Guest Post from our HECUA Intern

The following is a guest post from the Urban Roots HECUA intern. We wish her well in her future endeavors!

Hi! My name is Ratih Sutrisno, and I have been the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA) intern at Urban Roots this past semester.

I am currently a sophomore at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, majoring in Environmental Science, Policy and Management, with a focus on Environmental Education and Communication and a minor in French. I have taken a semester away from the normal college class setting to partake in the Environmental Sustainability program of HECUA, which is an immersive, community-based off-campus study program. As part of the curriculum of the program, I have been interning at Urban Roots with the Garden Program under the supervision of Summer Badawi.

Some of my learning objectives at Urban Roots have been focused on sustainable agriculture, youth development and community outreach. I especially enjoyed getting my hands dirty working with the produce in the gardens during the growing season. I also cherished the experience of working alongside the youth interns contributing to the local economy, vending at the Mill City Farmers Market over the course of the semester.

A project that I have been focusing on lately is a compost plan for Urban Roots. The goal of the project is to help our compost bins decompose in a more effective manner so the end-product-compost could be utilized in the gardens. It is very exciting for me to see the pieces of this project come together as we connect with local food shelves about utilizing their food waste in our compost bins.

Overall, it has been a whirlwind of a semester. I feel very fortunate to have had the experience of interning at Urban Roots. My interest in local food systems has definitely sparked as a result of my time here. This upcoming semester I will be going back to taking full-time courses at UMN, but I look forward to following the Urban Roots staff and interns as they continue on their missions!

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