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CREST welcomes new member to farm team

Holly Markham will supervise summer interns


by: VERN UYETAKE - CREST farm's new educator, Holly Markham, works with a group of students from Wilsonville High School.A new farm educator has joined the CREST team. Holly Markham will be working at the CREST farm through the end of September in a grant-funded contract position.

Markham will run field trips, work with summer interns and manage the farm’s community supported agriculture (CSA) program, which serves up to 30 families.

CREST is an environmental education center operated by the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, located at 11265 SW Wilsonville Road in Wilsonville.

“I think it’s going to be really exciting,” Markham said of working with students on the 10-acre farm. “Farming can be a very empowering activity. It has a lot of transformative power, especially for youths that are finding their own strengths.”

Markham comes to CREST from Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies from Michigan State University. She has roots in the northwest, too, having lived in California as a child.

“I always imagined that after school I’d come back to the West Coast,” she said. “And here I am.”

This is her fourth year living in the Portland area.

Although she worked at MSU’s organic student farm for four years, Markham said, she did not have access to anything like the CREST farm when she was in middle school.

“As someone who didn’t participate in sports,” she said, “I think it’s a great way for kids to connect with their physical bodies.”

Internships available

by: VERN UYETAKE - Holly Markham works inside the CREST farm greenhouse with Lindsay Landford  from Wilsonville High School.

The CREST farm currently is seeking summer interns through the Farm to School program. Available to students who will enter eighth and ninth grades in the fall, the program offers opportunities to learn business, agriculture and team skills.

Interns can expect to gain skills in all aspects of sustainable agriculture, Markham said, including seeding, transplanting, irrigating and harvesting.

CREST Director Bob Carlson added that interns should expect to taste the food they grow, too, learning how different vegetables look and taste and how to use them in the kitchen.

“Last year, they made pico de gallo,” Carlson said. “Another group made jam. They tasted some, took some home and gave some to CSA customers.”

Interns enjoy their experience on the farm, Carlson added.

“It’s hard for students coming out on a field trip to understand how a farm functions,” he said. “Because interns spend time in the field and watch the crops develop, they gain a deeper understanding of the food system.”

Internships are offered in three sessions: June 24 through July 11, July 15 through Aug. 1 and Aug. 12 through 29.

Visit the CREST website at http://crest.wlwv.k12.or.us to learn more or to download an application.by: VERN UYETAKE - Holly Markham shovels mulch with Wilsonville students Dillon LeRuy, left, and Brent Self.




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