This week we would like to introduce you to one of the faces around the farm this summer: our college New City Farm Intern, Emma Vanderkolk. Our college farm intern helps out with our summer curriculum for youth employees, helps enhance our marketing materials, and learns the ins and out of our farm and youth empowerment program. Emma specifically has shown passion in all of these parts of her internship.

Emma is a rising Junior at Calvin College. She majors in social work with a double minor in international development studies and environmental studies. Her educational pursuits and passions led her to seek out an internship with New City Farm. While being interviewed, Emma spoke excitedly about working on the farm, but also about seeing a community development side along with farming. When asked about what she likes about the farm, Emma says, “I mean, I love it all. I really love being a part of the CSA pickups. Talking to customers and being a part of this farming world. But I also love curriculum times and the fact that it’s even offered here. I love that we’re intentional about creating spaces for important conversations. And I’ve only received love here.” Emma mentioned that she does not like the physical pains of the work as much. Weeding for long hours can give “achy knees and back”.

For the rest of the summer, Emma will be helping the youth employees with a project on the history of agriculture, specifically focused on injustices in its history. She will help students find creative ways to share some tough stories about plantations, women in agriculture, immigrants in agriculture, and more. Along with that, Emma is exciting about learning more about how to farm for the rest of the summer. Emma says, “I love when Lance gives us so much information about what we’re weeding, how its roots work, how to harvest, and more. It’s very useful information in my life as a hopeful farmer.” Feel free to say hello to Emma during CSA pickups and Cafe days!

For more information on how to be involved with New City Neighbors as an intern, contact Danah at, or (616) 570-8702.

Fun Facts about Emma

Who is your hero?: “Shailene Woodley, not for her acting, but for her activism roles that she does. I also think she is able to be in Hollywood in an industry that is so wrapped up in image and she has never gotten wrapped up in that. She is very vocal about what’s important to her and relentlessly loving people just on the basis of being humans. She is very environmentally conscious and is open about her lifestyle and it is inspirational to me in my lifestyle habits. Just a very wise lady.”

What is your favorite vegetable on the farm?: “Broccoli. Plain and simple. It’s good for every meal of the day, in so many different dishes, with so many different things. Whenever I’m hungry, just eat some broccoli. And it’s super nutritional.”

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?: I like to keep it open, but hopefully I’ll be somewhere internationally doing agricultural community development work or some sort of peacework. I have three majors so I could do a lot of things!

If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?: Elastigirl [from The Incredibles], because of my love for the circus and gymnastics; it would make me an incredible contortionist. It would also just be so handy in the kitchen and things like that. I guess that makes me sound lazy. I guess it would just be very “efficient”.