This month we’re celebrating Jessica Watson, who has donated her time and talents as a volunteer photographer! Jessica has been volunteering with us since the fall and has captured our Market Mobile, Harvest Kitchen, and Farmers Markets teams in action. Jessica has been a great addition to our volunteer team and we always look forward to receiving her photos! (Keep an eye out for them on our website and our Instagram, among other places!)
Why do you volunteer with Farm Fresh RI?
I think Farm Fresh RI has a great mission! I love farmers markets and try my best to shop and support them as much as possible. When I moved to Providence a year and a half ago, a friend told me about Farm Fresh RI. I was so impressed by the market and happy to have something nearby. Learning more about the organization and what Farm Fresh does (Harvest Kitchen and Market Mobile), I realized that Farm Fresh does so much more than farmers markets. Supporting local agriculture is so important – not just economically but also environmentally. I wanted to do something that interested me and give my time to that.
Do you have a favorite memory from volunteering with Farm Fresh RI?
Usually when I go to farmers markets, I wander around, look at things, and buy some groceries. When I photographed the Saturday market, it was a different way to be at the market. Photographing gave me an excuse to talk to the vendors. I got to talk with Tami Mullins from Newport Salts, who is also a photographer. It was great to connect with someone with whom you have something in common and also hear about their work.
What have you learned about yourself, others, or the local food system through volunteering with Farm Fresh RI?
I grew up in a family that grew vegetables and raised animals. As a photographer and artist, I wanted to explore a different way of taking pictures than I am used to as a personal challenge. I wanted to photograph something I was really interested in and passionate about while contributing my skills to an organization I care about. Not only did I learn something about my own work, but it was a really rewarding and enjoyable experience.
When you’re not volunteering, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy traveling, going on walks and hikes in nature (especially with my kids), and reading. I love art, photography, good food and trying new restaurants. I am also interested in anything to do with plants and herbalism.
What did you know about the local food system before volunteering with Farm Fresh Rhode Island and what do you know now?
Being new to the area, I didn’t have a sense of local producers. I feel like I have been able to learn a lot about the local food system and have a better sense of it and how active it is! I’m excited to learn more.
What is your favorite local fruit or vegetable?
I’m looking forward to peaches, tomatoes, and beautiful greens.
Thank you, Jessica, for your time volunteering!
— Alison, Community Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator
Learn more about Jessica’s photography and narrative work at manningwatson.com
Interested in volunteering with us?
Learn more and apply.