Mary grew up in Greenwich and is a 2008 graduate of Wells College in Aurora, NY, where she majored in Cultural Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Sociology. She presented her senior thesis on building and sustaining cooperative communities at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research at Salisbury University in Maryland. Mary’s interest in farming and food sustainability led her to work on three different small-scale vegetable farms, the first in Trail, Oregon where she learned to grow food and manage the different aspects of community-supported agriculture. While on the west coast, Mary hiked a section of the Pacific Crest Trail for a few months, from northern California to Crater Lake, Oregon.
Mary was hired as an admin assistant for the Multicultural Center at Williams College in 2010 and worked closely with staff and student groups on diversity issues. One of the events she helped organize and is most proud of during her time there, was an afro-descendant percussion symposium, that brought together musicians and students to explore the impact and direction of musical developments in the African Diaspora. After her time at Williams, Mary accepted a farming position in Groton Massachusetts, where she worked a 3-acre farm, growing food for a small CSA and farm to restaurant operation. Moving forward with her interest in travel and food security, Mary adventured to New Zealand where she hiked and explored for a few months, and worked for another farm through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms organization (WWOOF), on Waiheiki Island.
Shortly after her travels, Mary moved to the upper peninsula of Michigan and became a certified birth doula after having her daughter at home with a midwife and doula of her own. Her birthing experience was transformative in her interest and decision to support women throughout pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period. While living in Michigan, she went on to volunteer time at a small farm in Marquette and was hired at the local food co-op, where she took part in the beginning discussions and organization of the UP Food Exchange – a food hub led by the Marquette Food Co-op and Taste the Local Difference. The UPFE serves as a resource portal for farmers, businesses, and individuals looking to connect with and actively participate in their local food system.
Mary is excited to be back in the area with her family, and to be back on farms, eliminating food waste, hunger, and bringing healthy food into the community!