Developing a Capstone Project and A Food Trail Map For Cortland County – by Maria
Discovering my capstone project was my first task, a project all on its own, which entailed determining what I was interested in and what was available for me to work on. Unlike my fellow students who undertook more manual labor oriented projects, I decided I preferred the more cerebral, food systems side of our program. In fact, what originally sparked my interest in sustainable farming and local food was the discovery while living in Maryland that raw milk was in fact illegal to buy in that state, a food I was raised on here in NY. I wondered how something as simple as a food choice could be legislated, and what other issues our industrial food system has created for nourishing food procurement.
I had always been interested in farmers markets, which I saw as a means to opt out of the industrial model by allowing producers to sell directly to consumers. My initial ideas led me to interview Becca Rimmel, a market manager for the Ithaca Farmers Market, as well as preliminary planning to attend the Farmers Market Federation of NY 2016 NYS Farmers Market Managers Conference and/or begin the FMM Pro: SUNY Farmers Market Managers Professional Certification Program. But when I heard there was discussion of a potential indoor, year-round farmers market in Cortland County, I hoped that capstone project idea would to fruition over any of the other ideas.