Meet Farmer/Owner/Operator Michelle Week!!
Favorite Veggie: Leeks, followed by Parsnips. Her mentor Farmer Bryan is now very disappointed. *Shrug I love what I love.*
Michelle is a returning first generation farmer. Her great grandfather was a Rancher in North Dakota, the agrarian roots get thicker from there. Her Grandfather Week ventured west to the Idaho Panhandle and had a successful logging career in which her father is still a participant. Her Grandmother Mills resides in Coeur d’Alene, happily retired now. She is the maternal source of Michelle’s Sinixt, Arrow Lakes, lineage by way of the Colville Confederated Tribes.
Turns out I don’t have a lot of photos of me actually farming…probably because I was busy farming. Here is a day off selfie headed to the Delta Park Powwow.
Michelle wasn’t told that farming was a career pathway, although she always had an affinity to be outside rain or shine and tending to the little plants that become food. Many of her birthday gift requests were for plants. There was a very special terracotta Hippo in particular. In high school she designed and built with the assistance of her step-dad a chicken coop and was allowed to bring home a flock of Rhode Island Red and Barred Rock chickens. She was also the president of the Llucky Llama Llovers 4-h club, showing Midnight the llama at the County Fair. Once she realized that she could be outside, working her mind and body she doesn’t think any other job could make her as happy. It’s hard work, and long hours, but stewarding the land, decolonizing diets, connecting with her ancestry’s cultural traditions and feeding people is her way to help restore our community’s food sovereignty. She’s excited to be a member of the next generation of farmers and excited to build a cooperative business that helps build and support the cooperative and solidarity economies for a more just and healthy future for her community.
Here’s a photo of that Hippo that is no longer with us. I scanned this photo in, 1999 was my eleventh birthday.
She graduated from Clark Community College in Vancouver, Wa. and continued her education at The Evergreen State College obtaining a B.A. in Cultural Ecology, or the Study of Place. She also holds a Certificate in Sustainability Leadership from the University of Oregon, a Cert. in Cooperative Business Development from CooperationWorks! And has recently completed a full season (7.5 month) Farm Apprenticeship at Zenger Farm, a “urban farm that models, promotes and educates about sustainable food systems, environmental stewardship, community development and access to good food for all.”
She’s been an outdoor field educator with REI for 4+ years through which she has had the opportunity to help develop curriculum, attend professional development training, experience in educating groups of people with a variety of different learning styles and ensuring that all are able to absorb and achieve the learning objects of the various classes.