We are thrilled to feature the charismatic Sydney Blume as our member spotlight for August. Sydney is a recent graduate of Appalachian State’s Sustainable Development department who now works as the ASU garden manager. She helps to apply the principles of Sustainable Development into all 3 sustainable gardens the university has to offer.
Sydney has been “impressed and excited with things happening through BRWIA since [her] first year at App.” She first became aware of the organization when she joined the “Farmers at the Round Table” club her freshman year because she was interested in connecting with local Watauga and Ashe County farms. As a graduate now interested in creating food security in the High Country, becoming a member of BRWIA seemed like the natural choice. As a BRWIA member, she now has free access to connecting with farms and learning from experienced growers through the CRAFT network.
In the campus gardens, Sydney is looking into creating new projects that address the needs of both Sustainable Development and BRWIA. She’s focused on food security and “bringing back the connection to local food and the way that people connect to food.” Sydney asked herself, “How can I address these problems and work with a team in the community and gardens?” In response, she’s helping to strengthen the connection between ASU and BRWIA, a connection that now-board member Julia Showalter began during her time at ASU. Lots of students are interested in gardening, to the point where the campus gardens have excessive help. The logical answer to this is moving the student volunteers into the community, where they also help to work in the community gardens.
In the future, Sydney is interested in possibly pursuing research in agrarian studies or development studies, but for the upcoming year, she’s committed to serving the High Country through her knowledge of gardening.
Furthermore, Sydney feels that “the time is right for foodscaping in Boone and App State,” and was very excited about everything that Brie Arthur had to say during her visit. She hopes that the ball can get rolling on this new and engaging way to connect the community with food.