Student Forums
A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community

Monica Bongue is the owner of Muddy Fork Farm http://www.muddyforkfarm.com and at the heart of her work she is an ecosystem manager. She manages not only the abundant plant life that grows on her farm, but also the animals and insects that use her fields. She wants to grow food that has the highest quality and the best taste. Monica lives by a holistic philosophy, in that nature, mind, and body must all be treated kindly. She only takes what the land is willing to give her and she has a strong sense of actions and consequences.

Monica is also a part of Farm Roots Connection (http://farmrootsconnection.com) – which is a farmer-owned and managed cooperative CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that delivers fresh produce and farm goods to Northern Ohio.

I am a farm assistant at Muddy Fork and I help out with the day-to-day operations on the farm. This includes planting, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, watering, thinning, mulching, and fertilizing the many fruits and vegetables that are grown here. One of the things that surprised me with all of this produce was not only the amount grown (there is an acre of asparagus and we get 70-100lbs from it a day) but also the number of variety (we planted over 50 types of tomatoes). We are practicing ecological diversity in the sense that if a few varieties do not produce well there are alternatives. Nature does not put all of her eggs in one basket and neither do we. We also harvest and pack for various farmer’s markets and CSAs.

Once I week I volunteer at Local Roots Market & Café (http://localrootswooster.com). Local Roots is a market place with the goal of connecting producers to consumers. They encourage healthy eating, local economy, and sustainable living. There are over 100 producers and artisans that are a part of Local Roots. Working here has been very rewarding because this is the place where I get to the meet the people who buy the food I grow. I also get to have honest and open interactions with them about what they want from their food.

My co-op is about cultivating community and growing the future. I came to Muddy Fork Farm with the intention of reestablishing the links between food, community, people, and the land that is grows from. Our food is only as good as the health of the soil it grew from just as our meat is only as good as the food it was fed.

I also want to learn the path food takes from farm to table, how to produce food effectively in an organic settling, and to understand what I want from my food.

I can tell you one thing that I have learned so far – we are all interdependent upon one another. It is these beautiful connections that makes us human and they also remind us that we are also animals and very much connected to this planet.

 

Reasons to be Organic:

The Effects of Herbicides & Pesticides on Humanshttp://www.livestrong.com/article/246750-the-effects-of-herbicides-pesticides-on-humans/

Top 12 Reasons to go Organic

 http://organic-center.org/organic-fact-sheets/top-12-reasons-to-go-organic/

Top 10 Reasons Not to Go Organic – And Why to Ignore Them All

http://aliveandwell.co/blog/2010/12/top-10-reasons-not-to-go-organic-and-why-to-ignore-them-all/

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<h2 style="text-align: center;"><u>About Me: </u></h2> <p>My name is Melissa Rudie. Currently, I am a fourth year biomedical student at Antioch College. I hope to attend a veterinary or medical school in the near future. I want to join the scientific and health community, but I also want influence it. My dream is to open my own clinic that is composed of both a human and animal clinic. I believe in the One Health Initiative and its statement that we should be working towards “improving the lives of all species – human and animal – through the integration of human medicine, veterinary medicine, and environmental science.”</p> <p><br /> I grew up in Danville, Indiana a small, rural town. Surrounded by corn and soybeans I often thought about how things could be done differently and how I wanted to learn from as many places as I could. After I graduated with honors from Danville Community High School and started school at Antioch College I realized that I went from a small town to a smaller one. But even though the community is smaller I was introduced to different ways of living and thinking.</p> <p>As a rising senior I am currently on my fourth cooperative experience, which unites school coursework with engaged work activities. The theme I focused on throughout my co-op experiences revolved around health. For my first co-op, I worked on an organic farm by Wooster, Ohio and explored the farm-to-table pathway. I concentrated on learning about how agricultural and soil health related to the health of animals and humans. During my second co-op, I volunteered at the Avian and Exotic Animal Clinic of Indianapolis and at Hendricks Regional Health. This was when I was struck by the similarities between animal and human health. My focus here was to delve into the medical side of health. For my third I was at the Makauwahi Cave Reserve where I learned about environmental health and how shifting ecosystems can impact local and global health. Now on my fourth co-op I am a simulated patient at Wright State University. This program allows medical students to practice for the clinical exam they will have to take at the end of their fourth year. This time I am focusing on individual and personal health.</p> <p>I am BLS CPR certified as well as First Aid and AED certified. I am skilled at scientific writing, basic lab skills, and work well with Microsoft Office. Besides studying, working, and applying to graduate schools I enjoy playing video games, collecting rocks, and writing fantasy or science fiction stories.</p> <p>To reach me email: <a href="mailto:mrudie@antiochcollege.org">mrudie@antiochcollege.org</a></p> <p><strong>“Grace is courage under pressure.” ~ Ernest Hemingway.</strong></p>

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