Introducing UM Dietetic Intern Janine

Today’s entry is brought to you by University of Michigan dietetic intern Janine. Janine is spending four weeks on rotation full-time at The Farm at St. Joe’s as part of her dietetic internship program at the UM School of Public Health.

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Hello to my fellow farmers and farmettes…and to those who have never touched a garden tool in their life.

Gardening has always been of interest to me.  But growing up, the only vegetable I’ve ever had in a garden was my mother’s tomatoes…which I didn’t even like (I was a very picky eater until age 21).  Over the past 3 years, I have discovered that my tastes have changed, just as my parents said they would.  When my interest in health and nutrition grew, I made myself try at least one new item each week throughout the summer.  With 24 years under my belt, it turns out that I now like tomatoes!  Who knew?

It was a memorable and enlightening experience when I was able to grow peppers from the seeds of the very red pepper I had sliced up in my salad (only in the past 2 years have I decided that I like peppers).  From this point on, my garden at home began to expand; red peppers, eggplant, watermelon, green beans, acorn squash (but not all at the same time).  How satisfying it is to eat food that I have grown from my own garden!

So how have I come to this glorious point of higher scale farming, hoop houses, blazing heat and buckets of sweat?  I currently hold a Bachelor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, as well as a Master of Public Health in Human Nutrition.  With the intent to become a Registered Dietitian, I’m completing 4 fabulous weeks in an intern rotation here at St. Joe’s Farm.

The work is tough and the hours are long, but I have learned more in my past three days with Farmer Dan than I ever thought I would know about vegetable gardens.  From pounding stakes into the ground for basket weaving tomatoes, to harvesting fresh Swiss Chard, I have experienced quite a bit.  My “baby” has to be the broccoli seedlings that I personally composted and planted by myself.  More than anything else, I’m most proud of that broccoli bed.

With this blazing 97 degree Michigan heat, the work is most “comfortably” done in the early hours of the morning.  I’m headed to bed, because I sure need the rest.

Signing off for now,    Farmer Janine

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