Ilene and her husband, Phil, operate House in the Woods Farm, an organic farm in Maryland that features a Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) and sales to their local natural food co-op, . Ilene comes to farming from the perspective that people need to be connected to their food sources and the land that feeds them. It is a psychological need, deep in our psyche, to get our hands in the dirt and to feed ourselves.
Ilene derived these ideas, oddly enough, in graduate school at The University of Michigan, studying the psychological benefits of nature. There were few suitable classified boxes for this Masters degree, but the farm came to life after that, providing the ideal palette for this environmental education-soul-healing mission. Thus, the farm’s mission is to connect people to the land, their food and community.
She teaches CSA members how to use and preserve the harvest. Members of the CSA and broader community are encouraged to help grow the crops at member events and The Common Market’s “Crop Mob.”
Ilene lives the connection personally as well, acquiring deep satisfaction from farming, preserving the harvest and cooking/crafting homemade-homegrown. Recent pleasures include fermenting vegetables, making homemade-homegrown garlic powder and ketchup, and hand-dipped candles from their bees' wax. Next up: medicinal herbs. Other projects include knitting, felting and all things fiber arts, and homeschooling her two sons.
B.S. in Psychology - Washington University in St. Louis
M.S. in Behavior-Environmental Psychology – The University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment
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