Meet our food-spirational women!

We’re Celebrating 8 Women Who Inspire Us

This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the women farmers, entrepreneurs, leaders, and disruptors who inspire us every day. These women have gone above and beyond to bring positive change to food and agriculture in communities all over the world!

#1 : The Sci-Fi Farmer

Jamie Silverstein, Crop Specialist at Freight Farms

Jaime's office is the Freight Farms HQ farm!

Jaime's office is the Freight Farms HQ farm!

Jaime helps to train new Freight Farmers

Jaime helps to train new Freight Farmers

Jaime is the resident crop specialist at Freight Farms in Boston. She and her trusty interns have experimented with growing over 300 types of crops, all inside of the Leafy Green Machine™. Not only is Jaime on the forefront of Ag Tech, but she’s discovering how to tweak inputs like light, nutrients, and water to produce bigger, tastier, and faster growing plants! This information allows Freight Farms’ customers using the same hydroponic systems to create impact their own businesses, communities, and schools.

Although Jaime is a high-tech farmer, she has a low-tech background. She found her way to Freight Farms after several months working on a traditional soil farm. Even today, she gives back to the community by volunteering her time on small farms and donating extra food to Boston food relief organizations.

As a former soil farmer and now hydroponic farmer, I’ve learned how important community and collaboration are to build a healthier, more sustainable food system. I love being a part of the solution and empowering others to do the same.
— Jaime Silverstein

#2 : The Young Disruptor

Sarah Ann Horton, Campus Manager at Square Roots
Brooklyn, NY

I see millennials leaving their office jobs to be in the urban farming community, because they get a connection back to their community.
— Kimbal Musk, Co-Founder of Square Roots
Freight Farms Square Roots.jpeg

With a thriving Brooklyn campus, Square Roots is actively training a new generation of farmers using hydroponic containers. Each of their “entrepreneurs” operates a container farm as a business, selling to CSA programs, local restaurants, and the general public.

Sarah Ann is the Campus Manager at Square Roots, making sure that everything runs smoothly in the farms and being an invaluable resource to the farmer-entrepreneurs.

We’re not saying nothing would get done without her… but she’s the very important glue that holds a complex system together.

Quote source: Square Roots

#3 and #4 : The Modern Business-women

Sarah Ward, Oasis Springs Farm
Nashua, NH

Tamara Knott, Bright Greens Canada
Saanichton, BC

Some of our greatest inspirations come from women who run successful businesses with the intention of making a lasting impact on their communities. Sarah and Tamara are two such exceptional women who focus on changing their food landscapes with fresh and local produce. As business owners, entrepreneurs, and farmers (not to mention loving homemakers and mothers), they see themselves as small building blocks in the creating a healthier society.

Photo:  @oasisspringsfarm  on Instagram

Photo: @oasisspringsfarm on Instagram

Photo:  @oasisspringsfarm  on Instagram

Photo: @oasisspringsfarm on Instagram

There are so many forces in our society promoting cheap, bad for us food. I like to think that even if I have a tiny part in getting people excited about eating more leafy greens that I am doing the right thing.
— Sarah Ward, Oasis Springs Farm
Photo:  @brightgreenscanada  on Instagram

Photo: @brightgreenscanada on Instagram

Photo:  @brightgreenscanada  on Instagram

Photo: @brightgreenscanada on Instagram

I was looking to change careers and do something active. I sat at a desk long enough. I also love greens and salads. Living in Canada I was so disappointed by the poor quality greens available through much of the year and I knew many others who felt the same way. When I saw there was a proven and productive way I could grow over 5 tons of produce every year, I knew I had to pursue it.
— Tamara Knott, Bright Greens Canada

#5 : The Action-oriented Educator

Jil Isengarger, CEO of the Stone Barns Center
Tarrytown, NY

Jil caught our attention with her work at the Stone Barns Center. Jil’s motivation for building the Center came from her previous experience at the Nature Conservancy, where she saw how much our current food production methods are directly contributing to global environmental issues. While many people recognize these deficiencies in our food system, Jil actually decided to do something about it! She created the Stone Barns Center with two goals: to innovate and experiment with crop production, and to facilitate learning for anyone who is interested in changing a broken food system.

