Our incomparable Farm Manager, Heather Rudich is "GRuBuating"! She is moving on from GRuB at the end of January 2022, and out of Washington with her family to Texas.
Heather joined GRuB in February 2014 as Farm Manager, and remained in that role throughout her tenure. Entering during the first year of our school partnership with Capital High School, she acclimated quickly to working with and mentoring our high school youth, and continued to do so for five years. She offered the same leadership for our GroundED program, supporting out-of-school youth in gaining accademic credit and job skills through our partner, Gravity. Through these two programs, she taught 240+ youth!
She mentored 53 interns, in many of their first or early farming experiences, led 36 youth Farm Assistants, and six Youth Farm Coordinators. She hosted hundreds of volunteers, some of whom became regular "super volunteers," and supported and then eventually led our Field Trip Program, bringing 1,500+ pre-K through high school aged youth to the farm in her time.
Her passion for early childhood development led to the launch of the Families on the Farm program, hosting families with pre-K children on the farm for weekly activities that included making food and medicine, harvesting, and sending families home with food; most of which were low-income.
Through eight growing seasons, she was responsible for distributing 13-16,000 pounds, annually, of sustainably grown food to the community via market programs, hunger relief partners, meals at GRuB and in the community, and plain old produce sharing with youth, volunteers, staff, and community members. She also developed a partnership with the Mayday Foundation, which dedicated CSA shares annually to folks battling and in recovery of cancer.
Here, Heather bids the GRuB community farewell in her own words:
"I feel so lucky that I have been able to get my hands dirty in the sweet GRuB soil for the past 8 growing seasons, and I feel grateful I have gotten to know so many of the Grubby community in this time. The last couple years have been strange and discombobulating in many ways, and I have appreciated the constancy of coming to the farm throughout it all, watching plants grow and working beside amazing people. I have loved all the ways we get to put food into the world from seed to harvest; it is truly a gift to be able to feed people. I am appreciative of how much I have learned on the farm, from the soil, the plants, the people, as well as the opportunity to share my own excitement with all ages of people about the wonders of the farm. I am excited to see what the future holds for the farm, as change always spurs growth (it’s pruning season!) And, I predict the season ahead will be full of loads of yummy veggies, luscious raspberries and sweet connections, both above and below the ground".