Good Food Life: Nabe (Chom Tok) Bowerman
What is your role at Bonamego Farms?
NB: I am in charge of managing farm operations and participation at four farmers’ markets in Kalamazoo and Lawrence.
How does Bonamego Farms work towards the goals of the Good Food Charter?
NB: In the 15-20 years I have worked for Louis Bonamego, we have made it our mission to teach people about the diversity of the food we grow. In addition to selling our food at four farmers’ markets, we offer U-pick — mostly summer fruits and Chinese chestnuts — in the fall. People come for the day and we celebrate by foraging, harvesting, and eating together.
Also, it is very important for all people to have access to good food, and we participate in SNAP, Senior Project Fresh and Double Up Food Bucks at farmers’ markets. I love to teach! Foraging and preserving foods are my specialties.
What do you find most exciting or inspiring about what you’re doing?
NB: It is important for me to honor my South Korean heritage. I grew up surrounded by edible, nutritious weeds and loved digging for them with my mother. By teaching others how to find, prepare and preserve food from a farm that honors and cares for the soil and plants, I pass along lessons from my family and culture. It is work I love. Also, it makes me happy to see my Asian customer base growing and to provide food that is familiar and helps them stay connected to their culture.
What is one thing you’ve learned through your experience with working towards the goals of the Good Food Charter that you’d like to share with others?
NB: As a farmer, I feel it is my role to teach people about the food we grow: the nutritious, wild food that Mother Nature gives us, and how to prepare it. People are more open to these things now than ever before.