The Christian Science Monitor

How a gardener makes sure everyone can have fresh food

Wasatch Community Gardens, led by Ashley Patterson, interacts with some 10,000 individuals and families each year. Source: David Karas

In the 1980s, Ashley Patterson’s mother was a farmer – and in many ways a trailblazer. Managing some 240 acres of fruit trees, she realized she had to set her business apart from others to be competitive, so she began field-packing and selling produce long before the widespread popularity of farmers markets.

But Ms. Patterson’s mother had to do more than just find creative ways to sustain her orchard. She was also navigating what was, at the time, an industry with relatively few women.

“She brought a unique female-centered worldview to farming,” Patterson says. “I watched her struggle in a pretty male-dominated field for a long time, especially 40 years ago. And I was really inspired by the fact that she could come up with a vision that created a niche.”

Greenhouse expertiseA refugee and urban gardeningThree other groups with food initiatives

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