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Singer Adrienne Young has an unlikely muse: Benjamin Franklin. She drew inspiration from the wisdom of Franklin and his book of Thirteen Virtues on her second album, The Art of Virtue. Young talks about Franklin with unbridled enthusiasm. It was Franklin’s forethought and passion to improve the quality of life for everyone that most amazes and inspires her in not just her work, but also her community and personal relationships.

“I hope that somehow, one day, I can contribute something beyond my music,” Young says. “I just want to be able to leave some sort of legacy that isn’t about my name or my character or my ego, but just about the inspiration that comes from knowing what one human life can do.”

Actually, Young is already doing a lot with her life and contributing something to the world beyond her music. She’s a passionate advocate for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)—the practice of bringing organic fruits and vegetables directly from farmers to the community. A resident of Nashville, TN, she supports local farmers like Cher & Eric Smith who run Bugtussle Farm in nearby Gomiel, KY, by becoming a member and receiving her share of the farm’s produce. Two years ago, she began a partnership with Food Routes Network (www.foodroutes.com), an organization that serves as a resource for both farmers and consumers by bringing the two together. As Young and her band Little Sadie tour in support of Virtue this summer, they’ll also be promoting Food Routes, in an effort to connect consumers to nation-wide CSA’s.

Have a Sense of Community

For Young, supporting CSA’s means more than just getting fresh products for her table. She sees it as a chance for her to strengthen her community through relationships with the farmers, the land and community members. “Everything about it [CSA] just drew me in,” she says. “It’s a very specific thing that you can get involved in that immediately locks you into a relationship with someone who lives on the land, and you’re developing a community support system when, on a weekly basis, you see that you’re giving your money to a local grower. You’re strengthening your community, you’re eating the right things, thinking about what you’re doing, being grateful for the work that went into that…it tightens the mystical relationship with our earth. And that is the ultimate for me, that’s the overhead.”

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 49 - September 4070
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