Alma Gaeta

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About Alma

I grew up mesmerized by my grandfather farming in Zacatecas, Mexico—trailing after him in the corn fields each summer. His harvest went beyond the crops he grew; I’d note his physical strength, tranquility in his eyes, and community he harvested through his work. His stories of working as a Bracero opened up a life-long interest in agriculture and social justice. I’ve since become a farmer in hopes of mending my family’s and community’s relationship with nature and agriculture. I feel strongly about the importance of healing historical traumas BIPOC communities have experienced, so that we can build healthy relationships with food and the environment. Healing that relationship has started with myself, my family, and now I’m looking to give back and engage with a broader community.

I manage an organic peach orchard in traditional lands of Wasco, Wishram, and Chinook, known as Hood River, Oregon. In the Winter months I’ve worked on my masters thesis in environmental studies at Evergreen State College investigating how orchardists gather the information necessary to practice organically. I’ve recently accepted a board member position for Gorge Grown, a non-profit working to build an inclusive and resilient food system. It is my intention to amplify voices of the BIPOC community through this work and form bridges with other organizations. I mentor several youth in my community, connecting them to agriculture, tradition, and nature. I host volunteers and love to teach others about orchard management. I’m also part of an exciting new effort which is a Latina/o/x led organization working on environmental and social justice in the Columbia Gorge. I see important intersections between all these projects.

I hope this fellowship will support the momentum to continue to build those connections and develop new connections with others. I’m ready to listen deeply and share with other leaders on this journey to help uplift and support BIPOC folks supporting our food systems. I envision engaging deeply with each others’ work and building relationships with community.