You wouldn’t think that a degree in economics and philosophy would lead to a farming career, but that’s what happened to Stephen Mackell. While he was a student at University of Dayton he volunteered at Mission of Mary Cooperative. Now he’s their Farm Manager. Mission of Mary is a non-profit organization working in East Dayton (619 Silver Lane) on issues of food insecurity.
“Our job is two-fold,” he told me. “First we grow food. Last year we grew 35,000 pounds of fresh produce on six urban farms. Second, we teach our neighbors how to grow their own food. Sometimes they have gardens at their homes, and sometimes they use one of our community gardens.”
“Some of the food we grow is donated to our neighbors who have emergency needs. The rest is sold at farmer’s markets or through farm shares. Neighbors who are having economic difficulties can buy the farm shares at a reduced price, and then get 10 to 15 pounds of vegetables each week from June through November.”