Alexa joined the Whidbey Institute team in mid-march as our Learning From the Land community garden intern. She has become an invaluable player at Chinook, as much for her warmth and creativity as for her farming skill, passion, and knowledge. She has a degree in environmental studies and community arts from York University (Toronto, Ont.), and has one sister who teaches ESL in Victoria, B.C.
Alexa has been interested in farming for much of her life. “Farming was the first thing that made me really feel connected to the land, to nature, and to myself,” she said. At 16, she journeyed a couple of hours away from her home in Ottawa for a week of service through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). “It was the longest week ever,” she remembers. “That week marked an important transition in my life.” WWOOFing soon became a way of life for Alexa.
Since that transformative week in Ontario, Alexa has worked all over North America in organic farming and community agriculture. She was drawn to this position by her interest in the social aspect of community gardening and a desire to serve the greater good. She’s loved working with the Good Cheer interns and providing food for the Institute and food bank. “It’s been great to feed people who come to the Institute,” she said. “I think it’s a great model to expand on.”
Alexa has stepped up as our interim Careholder since the retirement of Mary Jakubiak, and will hold that role for us until the end of the December. She also continues to serve the land and gardens in myriad, vital ways: among them, raising and caring for our small flock of chickens. In fact Alexa, an animal lover, recently led a team of volunteers in the construction of a beautiful new coop!