Meet Vonita Murray
A Terre Madre Delegate
Let's Help Her Get To Italy!
She's an aquaponics farmer, a single mother, a charismatic runner, an Oak Park farmers' market egg-merchant, a compelling storyteller and a disabled veteran who has found healing and purpose through farming.
Vonita Murray is also one of two Sacramento area delegates selected to travel to Turin, Italy this October for Slow Food's Terra Madre, a global meet-up of food growers, makers, breeders, chefs and others who will share ideas for promoting good, clean and fair food.
When she was permanently injured during Naval training, Murray shifted to a career doing architectural computer-aided design. But she was always drawn to farm work. In 2009, she acted on her dream.
With support from the Davis-based Farmer Veteran Coalition and Solano County's California Farm Academy at the Center for Land-Based Learning, Murray learned farming from the ground up. She is currently raising 200 chickens, heritage turkeys and rabbits and working to establish an aquaponics-based farm, Thrive Acres, in Elverta, Sacramento County.
In a group of nine women veteran farmers, Murray will represent Northern California to a world of slow food-centric leaders.
"I believe veterans are uniquely qualified to fill the expansive need for new farmers," Murray said, "while at the same time preserving cultural heritage through food and bringing healing to our communities."
Slow Food Sacramento is helping raise $3,000 for transportation costs for two of our area delegates - Vonita Murray and Brenda Ruiz (More on Brenda next month). To this end, we are hosting a dinner on August 9 at the home of one of our board members for a small group of diners interesting in helping Vonita and Brenda get to Terra Madre.
Vonita will donate her heritage rabbits as the main course and Brenda will cook. The multi-course dinner -- Rabbit Under the Tuscan Sun -- will feature Italian themed summer fare, limited to 20 people. Cost is $100 each and a bottle of wine. Please contact Kathy@slowfoodsacramento.com if you are interested in attending.
Watch a short film about the women veteran farmers and their mission to Terra Madre.