Jackie Farrell: Neighborhood Grandmother


What is your name and where do you work or volunteer?

My name is Jackie Farrell. I volunteer at the Westside Farmers Market on Genesee St in the 19th Ward, one of many neighborhoods in southwest Rochester.

What attracted you to your volunteering?

In 2008, a number of people from the neighborhood, and some local food experts gathered to talk about whether or not there was a need and desire to have a farmers market in southwest Rochester.  I was one of those people.  I strongly believe in eating local food as much as possible for a variety of reasons.  I also believe that two of the strengths to keeping a community alive and growing is for people to gather, and be healthy.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

I am constantly rewarded in my work.  I meet wonderful people, share stories, and basically go to a party every week with friends, neighbors, and folks I meet for the first time.

How would you describe yourself?

I am a high-energy grandma, trying to stay out of a rocking chair!

Why do you find meaning in community? 

Community is like family to me.  My neighborhood community is always there for me, and I love giving back to them.

Was your current work always in your career plans?

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be running a farmers market, but I sure do love it.  It is definitely at the top of short list of  ‘the best and favorite things I have done’

If you could be any bird, which would you be?

If I could be a bird, I think I would choose to be a hummingbird.  Every year I would be able to travel from Central America or Mexico to New York State.  I would see so many people and so many places. I could spy through windows, greet people on their porches, and watch people as they think they are watching me.  If I couldn’t be a hummingbird I would choose to be an Indigo Bunting, traveling across the country, singing a beautiful song.

What do you love about the City of Rochester?

The thing I love most about the City of Rochester is the people and the hospitality.  We have so many wonderful people here, and so many connections to make.  We have a friendly community, willing to reach out and help when needed, whether that means simply giving directions to a stranger, or something as big as volunteering or donating financially to a cause.  Whatever the need, the people of Rochester like to step up and reach out.

 What are some of your hobbies?

I love music and dancing.  I also love a good book, but I am usually too tired to read it.

 What is most important to you?

Family, friends, and community are very important in my life.  I will always choose family over other events. My close friends and my community of supporters have become like family to me.In general, I love being with people, sharing stories, music, food, and friendship.

Thanks so much for sharing with us Jackie!  Check out the Westside Farmers Market to get access to local, healthy, and affordable foods in the 19th ward neighborhood!   

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