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Biointensive Team Corner
Introducing Colby Halligan
EA Staff Farmer at The Jeavons Center

ColbyI am the middle child of five children born in a rural farming community in Southern Vermont. I grew up in a mountain town which values organic farming, community sufficiency, and environmental health. My passion for the outdoors, coupled with my mother's influence as a professional chef, made me curious to learn where my food came from and how it could be sustainably cultivated, prepared, and shared. As a result, I worked on a bio-diversified organic farm, exploring how to make healthier foods more easily available and affordable to growing families. I wanted to know how communities could support one another through their food systems, inspiring greater physical, socio-cultural, and environmental stability.

My passions in health led me to Elon University in North Carolina where I studied Environmental Science and Public Health. Within a week of arriving, I found myself riding my bike to the University Farm to meet with Steve Moore, Agroecology Professor and Ecology Action's Vice President. He handed me a hand trowel and a digging board, and for the next four years I worked as a Research Assistant on the University Farm, learning about both GROW BIOINTENSIVE and organic agriculture.

While in school, I spent two years living in five diverse countries, studying food systems, maternal nutrition, and sustainable agriculture. Despite a variety of micro-climates, cultures, and natural resource availability, Biointensive was able to produce a complete diet in a smaller amount of land. I found myself wanting a greater education in Biointensive; how could this method work all over the world?

Prior to graduating in 2015, I applied for The Jeavons Center Staff Farmer position and eagerly flew to California to attend the March 3-Day Workshop. The diversity of information, authentic passion, and leadership that stemmed from this conference was inspiring, empowering, and humbling. While there, in between conversations about compost and soil fertility, I interviewed with John Jeavons about the potential of the position, and two days after graduating, I joined the Ecology Action team in Willits, California.

I am inspired not only by the dedication, fervency, and intellect of Ecology Action's team, but the greater mission and outreach of Biointensive agriculture. At The Jeavons Center, I am consistently stimulated by new knowledge which expands my understanding of sustainability, community sufficiency, and personal responsibility. Furthermore, I am humbled to learn how to slow down, to observe the rhythms of nature's cycles, and as a result, learn how to teach a proactive method which empowers others to grow their own food.

Ecology Action strives to inspire community, sing curiosity and intention, and envision a future of abundance. As a member of this team, I am weaving a character I know I can be proud of, leaving regret beneath the earth I walk on, and I do so alongside a global community.

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