Sustainable Agriculture Program
Originally from the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania, I have taught at WPCC since 2011. Prior to living in North Carolina, I studied Biology and Environmental Studies at Denison University where I studied plant biology. In 2006, I moved to Raleigh and earned my M.S. in Horticulture Science with an emphasis on weed science in small fruits. Following my time at NCSU, I worked as a cheese maker and milker at an artisanal goat dairy. My agricultural expertise focuses on small fruit and vegetable production as well as sustainable livestock production. While my teaching responsibilities are diverse, a large part of my concentration at WPCC is small grain production and sustainable livestock, particularly critically rare heritage poultry. In 2014, I oversaw the importation of a stone mill from Austria. Our students not only grow and harvest the grain, but they also mill our own flour, cornmeal, grits and farina. We are also breeding two breeds of critically rare chickens to save them from extinction. Through our poultry breeding program, I have also focused on on-farm poultry processing and egg production. My biggest goal for the program is to introduce the students to culturally and historically relevant sustainable farming and provide them with the skills to become self-reliant producers in a local food system.
I also live on a farm in western North Carolina with my husband, daughter and son. Outside of work, I enjoy experimenting with historic food preservation techniques, cooking and primitive skills. My food hobbies tend to run over into my teaching and we make bread, fermented chili sauce, canned goods, and roast meat over an open-fire. We also spin wool and make soap. I’ve been known to dress in 18th century clothing to teach kids about food production during the Revolutionary War, so come every October I am looking for student recruits. Overall, I am really passionate about agriculture, self-sufficiency and maintaining a connection to our culture and history through farming. I hope to share some of that passion with my students in the Sustainable Agriculture Program at WPCC.
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