Cultivating a Community: Susanna Meyer
“I’m a rural girl by birthright, I love the country, but taking my interests from that setting and bringing them to the city has proved to be fulfilling,” said Susanna Meyer.
Susanna Meyer didn’t have to give up her love of nature when she moved to Pittsburgh–she brought nature with her to the city.
Ever since Susanna came to the city for her year-long PULSE term in 2002, she’s been involved in urban farming. While volunteering for PULSE, she worked at Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Farming during the winter and Mildreds’ Daughters Urban Farm (now Wild Red’s Gardens) in Stanton Heights during the growing season.
Now, she is the director of agricultural production at Grow Pittsburgh, an urban farming nonprofit organization.
“I love almost all aspects of farming,” said Susanna. “Working on an urban farm melded all of the benefits of living in a city with being able to work with my hands, outside and eat amazing food!”
Gardening offers Susanna a place for strengthening her community. Grow Pittsburgh sells most of their produce in low-income areas for reduced rates and the rest of the produce gets sold to local restaurants. The organization also helps start community and schoolyard gardens.
“By spending time on Grow Pittsburgh sites, I get to see firsthand the positive effects growing food has in the city–from beautification, to greening, to building community and strengthening the food supply,” said Susanna.
Volunteering with PULSE brought Susanna in touch with a thriving community that helped her find her place in Pittsburgh.
“I remember coming to Pittsburgh full of energy and ready to make a difference,” said Susanna. “PULSE guided that energy and helped me apply it, through established organizations. Without the community ties that came along with my PULSE year as an integral part of the program, it would have been hard to dig in, so to speak, in Pittsburgh, and find my place here.”
Story by Sara Alvarez, PULSE Participant 2012-13.