Make The Connection

June 17, 2020 | By Cole Hatcher

Meg Edwards ’22 stands with trays of turmeric grown in the cellar of Nisani Farm and ready to be planted in pots in the high tunnels. Edwards hopes to earn a master’s degree in public policy and write sustainable development policy. (Photo courtesy of Meg Edwards)

Harvesting Knowledge

Ohio Wesleyan Student Spends Summer Interning at Certified Naturally Grown Farm

Meg Edwards ’22 shows off a large garlic harvest hanging to dry on a makeshift rack at her summer internship at Nisani Farm. (Photo courtesy of Meg Edwards)

Name: Meg Edwards ’22
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Majors: International Studies and Spanish
Minor: Botany
OWU Connection Experience: Internship with Nisani Farm LLC of Phenix, Virginia. Nisani Farm is a certified naturally grown (CNG) farm created in 2008 by Ann Codrington and husband, Bruce White.

My Internship Duties

“Anything the farm needs! We grow turmeric and ginger plants for people’s gardens, as well as produce and flowers for bouquets. On a given day, there is harvesting, weeding, planting, building new beds, preparing produce for the farmers’ market, setting up drip irrigation; a million different things to do and a lot which I’m still learning how to do.”

My Favorite Moment

“This isn’t a singular moment, but I really like harvest days. They are long, but it is satisfying at the end of the day to look at all of the produce, plants, and flowers we have cultivated and prepared for others to enjoy!”

Lessons Learned

“A lot of people have asked me why I decided to spend the summer on a farm: it isn’t obviously related to my major, and it’s a lot harder than my old job at a coffee shop! But from working with Ann, I have learned not only about sustainable farming practices (which is great, because I want to write sustainable development policy) but also about resilience, patience, and problem-solving.

“Working on a farm isn’t straight-forward. There is a lot of experimenting, and some things go wrong and some go right, and at the end of the day you make things work. Ann and her husband are also former Peace Corps volunteers, and so from them I have learned about the Peace Corps program and their experience working in community development abroad.

“This experience is not only making me stronger physically and mentally, it is also giving me time and space to think about what I want my future to look like. Ann is always asking me tough questions while we work like, ‘If you had a farm, how would you differentiate yourself from other farms?’ or ‘If you were to start a nonprofit, what would you want it to do?’

“This summer, and her mentorship, has given me a lot more confidence and clarity about my future and my ability to accomplish goals. … I have to thank Mahnoor Ansari, Class of 2020, for suggesting I work at Nisani Farm and connecting me with Ann!”

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan

“I wouldn’t have looked so close to home if it weren’t for my neighbor, Amy Caddey Whipple, who is a 1983 OWU graduate. When I learned about the Global Scholars Program and the lengths to which OWU goes to help students travel (like Theory-to-Practice Grants and Travel-Learning Courses), I decided Ohio Wesleyan offered enough global opportunities to make its closeness a convenience rather than a drawback!”

My Plans after Graduation

“I intend to do a post-graduate program before grad school. Possibly the Peace Corps, but I will also apply for a Boren Award or a Critical Language Scholarship. Eventually I will need to go to graduate school for a master’s degree in something related to public policy.”