Boulder JCC Staff Spotlight from the Milk and Honey Farm

The Boulder JCC is proud to house the Milk and Honey Farm, a 2+ acre educational and sustainable farm that brings the community together for experiential programs and activities grounded in Jewish heritage, tradition, and values. The farm provides a place for individuals to connect on the simplest level with soil, plants, animals, and people. There is over 4,000 lbs of vegetables grown annually and donated to those in need in the local areas. In addition to the vegetation, the Milk and Honey Farm also houses chickens, goats, a geodesic dome greenhouse with koi fish, and an edible garden for children’s exploration.

The Milk and Honey Farm has amazing Farmers that not only tend to the farm, but program and host a variety of events and volunteering opportunities throughout the year. We caught up with Farmer Becca, Farm and Sustainability Director, to ask a couple of questions about the farm and herself.

  1. How did you become connected to the Boulder JCC?
    “I grew up in Boulder and used to attend Hebrew High School at the old JCC building on Kalmia. When I was looking for a place to settle down with my then fiance, we thought about all the things that we wanted out of life and realized that moving back to Boulder would be the perfect fit. In addition to being near family and the outdoors, we also knew that the Boulder JCC was about to break ground on a new building and there may be space for a Jewish community farm on the campus.”
  2. How long have you lived in Boulder?
    “I grew up here but went away to college. Moved back as an adult in 2014.”
  3. What do you love the most about farming/programming at the Boulder JCC?
    “I love that we get to connect people of all ages to plants, animals, soil, and each other.”
  4. How did you get into farming and sustainability?
    “I was always an environmentalist and studied engineering in college. I thought I wanted to be an environmental engineer until I spent a couple of seasons farming on the east coast at Jewish community farms (Adamah and Pearlstone). The rest is history.”
  5. How long have you been running the Boulder JCC Milk and Honey Farm?
    “Since its inception – started planning in 2014 and planted first fruit trees in 2016.”
  6. What has been your most rewarding experience(s) while running the Farm?
    “Last summer a group of camp kids came for their “farm time.” I recognized them as being preschool alum. Before their farm leader greeted them, they started harvesting and eating calendula and bachelor’s buttons – two edible flowers. They were telling all the other bunkmates and their counselors that they could eat these flowers. I was struck by two things: first of all, they had learned and internalized this knowledge about the flowers and their relationship to them. Second, they felt confident in their knowledge and in using the space as their own that they could lead the activity for others.”
  7. Are there any interesting certifications or achievements you have gained from your work in agriculture and sustainability?
    “I have a masters in agriculture, food, and the environment from Tufts. I have a certificate in ecological horticulture from UC Santa Cruz. Additionally, I was given an award last fall by Boulder County for Environmental Stewardship.”
  8. What is your favorite thing(s) to grow and harvest?
    “Tie between winter squash and flowers. Within flowers, Scabiosa and Sunflowers. Within winter squash, Candyroasters.
  9. Are there any fun facts about yourself? (Farm-related or not, up to you)
    “When the figs ripen in the Boulder JCC greenhouse, I like to eat them when they’re really soft, squishy, and almost fermenting. It’s the equivalent of liking a brown banana – which I also like.”
  10. Do you have any words of advice or inspiration when it comes to sustainability, the environment, farming/gardening?
    “One of my favorite quotes: ‘I wake up every morning determined to both change the world and have a [heckuva] good time. Sometimes that makes planning my day difficult’ from EB WHITE. I share this quote because I think that it really encompasses our dual goals at Milk and Honey Farm. We want to offer a space for joy and connection, while also inspiring people to take action to make the world a better place.”

Want to know more about the Boulder JCC Milk and Honey Farm or meet some of the amazing Famers? Checkout the Boulder JCC website to learn more. If you are interested in touring the farm, attend the Farm Tour on Thursday, August 31 from 5:30 – 6:30 PM. Please call the Boulder JCC at (303) 998-1900 if you’d like a tour of the farm outside of this scheduled Farm Tour event.

 

About Emily LeCleir

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