Similar to the MTV show The Real World, minus the drama and TV cameras, the Wholesome Food Farm interns were strangers at first, but have bonded as roommates, coworkers and band mates. Living in a quaint house in Bridger a few miles from the farm, Marguerite Jodry, Andrew Short, and Patrick Certain are eager about this opportunity to work on a farm from scratch, learn from each others’ unique skills, and apply their knowledge for future projects. The first intern to arrive, Marguerite Jodry grew up in Seattle and moved to Missoula to attend college. Although she graduated with a degree in Music, after graduation she was introduced to food production systems while working at a community garden in Sheridan as an Americorps VISTA member. Her interest in such continued, from interning at Amalthia dairy farm to now Wholesome Foods, where her farming and accordion skills have been put to good use. With over 4 acres of land to work, Jodry finds this opportunity both exciting and challenging.
“The scale is larger and different because we are starting from scratch and learning together and navigating our different ideas to find the best systems that work for each situation,” Jodry said. Growing up on an “old-school,” conventional farm/ranch in Malta (Northern Montana), Andrew Short said farming has always been in his blood. Mostly working with animals, Short saw this intern position as an opportunity to experience the gardening aspect of farming. During his college years in Missoula, Short became interested in the farm to table, farmer to market trend, and believes Bridger is a unique place to be the catalyst and continue the local/organic movement. “I hope we can be a model for people in this area and provide them with a workable path to that goal.
I want to be able to give a cut and dry outline of how they can do it on their own and help people in this area,” Short said, who also plays guitar in the band. Born and raised in Montana and a wonderful Mandolin player, Patrick Certain is entering his senior year at MSU Bozeman, studying sustainable foods and bio-energy systems. He plans to use this internship as a capstone for the program as he prepares his thesis this fall. Certain’s goals are to learn how organic farming can be a profitable and sustainable venture, while experimenting with permaculture principles. “I’m trying to figure out what ideas work to make it easier to do daily tasks,” Certain explained of one permaculture project. Each intern possesses an individual skill that helps make the farm work more of a cohesive and a learning experience—Jodry the marketing guru, Short the handy man, and Certain the growing systems expert “…although we all try to learn from another,” Jodry noted. By starting a band, the interns not only play for fun, but also hope to reach out to the communities and get to know their neighbors. They encourage those interested to ask questions and visit the farm to see the productions in place.
Currently selling produce and playing music at the Good Earth Market Sat. mornings, Wholesome Foods interns are growing quite a place in Carbon County. Please see page 17 for story on Wholesome Foods business.