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The Real Dirt on On-Farm Educators: Zoe

Zoe is one of our newest on-farm educators, and she is next up in our series "The Real Dirt on On-Farm Educators." Thanks to our Duffy intern Lauren Strug for putting this series together!

How long have you worked at Angelic Organics?

About 2 months now! Oh how time flies.

What experiences inform your work at the Learning Center?

I grew up in Rockford where I spent most of my days doing gymnastics, catching tadpoles and snapping turtles, fishing, making mud pies, and “saving worms” by riding around on my bike and picking them up out of the road when it was raining. Since these "good old days", I moved to California, received a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz, spent a year volunteering with a variety of nature schools and an elementary school, and moved back to Illinois. In addition to working for AOLC, I work at the Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens in Rockford and coach the competitive gymnastics team at the Beloit YMCA. In the fall, I will be moving to Boulder, CO to get a Masters in Environmental Leadership from Naropa University. Yippee!

How long have you worked at Angelic Organics?

About 2 months now! Oh how time flies.

What experiences inform your work at the Learning Center?

I grew up in Rockford where I spent most of my days doing gymnastics, catching tadpoles and snapping turtles, fishing, making mud pies, and “saving worms” by riding around on my bike and picking them up out of the road when it was raining. Since these "good old days", I moved to California, received a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz, spent a year volunteering with a variety of nature schools and an elementary school, and moved back to Illinois. In addition to working for AOLC, I work at the Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens in Rockford and coach the competitive gymnastics team at the Beloit YMCA. In the fall, I will be moving to Boulder, CO to get a Masters in Environmental Leadership from Naropa University. Yippee!

What classes do you teach?

I just started at AOLC, but I’ve assisted with farm tours, goat day camp, baby plants and animals, day camp open house, and the recent overnight with 7th graders from Chicago.  

Favorite thing to grow and/or eat? Favorite farm animal?

My favorite animal is Aphrodite (the goat) - she’s my girl, although Juliet and Tanner and Aza and Patrick and Babe (the horse) and the chickens and that adorable dark red cow and…oh my, I think I like them all.

I like to grow EVERYTHING! I’m very experimental. My life revolves around food though, and I will basically eat anything. Anti-climactic, but maybe my favorite thing to eat is a carrot, freshly pulled out of the ground. There’s something about how the dirt tastes that makes carrots extraordinary. Is that weird? I also love beets, cabbage, radishes, tomatoes, chard, kale, squash, and…oh my, I think I’m obsessed with all edible things.

What has been your most rewarding teaching experience at the farm?

Every experience is incredibly rewarding at the farm. The Polaris Charter overnight was extra great for me though, in part because it was my first overnight at the farm. There’s something really special about spending an extended period of time with a group of kids, and these kids were knowledgeable, appreciative, respectful, determined, and kind micro-humans — kids that epitomize the whole interconnected system motif that the farm embodies. I feel so fortunate for this job. The atmosphere, the passion, the excitement that the kids and staff have is so inspiring and delicious (yes, delicious).