SHELDON—Alyssa Rosenbaum will be spending her summer with one foot in the garden and the other in the kitchen.
The 20-year-old Sioux City native will be a junior this fall at Iowa State University in Ames, where she is studying horticulture and culinary food science.
She will be combining those areas of study during her internship with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach this summer.
“My adviser originally told me about it because it’s really hard to try to find a way to connect horticulture and culinary food science,” she said.
Rosenbaum is one of three “Rising Star” interns who will be working with program extension offices across Clay, Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux Counties. The internship will let Robinson work with locally produced food, from gardening it to cooking it.
She said they will be helping different donation gardens with harvesting and delivering the produce to food pantries. They also will do food demonstrations at various farmers’ markets, where they will prepare food using produce from the gardens and serve it to people at the market.
“Sometimes it’s hard to be able to just take fresh produce and know exactly what to do with it, besides just eating it plain, so it’s kind of cool to learn different ways that you can make it into salads or just cook it different ways,” she said.
Rosenbaum said she has enjoyed working with people in the various communities she has visited and being able to garden for others instead of just doing it as a personal hobby. Although she is not certain what she wants to do after graduation, Rosenbaum said she wants to continue to combine her interests in gardening and cooking.
One of her favorite meals to cook at home is her grandfather’s homemade lasagna, which she said he taught her how to make when she was 10.
At ISU, Rosenbaum is involved in the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, Dance Marathon and the Culinary Food Science Club.
Rosenbaum said her advice for college freshmen is to make the most of their summers and not just use them to relax. Last year, for example, Rosenbaum interned at a golf course in Virginia, where she worked on the one-acre garden.
“It’s really great to actually do something during your summer that will give you more skills for the future,” she said. “And it helps you decide what you actually want to do for a career.”