Meet the Women of Green City Market
For International Women's Day, we are inspired by the women in our community, including our vendors, producers, farmers and Junior Board members.
What's it like to be a female farmer?
It is very rewarding being a female farmer! Farming in today's world is much different than it used to be, and requires much more than just physical ability and knowledge of growing food. I am able to use a wide range of additional skills to be successful, that women tend to excel in. This includes being organized, having good interpersonal communication skills and the ability to multi-task, and managing employees. It has been encouraging and reaffirming to receive support from the majority of our customers and other farmers, as rarely do I feel that I am treated differently because I am female. In the farming community, if you work hard, adhere to strong moral and ethical standards, and treat others with respect, you will receive the respect you deserve - regardless of your gender! - Abby Schilling, Mick Klug Farms
Why is it important for women to occupy the local food space?
Historically, food production has been a male dominated industry, and the new ideas and perspectives women are offering have been vital to the farming community and the rise of the local food movement. It’s critical to have diversity in any industry, and we have been fortunate on the Junior Board to have women from a variety of food-related fields contribute to our work supporting Green City Market and the local food space in Chicago. Our members include female chefs, farmers, market vendors, nutrition educators, and restaurateurs. Their perspectives and experience lend important insight and expertise to our work, and they help us all be better advocates for the social justice, environmental, and economic impacts of shopping and eating locally. - Becky Kiely & Megan Burch, Chair & Vice-Chair of GCM Junior Board
What have you learned from being a woman in the local food space?
I have learned that the food industry is as tough as it is exciting. Exciting because working with local farmers gives us access to the highest quality, hard to get or not commonly available ingredients. As a chef, working with these ingredients and coming up with new products with top notch flavor profiles is where the fun lies. It's tough because working and managing a commercial kitchen day in and day out is physically and mentally challenging. Having said that, I am proud to be a part of an all women kitchen team who work together as a family and support each other at all times. - Arshiya Farheen, Verzenay Patisserie
Food unites people regardless of gender. In 2001 I entered the local food movement, really even before it was a movement, and found unity, cooperation and a common mission amongst everyone to bring local food to the forefront. My involvement in food, farming and agriculture reminds me everyday of what I always knew: women can be anything they want to be. - Jackie Gennett, Bushel & Peck's
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