Hi friends! I’m Anna. I’m currently a student at the University of Puget Sound where I am studying psychology and studio art. I guess you could call me an East coast transplant. I was born and raised in a small town just outside of Portland, Maine. I’ve been in Washington for three years and have loved getting to explore the upper left coast. Though, I do love New England and eventually see myself growing old by the sea.
For as long as I can remember, the garden has held a special place in my family’s heart. I remember being to amazed by my dad’s ability to identify any plant or tree, whether in our garden or in the middle of a faraway city. I would spend hours outside spreading mulch and weeding with my mom, slowly realizing just how satisfying it is to look at a beautiful garden. I would look forward to the summer not because it was the time of my birthday, but because we would get to harvest veggies from our own garden, only to eat them that very night. I became so excited to see what the season would bring, how each month we would receive a new gift from the garden. As a family, we always sat down for dinner together, and this shared meal, which we often cooked alongside one another, was something special. Now, years later, my brother has become an organic farmer and I find myself constantly inspired by the hard work and passion exuding from him always. Both he and my dad are constantly searching for new ways to cook their eggplant…or Swiss chard. And it is their exploration of good food and sustainable landscape practices that has quite obviously influenced me.
I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to work with Green Plate Special as it is unlike any experience that I have had. I remember being a camp counselor and loving every second of the interactions that I had with the kids, feeling like I could be a leader for them, but also being pleasantly surprised when I ended up learning so much from them. The structure and function of camp was hard for me as I felt like these kids were being bogged down with rules and expectations. Green Plate Special offers students with the creative freedom and autonomy that they, as middle school aged kids, truly deserve. And I find that pretty great.
Favorite vegetables: Broccoli and cabbage
Favorite fruits: Nectarines and raspberries
Favorite thing to cook: Risotto with shrimp and peas
Favorite family cooking memory/experience: Making any Italian food with my family, whether it be rustic Italian bread, eggplant parm, tri-color and anise cookies around the holidays, or just a great big pot of red sauce; I love learning about how my dad’s grandmother or parents would cook such meals and being able to relish in our Italian heritage