Staff Spotlight: Eva Moss
Eva at the Chatham Mills Farmers Market in Pittsboro, NC - Photo by Lea Ciceraro
Our team at Farm Commons is made up of wildly talented, passionate, food and farm loving leaders. This month, we’ll be featuring a staff member each week so you can learn more about the gals that make our farm law educational programming happen every day, in all the ways.
This week, meet our Education + Outreach Manager, Eva Moss!
Where’s your hometown? Hm, I don’t technically have just one. My father worked as a career foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State, so I grew up moving around every 3-4 years. I was born in Auckland, New Zealand, which is where my folks met, but spent most of my childhood in and around the Caribbean. We were posted in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Belize, and Jamaica. It was an exciting, vibrant, and highly adventurous upbringing, but it was also pretty tough moving every few years. Once I left home for school I decided to claim the southeast as my home, which is where I am today.
When did your interest in food and agriculture begin? My interests in food and agriculture began when I moved to the States and encountered confusion when trying to find and choose foods. The grocery stores were very overwhelming with choices and labeling. In the other countries I lived in, my family frequented the many markets for produce, fish, and meats, and there were lots of fresh produce vendors along the roadways. That’s not so much the case in most of the US. So, in an effort to gain clarity and reconnect with the land and my food, I began working on farms in the southeast, in Tennessee and North Carolina, and up north, in New Hampshire and Vermont. My love of food and community foodways inspired me to learn more about the policies and laws that support the growth of sustainable farms and food cultures, which then led me to Vermont Law School for a master’s degree in food and agriculture law and policy. Today, I operate my own small farm business, Heartstrong Farm, growing produce and flowers in the piedmont of North Carolina and work towards greater resiliency for the sustainable agriculture community through my work at Farm Commons.
What’s your role at Farm Commons? I manage education and outreach at Farm Commons. As I’m also a small-scale farmer, I get to vision through our farm law curriculum and translate its application through my experience growing food in and for my local community. With beginning farmers especially, we try everything we can and do everything we know to do in order to sustain our farm businesses. However, stretching ourselves thin increases our legal risks, including land access, employment, business structures, food safety, agritourism, and value-added good production. There’s so much to know and manage when operating a farm, its easy to let things fall through the cracks – however what falls through may mean the farm will no longer be one day. So, I love doing the work of helping farmers understand their business liabilities in order to help them grow into the future with greater legal resilience.
Alright, most important question – what’s your favorite vegetable and way to prepare it? I love beets and heirloom tomatoes. I love the earthy sweetness and deep color of a red beet, and I love the sweet juicy tang and vibrant flesh of a field-ripened tomato. For beets, I like to make beet pesto (olive oil, steamed beets, Thai basil, salt, and pepper blended) and toss that on some spaghetti or penne to make pink pasta. I love tomatoes every possible way – raw, stewed, roasted, sauced. However, I’d say my go-to is a tomato sandwich - white bread, mayo, tomato slices, and some Old Bay sprinkled on top.
Fun fact: Thanks to my folks, I have three citizenships – the U.S., New Zealand, Western Samoa, and I can technically live and work in Australia!