As a Real Time Farms intern, I have a family of 16 other bloggers from around the USA on the same autumn mission- building an interactive map for farms, markets, and restaurants (and anyone who patronizes these places) via the RTF website and blog. Last Monday, I met a small group of these interns, and as a first conversation, swapped some questions with 24 year old Angela Fortino, a RTF hire from rural Michigan.
Angela writes from Chicago now, where she’s put her Master’s degree in Urban Planning to work at an urban design company called Open Office Studio. She comes to Real Time Farms with a long-time interest in what has come to be called “food transparency.” As a child, she watched her family’s grocery with curiosity: “I was curious where the shipments of produce really came from and wondered why my dad always went to Lansing to pick up meat orders. “
During undergrad at Western Michigan University, Angela got to explore the origins of food more closely as she enrolled in classes about food systems and the environment- not only that, but she participated in the college’s community garden. Since then, Angela’s had a hand in a local co-op in Ann Arbor and market-hops in whatever city she’s a part of, as well as keeping her own container-garden. Currently, she’s thinking about buying a share with a local farm: “I miss my food co-op and am investigating which CSA makes the most sense for me and my housemates!”
When I asked what, besides local food and urban spelunking, Angela enjoys spending her time on, she answered with a common hobby- biking! “I love to ride my bike – there is something very rewarding about being quick and sometimes faster than cars and also being connected with people walking. The air, smells, and sounds while biking is so invigorating for me that I tend to find myself stupidly smiling while biking…. “
As to that…me too!