by BLAKE PIESCHKE, CSU Public Relations Intern
The Denver native, who shares her farming skills to play a more active role in the food economy, will be the next speaker featured in the Mankato Adventure Series.
On Wednesday, March 31, at 7 p.m., the Maverick Outdoors program will continue their livestreamed speaker series with Laura Peterson.
Peterson has a passion for farming, education and cross-cultural engagement. She started her education at Franklin University Switzerland studying international relations. After graduating college, Peterson spent time in Sub-Saharan Africa working with farmers and guiding safaris for a year.
She then moved to rural Minnesota and attended Minnesota State University, where she earned her master’s degree in experiential education in 2008.
In June 2017, Peterson became the executive producer of the Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry, which was later named the Living Earth Center in Summer 2018. The Living Earth Center is an independent, non-profit organization that uses gardening as a common ground to build a sustainable future through education, advocacy and collaboration among all spiritual traditions and diverse cultures. It was the dream job she had been looking for and with her prior experience, the right person for it.
The Living Earth Center is a program running community gardens in the area where people can grow their own food for local produce donation. Food grown is donated to Echo Food Shelf, Feeding Our Community Partners Backpack Food Program, Mankato MY Place, Partners for Affordable Housing and more.
These garden areas will be used for educational purposes for the program’s volunteers, community members and community partners and a way to give back to the community.
“We are going to be able to grow food that we can give back to the community,” said Peterson.
In March 2021, Living Earth Center partnered with Blue Earth County to take over management of the Blue Earth County Community Farm.
To hear more about her work and experiences, tune in on March 31 at 7 p.m. on their Facebook page at Maverick Adventures at Minnesota State University, Mankato | Facebook.