Happenings on the Food Shuttle Farm: Week of July 9

This past month, we had the pleasure of welcoming two new staff members to the farm team, Emma Layman and Lauren Lighthart.  I took the opportunity to learn more about these amazing women and share their experiences with you!

Emma (left) and Lauren (right)

Emma (left) and Lauren (right)

What made you want to work on the Food Shuttle Farm?

Emma: I liked that it combines farming with community outreach/food security. I’m interested in getting involved with nonprofits so the farm was a good way to combine two of my passions.

Lauren: I wanted to learn more about organic farming, and I love that Interfaith Food Shuttle is such an advocate for food security.


Where did you go to school/what did you go to school for?

Emma: I majored in Environmental Studies and minored in Spanish and Geography at UNC Chapel Hill.

Lauren: I majored in Agroecology at NC State.


What is your favorite vegetable?

Emma: Peppers. I love how colorful they can be and the variety in flavors.

Lauren: Tomato. It can be used for so many different dishes.


What is your favorite thing about working on the Food Shuttle Farm? What’s your best memory so far?

Emma: My favorite thing about working on the farm is knowing that at the end of the week, people in the community will have access to food that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. Harvesting 600 pounds of cantaloupe in a day!

Lauren: The people and the diversity of tasks.


What was your first experience working on a farm?

Emma: My first experience working on a farm was with Peaceful River Farm in Chapel Hill; it was a small family farm dedicated to growing and cooking healthy foods.

Lauren: It was up in a cabin in Michigan, completely out in the middle of nowhere. We grew a variety of vegetables and cared for numerous livestock.


I would love to thank Emma and Lauren for taking the time (and courage) to discuss their involvement with The Food Shuttle and other farming-related adventures with me.

Come visit the self-service farm stand during the week between 7:30 am and 3:30 pm to support the Food Shuttle Farm by purchasing fresh produce and thank our wonderful staff members for their contribution to the community.

Currently Available: Okra, bell peppers, jalapeños, slicing cucumber, pickling cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe. 


Recipe of the Week: Baked Eggplant Fries


1 lb eggplant

¾ cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten (purchase our farm fresh eggs from the Food Shuttle Farm Stand!)

1 cup bread crumbs

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried oregano

Pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 425℉.

  2. Cut eggplant into 1 inch rounds. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 20 minutes (this process draws out any bitterness from the eggplant). Pat dry after 20 minutes.

  3. Now, cut eggplant slices into “fry-sized” slices.

  4. Combine bread crumbs, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt and pepper in a bowl.

  5. Coat eggplant in all-purpose flour, then the eggs, followed by the bread crumb mixture.

  6. Prepare a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Spray the wire rack with cooking spray. Place the eggplant fries on the wire rack and spray with cooking spray.

  7. Bake at 425℉ for 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

  8. Serve with your favorite dip.