Stephanie Turco, Good Cheer Garden Manager

I was an apprentice at Good Cheer in 2011 and you can read my original apprentice bio and 2015 update here. But more recently…

I come to Whidbey from Denver where I spent 4 years managing various urban farms including a market farm in the heart of downtown and two farms growing produce for the Denver Public School cafeterias. I also volunteered with Denver Food Rescue, a non-profit focused on recovering (with bicycles) produce from the grocery waste stream for distribution through community-led programs, and Denver Urban Gardens, teaching composting and gardening classes to community gardeners.

This work brought me back into the world of food access, and reignited my interest in growing healthy, highly nutritious food for everyone, not just those that can afford the luxury. I had already made plans to return to the Northwest, so, with this rediscovered purpose, decided it was also time to return to my roots in food bank and community farming. (I then put these plans on hold to ride my bike 5,000 miles from Portland, OR to Portland, ME, but that’s a different story…) It was pure happenstance and an unexpected surprise that Good Cheer was also looking for a garden manager.

Returning to Whidbey has been a great experience. I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with the people and places I remember, seeing what’s changed and remained the same, and cultivating new relationships with the community here at Good Cheer.