Read and Get Dirty

A South Carolina FarmHer offers solid advice to other young people.

On a recent trip filming in the Southeastern U.S., I traveled through Alabama and Georgia before ending up in Charleston, South Carolina.

There, I met Carmen Ketron, a FarmHer in charge of education at an urban farm right in the middle of the city. Despite the sweltering heat, Ketron met me at the entrance to the farm with a smile that she carried with her throughout the day.

She shared that she spent time working at a rural farm out of college but craved more interaction with people, and that led her into Charleston and the farm on the campus of the Medical University of South Carolina. The farm is a unique program that is open to the hospital staff, students, and patients, as well as the entire Charleston community.

As Ketron walked me around the farm showing me the unique ways she utilizes the 1-acre space, I was simply amazed. From the way she artfully and functionally combined tomato plants with zinnias for the pollinators, to the patience she had with some young volunteers who were looking to help, it was clear that Ketron was passionate about the plants she grows and the community around her.

Stories like Ketron’s always inspire me. With absolutely no agriculture background, she jumped in, learned, and has helped grow the small farm into a cherished community asset.

Though young herself, at the end of the day, I asked her what advice she would give to other young FarmHers out there. She didn’t miss a beat before answering, “Read books and get your hands dirty.”

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