—Please introduce yourself and share a little about your background (this could be where you grew up, or how long you’ve been in the area, your work, schooling, hobbies/interests? Maybe a few sentences?

Hello! I’m Roxanne and I grew up in the hills of the Bay Area. I attended Sonoma State University where I met my husband who was a San Luis Obispo local, which brought me to this special town in 2014. My husband and I are both farmers. I prefer the title of “lady farmer”. We have a 2 acre organic farm which is cultivated with lots of love. In my spare time I enjoy taking trips up and down the coast with my husband and our two dogs.

— When and how did you hear about GleanSLO?  What interests you about the work we do? Would love a personal story or connection about what gleaning means to you, or why you decided to get involved, etc.

My relationship with GleanSLO began when our farm needed some help while we were out of town. GleanSLO harvested our rapidly growing zucchini for two weeks. This was the start of a beautiful relationship.  Since then, we have used them many times. Between gleans and donations I slowly began to know many of the GleanSLO and Food Bank team. Everything about GleanSLO interests me. I hate to see produce go to waste for multiple reasons, the biggest one, being that we live in a country where many people are food insecure, yet we have more than enough produce to feed the nation. To end hunger we need to live sustainability and GleanSLO aims to follow these guidelines. Being a farmer gives me a deep connection to GleanSLO because I have seen the abundance and the need in my community.

–Has anything been surprising as you learn more about food access and hunger in our community?

I was surprised by how many food access programs currently exist. It was very uplifting to learn about the programs and to know there are so many passionate people in my community.

-We’d love to know about the other work you’ve done previously — or other community involvement and what inspires you to be involved and give back to the community?

While in college I had an internship at Petaluma Bounty, a wonderful urban farm in Petaluma, California that provides CSA boxes to low income families. The chance that I could be making someone’s life a little bit better is an inspiring thing. Access to healthy food is something many of us take for granted. As a society, we need to have a stronger connection to our produce and be aware that not everyone has easy access to healthy produce. I am a firm believer that if we want to change the world, we need to start with our own community.

–Do you have any ideas about the future of GleanSLO and the vision for a healthy community? How can we improve our work and our reach? How do you see GleanSLO making a difference locally?

I think GleanSLO has a magnificent future ahead of itself. As the idea of reducing food waste and feeding our community becomes more prominent, GleanSLO will only have a bigger following.  I am excited to help improve GleanSLO’s connection with North County residents and farmers. GleanSLO has already made a difference locally by providing fresh produce to food insecure residents. This program also educates community members about the need for gleaning. GleanSLO’s impact will only grow as we continue to reach more people.

—Do you have a favorite fruit or veggie recipe you’d like to share? Or a resource of where you find inspiration for cooking or heathy eating?

My favorite recipe is roasted (homegrown) potatoes with a homemade aioli!  Since my husband and I take home our own produce from the farm every night, our inspiration is usually from what we have in surplus quantities. For example, we have been eating tomato soup every night!

—Anything else you’d like to share about GleanSLO or a story that might be of interest to our readers?

I eat my weight in squash come winter!