Lydia Hsu will join the Voices for Earth Justice team for the summer of 2019 as an intern through The University of Michigan Community-Based Research Program (DCBRP). Hsu has recently completed her third year of undergraduate studies in Movement Science with a minor in Food and the Environment.
For the past year, Hsu has engaged in work at the U of M Campus Farm. Starting as a volunteer herself, she quickly fell in love with the work and became more engaged as a crew member. She currently works as the Student Engagement Manager, coordinating and leading volunteer groups.
“It never felt like work. I was basically playing with plants, and getting paid for it,” Hsu stated about her time working at the Campus Farm.
U of M’s campus farm has been recently GAP Certified (Good Agricultural Practices), and now sell 99% of the food produced back to the dining halls to be consumed by students. With her experience on the Campus Farm, she will bring much joy & assistance to the staff at VEJ.
While Hsu has been engaged her in growing food, her experience with food culture is rooted in her childhood experiences.
“I grew up with very traditional Chinese food, and it was just such a big part of my childhood. Our holidays were centered around what food we’d eat during them. So, just thinking that people don’t have that is incredibly sad to me. And, how do we bring that back, like that culture?,” Hsu evoked.
Hsu’s own story with food, her personal connection to what she grows and eats, exemplifies the connectivity and complexity of what we eat that we want to spark in others. VEJ cannot wait to swap stories of food with Lydia as we work together towards a more just and sustainable food system.
While we will definitely be getting work done in the garden & engaging with our neighbors, Hsu will also have the opportunity to explore Detroit, learn about its history, and engage in several events. Hsu grew up in Grosse Ile, just South of Detroit, however, she is excited to get to know Detroit up close and personal for herself.
“When we moved to Michigan, we moved pretty close to Detroit. You hear all these stories of Detroit, the stereotypes, but I never really got to be in the city, live in the city, or know the city. And I just feel like it is so rich with history that I want to be able to experience it for myself and see it with my own eyes, not through anybody else’s,” Hsu stated.
VEJ staff looks forward to welcoming Lydia Hsu to Detroit, and sharing what we do and learning alongside her in the garden and in the city.