1. What is your name?
2. Where were you born and where have you lived?
I was born in Des Moines, Iowa, but I have lived in a variety of places, depending on the definition of “live.” I’ve lived in many of the suburbs of Des Moines (and I’ll just consider Ankeny a suburb here, which will probably annoy Ankenyites!); Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Lee, Virginia; Olympia, Washington; Marion, Iowa; and now Mount Vernon, Iowa. I’d like to consider the barracks in which I spent three weeks in Kaiserslautern, Germany as home, too, although I think that is stretching the definition of live.
3. Who are your favorite heroes of fiction (books/movies/songs) or real life?
I can’t say that I really have favorite “heroes,” as I tend to be a very down to earth person with no heroes. I admire people, but certainly not to the point of hero-worship. As for people I’d admire – every person who has gone up against great odds to accomplish something for this world (Rosa Parks, Abigail Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Charlotte Gilman, Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, Jane Addams, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and the list goes on), people who write books that I am able to delve into and enjoy from a variety of genres (Jacqueline Carey, Melanie Rawn, J.R.R. Tolkein, Tad Williams, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Robert Jordan, and more), a lot of the people in those books give me something to admire and strive for (way too many to list), the fictional character Lorelei Gilmore from Gilmore Girls (I, too, was a young single parent), and really any person who strives to better the environment around them (the social environment, the physical environment, the worldview).
I also really like the character Joe Flannigan plays on Stargate: Atlantis. What can I say? I’m a geek.
4. What can’t you live without in your refrigerator or cupboard?
Ingredients! I remember when I was growing up – I used to take a peek in the pantry, wrinkle my nose, and say, “Mom! There’s nothing but ingredients in here!” Now, I love to have non-bleached all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, bran, sugar, and the list goes on. I know that at any second I can make homemade mashed potatoes, bread, or more.
Even better is to have food in my refrigerator/cupboard that I grew myself or received from someone who grew it themselves. There’s just something about biting into a delicious carrot and knowing that I grew it in my backyard. The applesauce that my mother-in-law canned from apples on her brother’s farm is the best applesauce I’ve ever tasted. I can’t wait until I learn to can!
5. What kind of work do you do with Local Foods Connection?
I like to help out however I can (which recently has been not at all – sorry LFC!), as much as I can, when I can. I’ve helped in the office, I’ve made suggestions when I’ve had them, I’ve worked on the farm, I’ve contacted volunteers, I’ve spread the word about LFC around as many places as I can, and I’ve called clients to ask them how they are doing. Some of those I’ve done once (calling volunteers), and some of them I’ve done more than once. All in all, anything that I can do to help LFC makes me happier.
6. What is your most marked characteristic?
I wasn’t quite sure what my most marked characteristic would be, so I asked a variety of people.
My husband: “Strength of will.”
My best friend: “I’d say your desire for things to be orderly and controlled. Or your lack of tolerance for ignorance/laziness.”
My sister’s boyfriend: “Empathy. Definitely empathy.”
My answer, by the way, would have been “stubbornness.”
7. What led you to an interest in local foods?
I was browsing http://www.localharvest.org and looking for a variety of sources for meat (I am a flexitarian [mostly vegetarian], and most of the meat that I do allow myself to eat comes from local farms and I have stringent requirements). While browsing and thinking to myself that the website was awesome, I came across Local Foods Connections entry.
I went to the website and sent Laura an e-mail asking how I could help!
8. What was your favorite food as a child?
Green bean casserole, all the way.
9. How do you spend your time outside of Local Foods Connection?
I have two children so I spend a lot of time with them. I also (currently) work in a psychology lab at the University of Iowa where I am a full-time student. I will (hopefully) graduate with honors in psychology in December. I love to garden, scrapbook, take photos, read books, watch movies, play World of Warcraft (I told you, geek!), take my husband’s motorcycle out, and so much more. I’d say I’m definitely an adrenaline junky, so if I didn’t have two young kids, I’d probably be doing things that didn’t sound so boring. 😉
10. What is your motto?
Eleanor Roosevelt said something at some point that sounded like this, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I keep that in mind at all times as I’m going through life. Second, “To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.” Even though this quote sounds a little obsessive (and I don’t know who said it or in what context), I keep in mind on those days that I’m feeling like I make no impact, that I have helped in little ways that have changed other people’s lives and my own. I do have an impact, even though it may be a tiny one.
So my motto is probably something like “Live hard, play hard, work hard, help hard, and keep your chin up.” Yeah. That’ll do it.