A Look Into Agriculture, Rural Development, & Permaculture in Upstate New York

What’s it like to work in Auburn, New York? On a recent episode of The Auburn Possibility, we had a chance to sit down with Auburn citizen and permaculture specialist Erin Humphrey to find out just that.

After leaving the area and traveling abroad for her studies, Erin is happy to call Auburn, NY home again. So, what brought Erin back to the region? In addition to the many work-related opportunities she found, we had the pleasure of learning more about what drew Erin to Auburn to launch her small business and to enjoy life off-the-clock. From theater opportunities, affordable living, and the natural beauty of the Finger Lakes, there are a few reasons why Erin has put down roots in this—as Erin puts it—“spectacular place” for the last 10+ years.

In particular, we got to talk a whole lot about Auburn’s growing agricultural industry. Right now, Cayuga County is one of the state’s top sellers of agricultural products. That means there’s no shortage of opportunities for innovators and industry experts like Erin in this small city and its rural surroundings.

Erin’s niche knowledge of green design and natural systems has been a welcome addition to the world of Auburn agriculture. In 2015, Erin and her husband created the Auburn Permaculture Park, an edible forest garden, and the project has helped build a more sustainable future for the city. The park relies on a network of volunteers, including partnerships with local schools, to create a project that is engaging, collaborative, and educational for residents, students, and visitors. As Erin says, “We really see our role as being integral healers and massagers of the land so that we can preserve and recover a lot of the purity and natural functions of the forest.”

As the city of Auburn continues to embrace innovative ideas, technology, and opportunities for economic development, countless new businesses are finding their success in this micropolis. Plus, Auburn’s bustling downtown is filled with new restaurants, retail shops, museums, and more. Increasingly, prospective residents and business owners are finding that Auburn offers the perfect work-life balance to provide opportunities both professionally and personally.

As a permaculture specialist, music teacher, youth advocate, Finger Lakes farmer, and soon-to-be mother, there’s no one better to tell us about what it’s like to live, work, and do business in Auburn than Erin Humphrey. Let’s dig in.

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