We are so grateful for our GRuB team, those who help us grow! Here's a deeper dive into two of our favorite team members: Randy Pratt and Jennah Kemp!
Randy Pratt, Intern
I've been able to work with Elise Krohn in the Wild Foods and Medicines Program for a year now and just started again this quarter and plan to do another year with the program. The internship is through Evergreen's CCBLA, Center for Community-Based Learning and Action, which has given me the opportunity to connect with other students trying to figure out what community care is and can look like.
The internship has been a really awesome learning experience for me and has really supported my learning around health accessibility and autonomy. I'm studying Community Resilience at Evergreen and I feel like my time at GRuB has really helped give me a stronger framework for those studies. I'm particularly passionate about the community medicine projects we're doing in collaboration with Canoe Journey Herbalists.
Additionally, learning about cultural ecosystems though the internship has really helped me better understand the role, impact, and relationship I can have with the ecosystems I am a part of and interact with.
Cultural ecosystems are just one example of the many things I have learned through the internship. Plant dyes, native trees and plants, plant medicine, land maintenance are other things I have been able to explore and learn more about. One highlight was being able to participate in creating care packages to send to Yakama. This experience happened right before I was about to head out on a backpacking trip around Mount Tahoma also known as Mount Rainier. I had had questions while preparing for the trip around what it means to be a non-native person going to a sacred mountain. I was trying to find a way to give back to the people of the mountain so we organized a GoFundMe, and the proceeds raised were distributed between Peace Keeper Society, Canoe Journey Herbalists, and GRuB.
Shortly after moving to Washington State from the Washington, D.C. metro area, Jennah, a Navy veteran, began working at GRuB in January 2019 as the Lead Garden Builder through a Veterans Conservation Corp (VCC) internship. With an education and background in biology and environmental studies, she has a passion for conservation and sustainable agricultural practices, as well as a veteran's desire to be of service. GRuB felt like a natural place for her to become grounded in the land and develop connections in her new community. Jennah worked with a team of veterans as part of the GRuB Garden Project, building free backyard vegetable gardens for low/no-income families in Thurston, Mason, and Pierce counties. In addition to helping install over 150 backyard gardens, in her nearly 2 years at GRuB, she has taken on more responsibilities, including stepping into the role of Volunteer Coordinator last fall and working on the GRuB outreach team. She most treasures the lasting connections she's made with so many GRuB gardeners, veterans, volunteers, and staff. She has also loved getting to make food to share with others at GRuB events and being able to contribute art work for several projects. Sadly, Jennah's internship will be ending at the end of February 2021. She will forever be grateful to have been a part of this incredible community of people and will continue to stay involved as a volunteer and strong advocate for GRuB.
As an added treat, here's another recipe! This one is one of Jennah's favorites.
Creamy Potato and Spinach Soup
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
8-9 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & diced
4 C. chicken or vegetable broth
2 C. fresh spinach
1 C. yogurt or dairy-free substitute of your choice (coconut cream would work well)
salt and pepper
Choices of optional garnishes:
dollop of sour cream or yogurt
pinch of paprika
1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
3. Add potatoes and stock to pot and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to low to simmer. Let the potatoes gently cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 15 minutes.
5. Once potatoes are soft, add spinach and stir in. Once spinach has wilted slightly, remove from heat.
6. To blend the soup, you can ladle soup into a blender and blend until it's a creamy consistency. Or use an immersion blender directly in the pot.
7. Once blended, add yogurt or dairy-free substitute and stir or blend in until fully incorporated.
8. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
9. Spoon into bowls and garnish to your heart's desire.