Julia Umiker

TITLE: OPERATIONS MANAGER AT  LOVE AND CARROTS

Julia_U.jpg

Tell us about yourself!

I am 27 years old from Massachusetts and I am the Operations Manager at Love and Carrots, a small Organic Gardening Service company in DC. We install and maintain organic edible gardens for homeowners, schools, community partners and business in the DC metro area. Love & Carrots holds an important role in inspiring a new sustainable food system and living by converting the cityscape, mitigating pollution and bringing communities together around healthful and delicious food.

What prompted you to make moves away from the war-based economy?

Our current food system is monopolized by a few industrial agricultural businesses, giving us very little choice of the food that we eat. These “farms” are monocultures (one species of plant grown), which create a space with no biodiversity, destroying the soil, and therefore requiring fertilizers and pesticides to survive and this run-off then goes into our water system! These businesses are one of the largest contributors to Green House Gas emissions. Industrial agriculture is not only destroying our environment, but it produces vast amounts of waste without even feeding the people who need it the most. Food is the largest waste stream going into landfills and 40% of the available food supply is never eaten, yet people are starving and our landfills are filling up. People cannot afford to eat well, we have created food insecurities in poor areas. I found Love and Carrots which perfectly aligned with my passions and directly confronts the issues we face with our current food system and industrial agriculture and where the bottom line was not only profit. We work by a Triple Bottom Line – People, Planet and Profit.

What are some of the key first steps you took to create your vision?

I started less than 2 years ago as an apprentice and quickly progressed to becoming Operations Manager.

Anything else?

We are a women-owned and operated business of only 12 people. Love & Carrots is creating jobs where skills supported and utilized and there are opportunities for leadership, education and expansion. We focus on community engagement by working with schools, churches, housing developments, businesses and homeowners to spreading knowledge and teaching people the real value of food.

Not only are we improving the health of the people but we are also improving the health of the planet by changing the cityscape. We are converting urban acreage into productive land by taking a biological desert (lawns) and creating a diverse ecosystem. With a garden there is also zero food mileage to your plate! We are proud to be a part of the movement to make the DC metro area a thoughtful, productive foodscape.

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