The skills taught at Seattle Farm School represent a growing movement toward locally produced, homegrown essentials. These skills are accessible to anyone, but often feel foreign and overwhelming because they are no longer part of a generational transfer of knowledge. I started Seattle Farm School because I have personally experienced the importance and joy of making things on my own, but also because of the overwhelming response from others who ask, “can you teach me how to do that?”

I am a true city girl by birth and a farmer at heart. Born and raised in Ballard, I have always been enamored with the idea of country life, and am fortunate enough to have grown up with a mom that sews, gardens, cans and cooks from scratch. Some of my fondest memories are going berry picking with my mom and sisters in the summer, and coming home to make fresh jam in the sweltering heat. I love the simplicity of this kind of life, how it slows you down and forces you to observe and appreciate nature in every season. In college I spent my summers working on ranches all over the country, and then married into a wonderful family with a strong farming history in the Puyallup Valley. I now live in West Seattle with my husband, 2 kids, 2 rabbits and 2 chickens.

The catalyst to become more self-sufficient and eventually share this knowledge started many years ago, when the stock market crashed in 2008. At the time I worked at a finance institution, and the massive job cuts (including my own) forced my husband and I into difficult circumstances. The same year, our first child was born and I wanted the choice to be a work-from-home mom. This challenging time presented me with the opportunity to refocus my creative energy into learning skills that would benefit my family: homemade gifts I would be proud to give our family and friends, growing our own food, canning fruits and vegetables, and cooking as much as possible from scratch. Although I had dabbled in these skills for many years, our circumstances created an immediate need to provide what I could to help my family save money. Necessity quickly turned into a passion for the domestic arts.

The time I now spend outside in the garden, in the kitchen, and sewing at the dining table allows me to de-stress and connect with my children, teaching them like my mother taught me, and also help provide for our family’s needs. This way of life has become ingrained in our family, and I wouldn’t wish it any other way. Living simply, giving back, growing community and taking care of our environment has never been more important. It’s time to slow down and reconnect with ourselves and each other.

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