Mason Durfee joined the PCD team as the Harvest Pierce County Program Specialist in July. As part of the Urban Agriculture wing, they support the Gleaning Project, educational workshops, and many community food projects throughout the county. They have a background in organic farming, having apprenticed at several CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) projects in Vermont and Oregon, and studied sustainable growing practices in Oaxaca, Mexico. They hold a Bachelor of Science in Community and International Development from The University of Vermont.
“Over the last 7 years, I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing organizations around the country that are working to build sustainable food systems,” they said. I am excited to bring these experiences to my role with the Harvest Pierce County team.”
With the growing season in full swing, over the next few months Mason’s focus will be coordinating the Gleaning Project--working to capture food from residential fruit trees, gardens, and farms and share the harvest with food banks and hot meal sites in Tacoma and beyond.
“What is amazing about this project is that it’s not just about picking apples and dropping them off at the food bank,” they said. It’s also about developing relationships within the whole community and figuring out how we can work together to solve the challenges we face in building a just and healthy food system. It’s about digging deeper and asking important questions about our relationship with the land, food and each other.”
Mason also will be teaching a class about fruit tree maintenance in the winter as part of the Edible Garden series. A native of Rhode Island, Mason lives in Tacoma with their partner Mae.