series of resource flyers to help inform farmers of what resources are available to them. The flyers will include conferences and events, as well as organizations farmers can go to for such assistance as grants.
“A new farmer or a farmer that is not super involved in the community can tap into those resources,” Goodrich explained.
A quarterly newsletter is also in the process of being put together by the two women, which is expected to launch at the end of August.
Those interested in receiving that newsletter can email firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on the mailing list.