384: Rachel Petitt on Military Veterans who Farm.

Assisting our food-growing veterans who feed their communities.

Rachel worked on small-scale farms for six years after earning a degree from UC Santa Cruz in community studies with a focus on food systems. During her time in the field, she learned the intricacies of harvesting okra without getting itchy, collecting 600 eggs without cracking any, and bunching kale with one hand. Rachel currently manages the Fellowship Program at the Farmer Veteran Coalition.

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The Fellowship Program enables veterans to invest in the infrastructure and tools they need to feed their community. Here, Rachel administers grants that support veteran farmers in their new careers.

In This Podcast:

(ITP Summary, centered)

Listen in and learn about:


  • Working on a flower farm to earn money while in college
  • Finding the Farmer Veteran Coalition
  • Having a hunger for farming
  • More about what the Farmer Veteran coalition and how they help veterans all over the university
  • Building connections within the coalition
  • The beginnings of the organization
  • The vision of Michael and his goal for the group
  • Some key aspects of the fellowship fund
  • The committee that reviews the applications and some of the winners
  • Some of the resources that the organization can offer to veterans
  • Home Grown by Heroes certification
  • Meeting John Nashy and being on their farm
  • Some of the other activities the organization does to support farmer veterans
  • How she harvests okra without getting itchy
  • How she collected 600 eggs without cracking any

As well as:

  • Her failure – The dinner that she made for a veteran where she mistakenly sautéed cucumber instead of zucchini
  • Her success – Working at the flower farm and meeting the challenges and learning enough to feel like a contributing member of the team
  • Her drive – thinking about all the gifts that inspire her to be a good steward to the planet
  • Her advice – treat each challenge as a growth opportunity and remember that at the other end is personal growth

Rachel’s Book recommendations:            

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, 2nd Edition by Sander Ellix Katz

How to reach Rachel Farmer Veteran Coalition:           

Website: www.farmvetco.org

Email: support@farmvetco.org

Phone: 530.756.1395



To learn more about more about Growing Your Own Food
visit IWantToGarden.com

And to see the I’m an Urban Farmer line
visit ImAnUrbanFarmer.com

Note: You can also find these books mentioned above at one of our favorite local independent bookstores and know that you are supporting a small business.

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