We knew Sam was headed out to Vashon Island after graduation, but upon hearing that he intended to remain on the island with another job, we asked for an update. Here’s what Sam had to say.
It’s been a little more than a half of a year now since I, along with 670-odd other students, graduated from Puget Sound in May. Since then we’ve all gone our separate directions, attempting to tackle whatever we think is supposed to be the next step in our lives. However while I have close friends living in places as near as Tacoma and as far as India and Australia, we’re connected by the fact that we are all in search of the same things: success, fulfillment, financial stability, love. Mostly though I think that we’re all just seeking out happiness, which of course comes to us in different ways and through different means. Not surprisingly, purposefully searching for these things never works out in the ways we might think they will, and oftentimes we seem to stumble upon them accidentally.
My post-grad life began in July on Vashon Island, where I interned for a few months on a small, organic, biodiverse farm called GreenMan Farm. I guess that I instinctively thought being happy meant becoming a little bit more hipster and a lot more granola… although I’ll never admit that I’m much of either. However much I changed though, my time spent on GreenMan was something I’ll never forget, and I’m certainly still in the process of reflecting on all of the experiences I had over the last few months.
In school I had taken an interest in our food system and the ways that it is presently changing, which led me to take a class, The IPE of Food and Hunger, that first introduced to GreenMan Farm when we took a short trip there one Sunday. I thought interning on GreenMan might be a great way to introduce myself to the sustainable food industry. Luckily this turned out to be true, and I now have a much clearer idea of the ways in which I can integrate working with food waste, culture, and sovereignty into a possible career.
What’s funny is that, to my surprise, once my job on GreenMan Farm ended, I found that I was not in fact going to be leaving Vashon like I had expected, but would actually be taking a job there that would make me a full time resident on the island for the next year. I’m home on break right now, but for the next twelve months or so I’ll be working for the Vashon-Maury Food Bank and the Vashon Island Growers Association in helping to build lasting programs that seek to decrease food waste and increase food sovereignty for residents of the island. There are about 9,500 people that live on Vashon full time and many are in need of community support to access a consistently available and healthy source of food. Fortunately this position fit well with what I became interested in while at school, and it just about fell in my lap right around the time that I was starting to look for what I wanted to do following the summer. In all honesty, it was simply pure luck and chance that I would be working on Vashon right around the time this position would open up, but like I said before, sometimes we can’t see in advance what our next step is going to be. I stumbled upon this position, but if this is where stumbling gets me, I’ll be happy to keep on doing it for a long time coming still.