Better Know a Farm Manager: Ad Walker, BK ’10
Today we present Ad, perhaps the most bearded of our farm managers and a member of Tangled Up in Blue, Yale’s folk a capella group. He’s also a passionate advocate of an equality of food awareness for all and how educational farms can help achieve that, as we see in his interview:
Ad Walker, Berkeley 2010, American Studies
What made you want to be a farm manager?
When I arrived as a freshman, the farm was one of the most welcoming places I found at Yale. I love the work and the chance to meet folks from New Haven.
What’s your favorite vegetable?
Changes every week. Right now, sweet potato holding strong. Just typing the name made my mouth water.
What’s your favorite dish to cook?
What fruit or veggie best typifies you?
I can’t answer that, but I have a birthmark that looks like a brussels sprout.
Describe a fun/hard/exceptional story from working at the Farm.
Nothing as exceptional as the volunteers who came to help with a November harvest while we were being blasted by freezing rain. They stayed all afternoon!
What’s your favorite food cause? Why?
They’re all so connected that it’s hard to look at them as single causes. Even as the concerns and language of food justice become more prevalent, I try to keep in mind a more general idea: The food we eat should be a conscious choice. People deserve the right to know what they are eating and to have a choice in what they eat. I hope that folks who visit the farm not only learn more about how food is grown, but also feel more empowered to make those choices themselves.
Tell us about other work you’ve done in the world of food and farming.
Since senior year of high school I’ve been working on a variety of educational farms, sometimes developing programs and sometimes in charge of the garden and animal care, and sometimes working maintenance. I took a year off from school after sophomore year to work a full season, from May to November, on a farm crew in Vermont, and then to spend some time WWOOFing in New Zealand in the Spring. I’m looking forward to farming with teens again this summer, and then hopefully getting the chance to work on a really production-focused farm in 2011.