These opportunities allowed me to facilitate relationships with plants in order to address food security, mental health, historical understanding, and increase the appreciation of plants.
Toronto Hindu Temple
Working with Dr. Shannon Novak (Professor of Anthropology, Syracuse University) supporting research with an Indo-Guyanese immigrant community in Toronto, Canada, utilizing my experience as an ethnobotanist and a photographer.
Food & Refugees
I managed the Baltimore, MD branch of the New Roots Program with the International Rescue Committee which addresses problems found in refugee populations in 14 locations across the United States.
In addition to community gardens, New Roots also spearheads farmers market partnership programs, mental health programming, nutritional education, backyard gardening support, general health education, garden training, and community engagement.
One of my favorite experiences was working for a California-based high-end Chinese tea import and distribution company. In this position, I spent ten-day in Fujian, China meeting with tea producers.
Although brief, this position allowed me to see the vast ways people interact with a single plant. An everyday aspect of the job was sitting with clients, brewing tea that could be vastly changed by: harvest time, harvest location, plant age, processing method, age, etc., to find the one combination that the client enjoyed most.