This month we had the opportunity to speak with BRWIA member, Rebecca Gummere, about her background, her relationship with BRWIA, and her interests outside of the agricultural community. Rebecca is a published author and her essay, "Cooper's Heart," is published in the April 2017 issue of O, the Oprah Magazine and is also included in the anthology O's Little Guide to the Big Questions. The essay was named "Best Essay of 2017" at the Hearst Magazines Editorial Excellence Awards. Read more about Rebecca's works here.
Courtney: Why did you want to become a member of BRWIA?
Rebecca: For a long time I've admired the work of BRWIA and its potential for impact in the High Country, not just for female farmers, but for the whole food "ecosystem" and the local economy. I attended a few events and then became a regular customer of the Food Hub, and found myself more and more invested in BRWIA succeeding in its mission. So I decided to become a member and make my commitment official.
Courtney: Would you encourage others to become members of BRWIA? If so, why?
Rebecca: I absolutely would! I would direct them to the wonderful history, literally "grass-roots," of the organization and then the marvelous, organic way it has grown. They have kept service to the community at the forefront of their endeavors. Then I would suggest if they enjoy being able to purchase locally-sourced food, becoming a member of BRWIA is a great way to help support continued growth and development for our farming and producing neighbors.
Courtney: Do you have any favorite memories/stories about anything you have done with BRWIA?
Rebecca: I attended a really well-presented and fun workshop on fermentation, then came home and tried out all the things we'd learned- ginger ale, sauerkraut, and sourdough. The ginger ale got my mother's stamp of approval (no small thing!), and the sauerkraut turned out remarkably well; I ate it for weeks. And I tested the sourdough in a pancake recipe that, with butter and maple syrup, made me all swoony. Of course, I would have to say, being hired as Food Hub Assistant is my latest most favorite memory!
Courtney: Do you have any favorite quotes?
Rebecca: I'm reading Barbara Kingsolver's memoir, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and was struck by her quote: "If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically-raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week." It sure it yet another compelling reason to make buying local a priority.
Courtney: What are your passions/hobbies/interests/accomplishments?
Rebecca: I love to cook and try new foods and dishes and to go out to eat with friends and visit local breweries. I love hiking, and I've just taken up snowshoeing as well. I am an avid reader and am afflicted with a good deal of wanderlust, so I'm crazy about traveling. And I'm a published writer working on my first book, a memoir about a recent nine-month spiritual pilgrimage.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.