Last week our high school intern finished up his intern program. He spent the week working in his community garden plot and selling at the farmers market. On his last day we had a celebration where Noah spent the morning cooking a meal with as many ingredients as possible from our garden and the farmers market. Noah made a vegetable soup and salad which used many of the vegetables grown in our garden including tomatoes, green beans, carrots, cabbage, peppers, garlic, and herbs. A few other ingredients were purchased at the local farmers market and a grocery store. Noah enjoys cooking and decided to try something new since he had never made soup before. The soup and salad were a success and those of us at the ASPI office including Noah’s mom and a friend enjoyed his meal.

Earlier in his internship Noah said his future plans were that he would like to be a chef and maybe have his own restaurant. I asked if he had ever considered buying local food for his potential restaurant. He said that he only wants to use food that can be grown, hunted, or found in the area. I was very impressed that he was already thinking about the importance of using local food.

Also as part of his last day, David, who works at ASPI, talked to Noah about starting your own farm-to-table restaurant, because he is one of the owners of the Village Trough which will soon be a farm-to-table restaurant in Berea. David discussed how their business is a cooperative, how they’ve raised money to start the business, and how they are going about getting local food for the restaurant. My hope is that Noah will continue to be interested in working with local food and that his experiences during this internship show him that his restaurant dreams are a possibility.