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Shelley Bowerman

“My parents have an interior plant company,” says Shelley Bowerman, who planted a garden at her rental house when she moved from the Napa Valley to Eugene after high school. “I got involved with people who grow food for FOOD for Lane County in the Whiteaker Community Garden.” Bowerman started out in journalism at the UO, but switched to international studies. “I focused on food and farming,” she says. “I was in a group called the Food Project, trying to put more local food in the dorms.” One result was Project Tomato, a four-day course preceding fall term for 10 students, who harvested 1,000 pounds of tomatoes and made pizza sauce for Carson Dining Hall. After graduation in 2009, Bowerman was hired part-time by the UO Office of Sustainability to develop programs for the new sustainability-themed residence hall that opened this fall. “Project Tomato has happened annually,” she notes. “Every year, we’ve added a new orientation trip. One of them is H2Oregon, a backpacking trip along the McKenzie, looking at water issues.” When she’s not on campus, Bowerman manages the Ant Farm, an informal backyard-garden CSA that serves 10 households. “We’ve been growing food since April,” she says. “We did a lot of storage crops: onions, potatoes, and shallots. It’s an example of how we can grow our own food in an urban setting.”