A big and warm welcome to 2018 Grow Whidbey School Farm apprentice Kathryn Ruesch!
I was definitely your classic “picky eater” growing up. Born and raised in the suburbs outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin my exposure to farming was pretty limited to the occasional long drives up north, passing the many dairy farms. In highschool my mom and I started a tiny garden in our backyard but my love and passion for food didn’t truly set in until college in Duluth, Minnesota where I studied Anthropology and Sustainability. My interests and taste buds grew exponentially! I began to enjoy cooking and sought out the connections between the food I was eating and the communities and environment I was a part of.
My senior year of college, I worked at an aquaponic greenhouse in Silver Bay, MN. The greenhouse was situated right on Lake Superior and even in the bitter, cold Minnesota winter our plants were flourishing and thriving. This same winter I traveled to Costa Rica with a group of students from the Anthropology department. Together, we lived in and engaged with a cooperative community focused on environmental sustainability through gardening and conscious ecological decision making. All of these experiences furthered my interests in food systems and sustainability.
Since graduating from college, I have been on the move quite a bit. I lived in Colorado where I worked for an organic food company and also at a restaurant that strived to provide healthy, affordable food to the average consumer. Both of these jobs provided me with excellent experience but I knew I wanted to dive deeper and work with food from beginning to end. I traveled through South America for almost 9 months and road tripped around the US before finding myself in Washington. I spent 6 months on Harstine Island, nannying and enjoying the glorious Pacific Northwest before finding this dream opportunity on South Whidbey.
I am incredibly excited to further my knowledge and work with students in the school farms in hopes of spreading my own passions for food and the outdoors onto the next generations!!