My foodie mother instilled in me her love of all things delicious. This interest in food deepened during my time at Warren Wilson College where I worked in our organic garden. I witnessed the relationship between quality ingredients, raised and tended well and limitless possibilities in the kitchen. A few years later, I went to the Ballymaloe culinary school in County Cork, Ireland where we grew all of the program's produce and sourced meats and cheeses locally. I know, I know, Ireland is not known for their culinary genius but this program shared my food values which meant a great deal. After mastering Dingle Pie, I returned stateside for an Agroecology Apprenticeship at UCSC. This two year farming program blew my socks off, leaving me barefoot and rooted in the soil. I realized that food and farming education was my home. Since then, I’ve remained in the fields of sustainable agriculture, education and farmstead foods. In the Methow I've worked with local organic dairy, sustainable ranching and in non-profit administration.
Connecting children and adults to the natural environment through growing, tending, harvesting, preparing and eating fresh food is my passion. I look forward to connecting with each of you and your children over the strawberry beds or weeding quack grass.
As a child, I rose early and would visit my 80 year old neighbor who taught me about morning dew and rutabagas. Growing up in New Jersey, the Garden State, my Dad always grew a big garden which I helped in. I have always felt at peace in the garden.
Getting my BA at The Evergreen State College I studied art but also attended the California School of Herbal Studies for 6 months. After a sojourn to the San Juan Islands monitoring Peregrine Falcons my husband and I found our way to the Methow in 1991. We lived 12 miles up the Twisp River working full time with two master gardeners on their market garden for four years.
Since then I have had my own large gardens, raised three children and grown garlic commercially. I also started the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery and I am a studio potter. I volunteer at Red Shed and have volunteered at Classroom in Bloom for the last year. It is a real joy for me to work with children in the garden, to see them connect with nature, with the food they eat and see how proud and excited they are when they harvest and share food with their peers!
I am excited to continue to be a part of Classroom In Bloom and to help remind humanity of our connection to the Earth we live in and how it sustains us in a beautiful way.
My love for the outdoors was swiftly cultivated by my Czech parents who, having been in America only five years by the time I came around and eager to explore their new home, swaddled me up in a blanket, fired up the old Chevy Nova, and adventured with me and my young brothers all around the backroads of northern California. Those early days of camping, hiking, swimming, and elsewise running amuck in nature took root in my wee soul and I knew early on that a life without nature is no life at all.
After a profoundly inspiring experience at Outdoor Ed in the fifth grade, I was driven to pursue education as a means of enticing people to care about the natural world. I majored in Environmental Education at UC Santa Cruz and I think I am in the minority when I say that I still use my undergrad degree to this day. Upon graduation, my twenties were filled with all sorts of experiences working and living in the wilderness and on farms, overseas exploring my parents' homeland, and back to the redwood forest working as a naturalist at the outdoor school where it all began. Those travels cultivated many a skill in me and while I am proud of my degree I am equally proud of the fact that I can shear sheep, talk your ear off about cheese, make herbal medicine, milk a goat like nobody's business, and make a mean saute of curried celeriac.