After job postings at Grand Valley State University and Calvin College failed to draw an available, qualified applicant for the position of greenhouse intern, the women of Our Kitchen Table began asking friends and community members to send applicants our way. Sure enough, the perfect person for the job was right under our noses.
Miss Liseia Woodard grew up gardening in her own back yard from the time she was a small child. She participated as a peer educator in the Blandford Farm school garden program during middle school and was a vendor during last season’s Southeast Area Farmers’ Market, where her mother, Ms. Yvonne Woodard, serves as market manager.
Liseia garnered near perfect scores during an intensive interview with three OKT representatives—she scored extra points for enthusiasm. Ms. Leslie Huffman, greenhouse supervisor, is happy to have found a candidate that brings both extensive gardening experience and a passion for growing food.
Liseia earns her high school diploma this June and, in addition to working in the greenhouse 20 a week, will begin her higher education at Grand Rapids Community College. Liseia, Ms. Huffman and the OKT team are already busy in the former Molesta Greenhouse, planting flats of vegetables and herbs that will grow into healthy food for our neighborhoods. These food plants will be distributed to yard gardeners and OKT’s demonstration gardens in June and again in July. Food harvested from the demo gardens will be put into baskets and distributed to pre-selected food insecure families each week at the farmers’ market. OKT yard gardeners have the option of selling excess produce at the market.