Jennifer Mantler lives what this photo essay project is all about …
Jennifer, like so many other college students that we have encountered, had periods of disillusionment during the college years of her life. Unfulfilled expectations and conflicting messages generated by a choice of study majors, in Jennifer’s case – environmental science and political science – left Jennifer feeling that there had to be something more.
Another common theme we have encountered as an ingredient for how these young people get where they are today is mentorship – someone that believed in them and had a value system akin to where they thought they were.
In this case, it was a small grocery in Columbia, Missouri, The Root Cellar, whose owners Chelsea and Jake Davis influenced her perspectives on local food systems and their sustainability.
“For the three years that I was there with them, we grew together and it was nice to be part of a business start up and and to experience the changes first hand. But, I realized through that experience that I wanted more than to just sell the food, I wanted to grow it.”