Clark County Food System Council Member of the Week:
“There’s nothing like the feeling of growing, harvesting, foraging and sharing food. My appreciation for food developed from my experiences with agriculture,
cooking, travel and poverty.
I grew up in a rural suburb of Rochester, New York where summers were spent playing in the Great Lakes and picking cherries, blueberries, and apples with family. I don’t come from a farm family, but I’m lucky enough to have two close aunts and uncles who are farmers in central New York. We’d make maple syrup in the spring, eat sweet corn in the summer, and stack hay in the fall. ‘The farm’ as it is endearingly called, has always been one of my favorite places.
As a teenager I volunteered at a soup kitchen. It was my first direct experience with poverty and the connection that sharing food could forge. The juxtaposition between the productive farms I’d been around and people without their own food remains a constant reminder that access to healthy food for everyone isn’t a matter of if, but how.
My appreciation for food grew throughout my twenties while living in Taiwan. I discovered a new culture of food with different customs, types, flavors and styles of food. I also missed American and European foods which inspired a hobby and love for cooking. Agricultural in Asia also left an impression on me, and I was amazed with how farms of all sizes seemed to use every square foot of land, often worked using only hand tools.
I returned to America in 2010 with the goals of getting involved in the environmental field and settling in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I joined AmeriCorps and worked for WSU Clark County Extension assisting the Watershed Stewards and Small Acreage Programs. I fell in love with the natural beauty of this region and am continually astonished by the amount of food that grows in the wild. Foraging and gleaning are now some of my favorite hobbies that support my passion for cooking and sharing food. I also rekindled my love of producing food and tend a couple of gardens, a small orchard, and keep honeybees.
Currently I coordinate the Small Acreage Program at WSU Clark County Extension. I love working with farmers and landowners who are interested in stewardship. The goals and mission of the Food System Council feel like a natural fit with my values around food and my involvement in our community. I’m honored to have the opportunity to be a part of group dedicated growing our food system.”
We thought it would be fun to highlight members from the Food System Council every week so that you could get to know us — Check back next week!