Each month, we will be featuring a short interview with one of the members of our community so that you can get to know them a little better.
Pamela Jull has been serving as the Treasurer of the Chuckanut Center since 2019 and has grown to become deeply involved in our programs and strategy. She always goes above and beyond to make volunteers feel welcome and to lend a helping hand. This year, she is not only helping us organizationally to recover from the financial strains of 2020, but she is also leading the way in our fundraising and marketing efforts. Though she is in a leadership position, she is also a student of the Cooperative Vegetable Gardening Program and can be found getting her hands dirty in the Chuckanut Center gardens most Thursdays and Saturdays. We are so grateful to have this all-star entrepreneur, fantastic cook, and life-long learner as part of our community.
Tell our readers a little bit about yourself. Who are you outside of the garden?
I was born and raised in the PNW. I moved away for college and travelled around having adventures and skiing. I fell in love with my husband of 29 years then went to grad school and moved back in 1996 with a newborn and my sweetiepie to take a job at WWU in Sociology. After that, I ran a social research business for 21 years. In fact, I just closed that business last year. I’m happy to be exploring new options for the next chapter of my life and leap at the opportunity to learn a new skill. That spirit of ongoing education is what initially attracted me to the Chuckanut Center and what drives my involvement today.
Fun trivia: Steve Wilson (one of the Chuckanut Center founders) was my daughter’s preschool teacher at Childlife Montessori and he played music weekly with my husband for more than 10 years.
How long have you been gardening?
I was raised in a home that didn’t garden – all native landscapes with minimal maintenance. I came to my love of gardening because I love to cook and became fascinated with how things grow and the delights of feeding my family from my backyard. I am an untalented, unintuitive, novice gardener and am thoroughly enjoying John, Julia and Ali’s new Cooperative Vegetable Gardening immersive experience! I have healthy happy lettuce for the first time this year!
What have been some of your biggest challenges in the garden?
Pests! I have a hard time catching the things that like to eat my plants before I can.
What do you find most rewarding about your involvement with the Chuckanut Center?
I got involved at the Center because I fell in love with the vision the Board has of making this a place where people can learn innovative ways to grow food in community with others. I get excited about working with others and helping bring about success – it’s incredibly satisfying to me. I know I have a useful perspective and skillset to bring to the table with my business and analytic experiences and having worked with a lot of nonprofits to build demonstration programs and assess their effectiveness. I really love being part of this hardworking team.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone who has very little experience growing their own food?
Find mentors. I have brought home so much more understanding because I’m working shoulder to shoulder with knowledgeable people – there’s no substitute for it – no book or video can bring this kind of learning!
Any favorite resources?
Ha! John Egbert, Erin McCain-Anderson, Ali Matthews, Julia Liu, Jason Mark, and all of the other wonderful mentors at the Chuckanut Center.
What is your favorite thing to plant or harvest in June?
I look forward to the blast of berry season every year. I saw the first strawberries at Mariposa Farm Saturday at the Farmers Market. Nothing tops a locally-grown strawberry!
Thanks, Pamela, for your sharing your experience and wisdom with us!
If you would like to nominate someone to be featured in the Friends in Focus interview series, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Contributed by Meg All