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.
Hannah recently completed her 3-year term on the Board of the Chuckanut Center, where she served as Treasurer for 2 years. She helped the organization through some pretty dire times and has always been committed to seeing it thrive. We wouldn’t be where we are today without her commitment! This year, Hannah changed careers and started her own macrame business on the side. We couldn’t be more proud of her for following her dreams. (But we will surely miss having her and her tasty cooking at our Board meetings!)
Our hope is that you can enjoy what it feels like to hang out with this vibrant, intelligent woman through this short interview and that you consider supporting her fiber art endeavors by following her on Instagram or visiting her online shop, A Freyed Knot. She is so very talented and has gorgeous pieces. Macramé makes great gifts!
Tell our readers a little bit about yourself. Who are you outside of the garden?
I’m from Spokane, originally, but moved around my whole life, including Canada for 8 years until I got my dual citizenship. Currently, I’m working part time for Dandelion Organic Delivery and running my fiber art business, A Freyed Knot, on the side. I love to cook for people, work on my house, and gardening…as long as I can be creative and make things more beautiful, that’s what makes me happy!
How long have you been gardening?
I started working with plants in my early 20s when friends would bring their sickly houseplants to me to rescue them. I didn’t have any formal knowledge about plants, I just sort of knew what they needed. Later I went to Clackamas Community College and got an Associates in Horticulture, with an emphasis on Landscape Design. I worked as a Landscaper for many years, for other companies and for myself for a few years as well. I farmed vegetables for about 3 years too. So, I guess I’ve been gardening, of sorts, for about 20 years.
What have been some of your biggest challenges in the garden?
Having the time that it takes to have a very well maintained and healthy garden. I don’t like doing things if I can’t do them well, so I get frustrated when I don’t have time to do what I know needs to be done.
What do you find most rewarding about your involvement with the Chuckanut Center?
I started Board work at the CC because I really wanted to be more involved in my community and felt passionately about the CC’s mission of the growing food, skills, and a resilient community. While I have enjoyed meetings and working with past Board members and new faces in the garden, the most rewarding part of my involvement over the last 3 years has actually been how we have evolved into a board of women that I love and who bring a diversity of skills to the organization! It’s really been a rewarding leadership experience for me!
What has been your biggest leadership challenge while serving the Chuckanut Center?
I think the biggest challenge serving on the Board has been trying to figure out how to get more help without creating more work for the Board. It’s a tricky challenge.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone who has very little experience growing their own food?
Practice and play. My favorite thing about gardening is figuring out how a certain plant likes to grow and where. Sometimes the fun is in the learning. Don’t take it too seriously, just play and enjoy the process. If you don’t get onions on your first try, read up on different varieties and when they should be planted, how to care for them and when to harvest. I like to get lots of seed catalogs and just read through them. Territorial Seed has a great newsletter with tips and tricks throughout the growing season.
Any favorite resources?
Sunset’s Western Garden Book is probably the most used in my library, but that’s more for ornamentals than veggies. Other classics in my opinion are The Rodale Book of Composting, Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades (has a great homemade fertilizer recipe that I used to swear by) and for beginners Seattle Tilth’s The Maritime Northwest Garden Guide is always a great go-to to have on hand.
What is your favorite thing to plant or harvest in August?
Because my brain has been trained more as a landscaper than a farmer, I don’t generally think of planting anything in August because it can stress plants, but in the garden I’d say its a good time to sow veggies for the winter! And tomatoes are my favorite fruits to harvest. My great-grandmother was famous in our family for her tomatoes. And now I have become quite particular about when I eat them. I love that mine are coming in! A few of them are starts from the Chuckanut Center!
Thanks, Hannah, for your sharing your experience and wisdom with us! Good luck in all your future endeavors!
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