Jonnah Perkins: Marrying sport, food and the land

By Emily Leas

Farmer, activist, ultra-distance trail runner, mother. These are just a few of the facets that make up Jonnah Perkins, grower and creative manager at Vermont Valley Community Farm in Blue Mounds. In 2019 she’ll add video series producer to her résumé as she tackles a new project called Eat Local Run Wild.

The series combines the many aspects of her life and allows her to share her passion for the local food movement, travel and running.

“What’s been interesting to me is how good the outdoor industry is at talking about environmental issues, but food never comes into that conversation,” Perkins says.

Her plan is to partner with a well-known outdoor brand, then feature professional athletes in each episode, allowing them to guide Perkins through a region important to them, exploring local food options using Perkins’ expertise. Then Perkins and the athlete join a local farmer or rancher to cook a meal using food harvested from the region, ultimately bringing together the sport, the food and the land.

“My main mission as a food activist is to get people asking questions and supporting their local food economy. Even if it’s just in a tiny way,” says Perkins. Her hope is that Eat Local Run Wild will start this conversation and bring the small, local farm into the big picture.

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