A Farmer and a Sailor

Recently I was describing my current jobs to a friend.  I said I was doing urban gardening with a Christian ministry here in Pittsburgh, and he replied, “So you’re a farmer?” Yes, I’m a farmer and proud of it!  In fact, I thoroughly enjoy the vast majority of the 30 hours I spend on the “farm” each week.  The dirt under my nails, calloused hands, chaco sandal tans, and early misty mornings all make me feel very alive.

The “farm” is actually mostly contained inside an old baseball field.

When I’m not being a farmer I’m a sailor! Well, sort of.  I at least work on a boat.  Technically I’m on the education crew of RiverQuest, teaching environmental education to school children while we cruise the three rivers of Pittsburgh.  I also enjoy this work but it can get hectic – just imagine 90 middle school students in confined quarters for 4.5 hours!

The RiverQuest boat Explorer

Helping students identify the plankton they've found in their river water sample.

I’ll say more about my work in future posts, but no need to give you too much info at once.  I look forward to writing again soon!


Posted on June 22, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Super, Emily!

    Linda and I have always loved Pittsburgh’s parks, neighborhoods and downtown. That was my grandfather’s and his cousins’ home town, and my sister lived there for many years. Presently we no longer know relatives there.

    As a microscopist I love the snapshot of you teaching riparian biology…waterbears, etc, I suppose. Our N Y Microscopical Society has been doing school and parks children and families outreach events in NYC for several years, mainly the efforts of our Jean Portell, a senior colleague of mine, and Guy DeBaere, a public school teacher.

    And hey, work gloves are all about saving hands from serious wear. These days some wonderful types are available.

    Keep up the good work!

    ~ John and Linda

  2. Yes, I love Pittsburgh. Such a great place!

    Water bears are amazing creatures. Who knew so much life was in a single drop of water?

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