Apprenticeship Profile: Adriana Tapia

We continue our apprentice profile series this week by introducing Adriana Tapia! Adriana comes to us from Lima, Peru where she was born and raised. As a child, she frequently traveled to the province of Chincha, in the south of Peru, where her maternal Grandfather was a farmer. There is a strong Afro-culture heritage in Chincha, with beautiful beaches and deep ties to traditional agriculture. Adriana's Grandfather taught her about the journey of food from seed to plate and after one visit to Chincha, Adriana decided she wanted to study this process herself. Upon arriving home in Lima, her mother discovered that she had stuffed her pockets, shoes and suitcase with pacay seeds (pacay is a fruit native to South America). This sparked Adriana's curiosity about plants and agriculture, and she's been an urban gardener ever since!

In 2013, Adriana enrolled in the National Agrarian University La Molino, which is known across Peru as the premier university for studying Agriculture. A professor introduced her to Biodynamics, which immediately peaked her interest. She was drawn to the idea that human beings can grow food while also being in tune with the cycles of nature and the cosmos. The traditional agriculture of Chincha has foundational philosophies in common with Biodynamics, so the practice is a natural fit for Adriana. Adriana found ATG through an online social media group after she posted an inquiry about working on a farm for the season. Her journey to ATG is her first trip abroad and also her first experience on a contemporary farm enterprise.

Adriana resonates deeply with the bees, and she reflects, "I love the bees because I love the plants and the bees love the plants!" She admires how the bees seem to know their place and work together for a common purpose. In June, Adriana had the opportunity to visit Spikenard, a Biodynamic honeybee sanctuary in Virginia, where she saw a hive of bees swarm. She loves the idea that bees feel that they have achieved what they set out to do in their current place so they decide to start something new!

Adriana has been acting as ATG's "crop point" for the 2019 season, which means she has been tasked with monitoring the crops for pests, disease, weed pressure, harvestability and overall health. Much like a worker bee, Adriana brings love and cooperation to every task! While at ATG, Adriana has been able to apply many of the concepts that she's been studying at University. She reflects that she has also learned about being an "effective" farmer, and by that she means thinking through all the steps of a task in order to save energy and to be more efficient.

ATG has benefited immensely from Adriana's generous heart and kind spirit. Like her spirit animal, the bee, Adriana spreads warmth and love where ever she goes. She has a special place in the heart of ATG and she will be deeply missed when she returns to Peru in August!