Plus, let’s not forget Stone Barn’s connection with legendary farm-to-table restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, with Chef Dan Barber! Our taste buds are eternally thankful.

Working in the food system is a more tangible and visceral way for people to make an emotional connection to both a particular place and to the planet overall. If you want to enjoy a diet of variety, you must have healthy soil and water. Food can be the gateway for connecting to the environment.
— Jil Isenbarger

Quote source: FoodTank

#6 : The Fresh Taste-maker

Mary Dumont, Head Chef at Cultivar
Boston, MA

Photo:  @cultivarboston  on Instagram

Photo: @cultivarboston on Instagram

Photo:  @cultivarboston  on Instagram

Photo: @cultivarboston on Instagram

Speaking of chefs, we’d love to give a shout out to the chef at Boston’s Cultivar restaurant, Mary Dumont!  Not only are her creations beautiful and delicious, but we love that she crafts her menu with a focus on seasonal, fresh, and local ingredients. This can be difficult and limiting for a chef, but Mary is committed to bringing care and consideration into her dishes, and her diners have noticed.

We love Mary’s commitment to serving only the freshest ingredients. Plus, she doesn’t just rely on others to provide her restaurant with fresh food! She operates a Freight Farms container right outside her downtown restaurant to guarantee that she can have year-round access to the fresh ingredients she needs.

Quote source: Eater

It’s always been important to me to be able to grow a lot of my own food, to have a garden. But to choose a restaurant that’s right downtown…You can’t get more urban than that. The on-site garden is satisfying that desire of mine to not be in the city while being in the city.
— Mary Dumont

#7 : The New Life Giver

Emma Christianson, Development Director
Iowa Homeless Youth Center
Des Moines, IA

Photo:  IHYC

Photo: IHYC

Photo:  IHYC

Photo: IHYC

The Iowa Homeless Youth Center does so much to help struggling youth in the Des Moines community. At their Youth Opportunity Center for at-risk and homeless youth (ages 16-22) they offer: outreach programs, drop-in services (like laundry, cell-phone charging, etc.), an art center, computer lab, counseling services, nutritious meals at lunch and dinner, and emergency beds where young adults can stay for up to 30 days while the center helps them get back on their feet.

As the development director, Emma is in charge of growing the center’s offerings. The programs are designed to give disadvantaged youth a chance to regain self-sufficiency. One program Emma is currently developing is a rooftop garden with hydroponic container farms and raised beds. The rooftop garden will not only provide the center’s youth with nutritional food, but will also employ some of the young adults to run the farm and break the cycle of poverty by gaining valuable experience and earning a livable wage.

All we can say is, wow. Not only are Emma and her colleagues changing lives every day, but they’re doing it with urban farming programs. We can’t wait to see the project come to life in upcoming months!

#8: The Conversation Starter

Danielle Nierenberg, President of Food Tank
HQ in New Orleans, LA

Danielle is arguably one of the most respected food experts of our time. Her company, Food Tank, is a nonprofit organization with the goal of “building a global community of safe, healthy, and nourished eaters” (FoodTank) through independent research into the food system and global food summits.

The summits are about more than making attendees feel good about the future of food. Danielle believes that they’re perfect opportunities to bring together people from across the food industry and get them engaged in meaningful conversation. We agree. We need people like Danielle and her team to not only help us discover new information, but to create a platform for sharing, co-creating, and growing our understanding. We love that Danielle isn’t afraid to shake things up by including people of all backgrounds and with often opposing opinions.

We want to bring people together for the sake of good conversation, but sometimes it’s important to have an uncomfortable conversation, and allow for unusual collaborations to develop.
— Danielle Nierenberg

Quote Source: Modern Farmer

Here at Freight Farms we believe that anyone can be empowered to grow food anywhere! Our farmers work hard to bring fresh food to their communities and to inspire future generations of farmers.