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New Garden Hires

Living Earth Center is excited to announce we have filled our two seasonal manager positions.  Jonathan Bystrowski has been hired as our Community Garden Manager and Carol Harder has been hired as our Community Farm Manager.  We are looking forward to working with both of them this garden season.

Get to know Jonathan:
“I grew up on a small farm in Connecticut. While growing up I have had horses, goats, chickens, and also dogs as pets. My next step in life was moving to Switzerland for University where I am currently a rising senior. At my University, I study Sustainability and Social Justice with two minors in Business Management and Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies.

I have helped out at our university garden in the past and am excited to spend more time in a garden to learn more about sustainable gardening and how the opportunity to not just study sustainability but also see how it is applied!

One fun fact about myself is that I am an avid basketball player and I even spent a year playing professional basketball in Switzerland. 

What I am most looking forward to this summer, being at the garden, is seeing a new part of the United States that I have never experienced and see in a way a new culture. Another thing that I am excited about is getting to meet all of the people that belong to the garden and hopefully becoming a positive part of your community. I am also excited about the ability to spend my summer outdoors in a beautiful setting!

Get to know Carol:
“I am the daughter of Cottonwood County farmers.  I have a BA in education and an MA in theology.  My life was turned upside down by Celiac Disease and allergic reactions to many foods.  I discovered how to live in an eccentric healthy body and the best sources of food are from my garden, farmers market, and local sources.

I have spent a lifetime of advocacy for food growing, cooking and eating locally.  I care about what people put into their bodies because this energy creates the capacity for thoughts, emotions, physical being, and spiritual guidance of world.

The source of all thoughts, wisdom, creative advances, and paradigms for social order comes from the energy of food.

The source of all emotions, will-power, brave, connection to earth and other humans comes from the energy of food.

The source of all physical movement, strength to build the architecture to protect, educate, and create legendary reminders comes from the energy of food.

The source of all spiritual discernment, percepts, sages, and ethics comes from the energy of food.

In the past I have worked for food justice by managing a Saint Paul inner city community garden, helping establish West Side Saint Paul farmers market, teaching food preservation classes to new immigrant farmers, listening to sustainable farmers and convincing preschoolers to be brave and eat vegetables. 

The most vulnerable populations often times do not have options for engaging in selecting what to eat or the culinary skills to take advantage of food that creates health.  A community’s resilience depends on creating a system that engages people in seeking out sources of food where they know the person who grew the food.   Plus, culinary skills to enjoy food which levels the playing field of options to nurture mind, heart, body and spirit.  I am grateful for a coordination position at Blue Earth County Farm to grow food and make connections for people to enrich their own and other people’s lives with healthy food.”