Emma Anderson: A Garden of Great Minds, with Christine Jackson | Spectrum
Frankfurt is fortunate to be surrounded by a large farming community. As spring hits the Bluegrass, we would like to introduce some of the fertile spirits who are developing our agricultural knowledge every day!
What do you do / what does a typical day look like for you?
Christine Jackson: I work as an assistant to Dr Leigh Whittinghill and Kentucky State University. I assist him by participating in research projects that can range from harvesting lettuce or saffron to testing the quality of running water in the laboratory.
I also write and present information to the public through extension services. Dr Leigh and I usually talk or write about some care for crops or houseplants, my specialty is ornamental horticulture so I usually lecture on houseplants and your garden maintenance and landscape, or the identification and treatment of pests.
How did you get to your current job?
Jackson: Honestly, my whole life has been a spontaneous journey. I’m not afraid to go out and try something new or different for myself. So I went to school in the state of Mississippi. After I graduated, I accepted a position near Waldorf, MD where I worked at a sustainable nursery. Six months later, I moved to Virginia and worked for a landscaping company in Fairfax / DC. Three years later, I moved to Memphis, Tennessee, to be a greenhouse manager. This job decided they needed to downsize and I was the last one there so I returned home to Kentucky where I started looking for a job. My aunt had a barbecue and she, her husband and their friends are all KSU alumni. They started asking me what I was looking to do, and they told me to lean into KSU because they could use a mind like mine. This is what I did and soon after I was introduced to Dr Leigh and we have been bouncing wonderful ideas and plans for a year.
What are your passions?
Jackson: I am passionate about nature in general. I have a childlike wonder when I go outside – it never ceases to amaze me. I am also very passionate about the environmental issues that many people face in this country that not many like to recognize.
Do you have plans for the future?
Jackson: So I learned not to make a lot of plans for the future, because life has taught me that things don’t always turn out the way I plan, (often) but in the future I plan to d ” teach agriculture or continue in extension. My dream job would be to help regulate the EPA and ensure that administrations cannot override the environmental protections in place that serve to protect our destruction from humans.
Are you working on any projects at the moment?
Jackson: Currently, I’m working on a manual of houseplants and a project I call Hidden Figures that examines the contributions African Americans have made to the agricultural world. And, recover from COVID.
Can you tell me more about your Hidden Figures project?
Jackson: So this project, which I call Hidden Figures of AG, is just about finding life stories of those African Americans who have contributed to the agriculture industry, but who have not been recognized for the impact they have. have had it on the way we operate now. It is a difficult project because the information is not readily available. But I am learning so much about my people who do this. I can’t wait to share it with the world.
For example: Frederick McKinley Jones was the inventor of the refrigerated truck.
He was born on May 17, 1893 in a Métis family. Growing up in the Cincinnati and Kentucky area without his mother and soon to be an orphan when his father passed away at the age of 9, Frederick quickly turned to mechanics.
This trade took him to Minnesota, as an agricultural mechanic. This is where the magic happened, as he began to learn about electrical work and quickly began to invent. During World War II, his patented design of a portable air cooling unit was installed in trucks carrying food, blood, and medical supplies.
Fredrick founded the American company Thermo Control with Joe Numero, and they benefited greatly from it during the war. He continued to improve this technology throughout his life. He was also the first African American to be inducted into the American Society of Refrigeration Engineers.
Without Mr. Jones’ input, the grocery store as we know it would not exist and residents of the continental United States would never have tasted much tropical fruit. We would also depend on canning during the winter months.
The Franklin County Farmers Market is getting ready for the start of our regular season. From Saturday we will have a market all From Saturday to November, 8:30 a.m. to noon. The first Tuesday market will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon on May 4. The first Thursday market took place on April 22. only – no vendor setup or in-person shopping.
Emma Anderson is an AmeriCorps VISTA member for Friends of the Franklin County Farmers’ Market through the Homes For All AmeriCorps program. She can be reached at [email protected]