Hi all! My name is Emily Mann and I’m a graduate student at IU South Bend studying sustainability. Through my program, I’ve been given the opportunity to intern at Bertrand for the fall semester and part of the duties I’m taking on is bringing back the blog! I’m very excited to share some of what I’m learning in my time here with all of you.
A little bit about me: I graduated from IUSB’s Physics department in 2015. From there, I took some time off to work and figure out what my next step would be. I found out about the Sustainability program through some friends in the community and quickly discovered it was a perfect fit for my interests. Studying physics gave me an incredibly large view of the universe and how it operates on the most basic levels. While I truly enjoyed learning about the mechanisms that rule the universe, I was always left wondering how so much research is being done to make these large scale discoveries while our planet is on its way to catastrophe.
I’ve always been interested in food. Eating it, cooking it, learning about it. I’ve been an avid supporter of local growing, been involved in community gardens, and made local food the majority of my diet. Farming is something that began to really catch my attention. After learning about sustainability and joining the program, I have seen what a big difference I can make in my community–satisfying that desire to work on a small scale and make a big impact.
This brings us to where I am now; Bertrand Farm! After hearing about what they do at the farm and how much outreach they do, I knew it was the right place for me. Public outreach is a huge passion of mine that I’ve carried throughout my life. In my undergrad, I did a lot of public talks and demonstrations to bring physics to the public. I still work for the observatory on campus that’s sponsored by the physics department. When the observatory was opened, it was mostly used by students and professors, which deeply upset me! I am currently working as the program director–putting on events for the public that allows them to get involved with the department and learn about the universe. It’s incredibly fulfilling, and I’m gaining some of the same fulfillment at Bertrand. I appreciate that they not only farm in a sustainable way, but actively educate the surrounding community about their practices.
During these weeks at Bertrand, I have learned many applicable skills, met interesting, like-minded people, and been able to do a lot of reflection on my community, its needs, and how to meet those needs. I look forward to recording my experiences on this blog and continuing to grow as a farmer, as a member of this community, and as a sustainable person.