Allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Hope Rainbow. I am 22 years old. I live in a caboose parked 4 miles outside Trumansburg, New York. I enjoy riding my bicycle, singing and playing music, backpacking and hiking, yoga. With me so far? I am an environmentalist, survivalist, and aspiring farmer. I love tradition and I love innovation. And I’m learning how to feed myself, in every aspect of what that means.
Two years out of college with a bachelor’s degree in History of Art, I feel like I’ve only just begun to be educated. The concrete skills that feel more and more important to me in our changing world–how to produce my own food, how to heal myself without pharmaceuticals, how to create shelter–have been inconveniently absent from my formal education. Lucky me, landing in the Finger Lakes of New York, a region teeming with creative, community-minded artisans, agriculturists, and craftspeople, struggling to survive and eager to share their skills.
This blog is the chronicle of my manifold education as I learn from the incredible people who produce food and medicine here in the Finger Lakes region of New York. In 2013 I am apprenticing with Stefan Senders and David McInnis, the brilliant bakers at the Wide Awake Bakery in Mecklenburg, NY, learning how to bake world-class bread in a custom wood-fired oven, using traditional sourdough fermentation and locally-grown and -milled flours. I am also deepening my understanding of herbal medicine while apprenticing with Amanda David, the proprietor of Rootwork Herbals in Alpine, NY. And finally, I’m interning at Nook & Cranny farm, a small-scale intensive vegetable farm in Slaterville Springs, NY, where we break our peasant backs to produce the most beautiful, nourishing vegetables we’ve ever seen. In Everyone’s Apprentice I’m trying to integrate these diverse skill-sets and understand how and where they intersect, as well as solidifying my learning. Most of all I want to share my education with anyone who’s curious, anybody who might be dreaming the same way I am.
It might get a little technical around here–these things are full of their own terminology. But this isn’t a blog for bakers, nor is it for experienced herbalists or professional farmers (though they’re welcome, too, of course). You’ll learn as I learn. Welcome aboard!