While our upcoming Issue 44::EMERGE is at the printer, we wanted to share with you a little behind-the-scenes look at how the pieces inside came to be! We talked to a few of our contributors to find out more about their process. You can also find these on our Instagram stories and highlights (@taprootmag). Emma Zimmerman wrote a piece for EMERGE about NYC Greenmarkets adapting to the pandemic.
Q&A with Emma Zimmerman:
What first sparked your interest in writing this piece?
EZ: I was reading about farmers’ pandemic experiences and noticed that many outlets painted a picture of absolute despair. I am also intrigued by how the media romanticizes the lives of small-scale, sustainable farmers. I think both generalizations—romantics and despair—do a disservice to the complex lives of the people so crucial to our health and the health of the planet. I wanted to write a more complex account, and I wanted to focus specifically on those who feed the city I love.
What was it like interviewing folks for the story with the added logistics of COVID? Challenges? Surprises?
EZ: One challenge was that, due to COVID, we were unable to visit farms. While farm visits would have provided valuable content, we certainly made do. I am beyond grateful for the many farmers who took time out of their busy days to speak with me at markets and over the phone. I was amazed, but not surprised, by their generosity.
Any particular moments or stories from the market day? and/or of working together with the photographers for the piece?
EZ: Working with Anna and Jordan Rathkopf was definitely a highlight. Not only are they incredibly talented and hardworking photographers, but they bring a sense of play to their work—they acted as if there was nothing they would rather do then follow me around and snap pictures while I nerded out with farmers (and I believed them)!
Finally -- how can people find you and more of your work? Any other upcoming projects you'd like to share?
EZ: You can find me at emmamzimmerman.com or on Instagram at @emma_zimmerman. An ongoing project is Social Sport, a podcast I host about endurance athletes who use their platforms to bring about social and environmental change. You can listen wherever you get podcasts, stay updated on Instagram at @socialsportpod, and subscribe to the newsletter at socialsport.substack.com.