Introducing Our New Program Assistant Christopher Soares!

Hello! My name is Christopher Soares and I am the new K-12 Program Assistant. I am excited to separate the veils that shield people from how food systems work. My journey with food systems began while I was still an undergraduate student. Despite being on the path to go to medical school I found myself unsure of the decision. I felt that the medical field lacked a holistic approach to health and did not put enough weight on the topic of nutrition.

While previously engaged in education and community building my interests drove me to look for opportunities to seek a deeper understanding of the food system. I began working for an organic farm in Connecticut to get personal experience. There I was able to help cultivate nutritious local food. I aspire to become a full-time farmer in the future, especially with the number of farmers retiring versus the number of new farmers entering the field (no pun intended). These are concerning statistics regarding our nation’s ability to provide an equitable and healthy food system. Local farmers are often underappreciated and poorly compensated given the hard work and resources it takes to grow the nutritious food that fills people’s plates daily. For those without access to healthy food, some farmers have the generosity to donate what they produce to local food banks and soup kitchens and encourage other farmers to do the same. Eden Hall’s farm has a field space for crops that are specifically dedicated to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s Green Grocer truck.

Picture of the Connecticut farm I worked on

Dahlia grown on the organic farm

I am excited to share my previous experiences and passion for the food system with visiting schools and programs. If you feel that you need assistance introducing agricultural concepts combined with social justice issues in the classroom, please feel free to reach out to me. Furthermore, when you participate in our Farm and Garden Service opportunity at Eden Hall, prepare to fill the role as a farmhand and get your hands dirty!

P.S. Currently, I am developing a lesson plan on Mushroom/fungi production for 9-12 grade students – fungi are vital for our ecosystem! Also, I am planning our annual Seeds of Change conference that is set to take place on Tuesday, May 12th, 2020, at Eden Hall. Here is the link to learn more and register your team: https://www.chatham.edu/edenhall/k12/conference.cfm

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