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Disillusioned with culinary school, Detroiter opts to farm in Benzie County instead

In Stateside’s series of conversations with young farmers in Michigan, some of the farmers we've talked to are working on their families' farms, carrying on a tradition that has spanned generations.

Azeezah Ford is a young farmer taking a different path. Ford grew up in Detroit, and early next year she'll begin full-time farm work in Benzie County in northern Michigan.

Ford says after she left culinary school in Vermont, she ended up working at a farm-to-table restaurant. After volunteering to help the farmer prepare some of the crops, she says she discovered farming felt more rewarding than toiling over a stove in the kitchen.

“[Farming] brings me a lot more peace than the kitchen does. In the kitchen I would leave and often times be frustrated and not in the best mood,” Ford said. “With farming, I find that I’m not like that. I’m happy, I smile a lot more and it’s just overall more peace in my life.”

Ford says as part of her work, she wants to encourage people to grow more of their own food, and eat more vegetables that they may not be familiar with.

“I want to teach people how to cook,” Ford said. “So that overall they will eat less processed foods, and I don’t know, take the power into their own hands.”

Listen to the entire conversation with Azeezah Ford, farmer, above. 

Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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