Nothing could make Jane Hodge happier than working outside, being physically active, and feeding people. That's why she loves farming - it's a combination of all of those things. Her favorite farming moments involve working beside someone who is farming for the first time and discovering a genuine love for growing food. That's what it's all about for her.
Jane believes that farming & food is the center of everything - it's where families unite, communities celebrate culture, it's where social justice meets environmental rights. Food is a basic human right, and she sees farming as the tool that helps us feed ourselves and our communities. She has committed her professional life to supporting others who grow food, especially in New York City, where fresh produce is much more difficult to find than a pack of cigarettes or a candy bar. We have so much work to do to help ourselves and our communities return to good health, and she is happy to be part of the solution.
Over the past few years, Jane has farmed with some incredible local farms, including Obercreek Farm in Wappingers Falls (where she reaffirmed her love of growing tomatoes), Snug Harbor Heritage Farm in Staten Island (where she fell in love with selling to restaurants), and Roxbury Farm in Kinderhook, NY (where she learned from the best about farming efficiently). She completed a six month apprenticeship with the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) in Santa Cruz, CA, and received their Certificate in Ecological Horticulture. She looks forward to continuing to learn from other local farmers.
In addition to farming rurally, Jane spent nine years supporting urban farming and urban farming education. Up until May 2014, she was the founding Farm School NYC Program Director. Jane also worked with Just Food for nine years, starting out as an Americorps* VISTA working with La Familia Verde's and Bissel's farmers markets. She then served as the City Farms Market Coordinator, helping to build a strong network of community-based farmers markets run by city farmers. Before becoming Director of Farm School NYC, she worked as the City Farms Program Manager, working with a great network of Just Food trainers, chicken keepers, and market managers.
She was part of the Grow NYC Farm Beginnings program with the rest of Rise & Root Farm's team in 2012.
Jane received a BA at University of Richmond in Leadership Studies with a concentration in Environmental Leadership and Social Movements and a minor in Women's Studies. Her previous experience includes working with community allotment projects in northern England.
Jane in the media: