April’s Stellar Citizen, Bree Garrett, Helps Children & Adults Alike Embrace Healthy Living Habits
Stone Hollow Farmstead is out to change the way people view sustainable farming. Located in Harpersville, the Farmstead is an oasis of farm-to-plate food practices and healthy living efforts.
Bree Garrett is Stone Hollow’s newest team member. She is the farm’s Wellness Educator, a position recently created out of demand. Her job is to develop partnerships with other organizations, help local schools provide nutrition education, and get the word out about programs for students on the farm. You might catch her visiting elementary schools or stocking shelves at Stone Hollow’s Pantry market in Crestline.
Stone Hollow Farmstead hosts scheduled tours and classes for children that focuses on teaching the importance of knowing where food comes from. A day on the farm might mean bottle-feeding baby goats, watering the garden or tending to teacup pigs. Their mission, which aligns with Garrett’s, is to help people of all ages understand the importance of organic eating and sustainable gardening.
Garrett earned her degree in Nutrition from the University of North Alabama before receiving her Master’s in Health and Nutrition Education. Her knowledge and passion for clean eating, however, began during her childhood.
“My grandparents had a big garden. During spring and summer, I remember spending many mornings helping shell peas, shuck corn, snap beans, and make pear preserves with my mom and grandmother,” she said.
“The reward of a garden to table lunch was worth it. I learned at a young age what real food tasted like.”
She also gives credit to her early experiences working at Manna Grocery in Tuscaloosa, where she learned the differences of food labeling in conventional grocery stores versus health food stores. “This led to my interest in clean water, clean air, and community. It’s all connected!”
Outside the office, Garrett has embraced healthy living habits in nearly every way, from staying active in yoga to making smart food choices. She is also an avid hiker, and her love of nature expands into her classroom. “I became very passionate about teaching people how to be proactive by living a healthy lifestyle, making smart food choices, and knowing where their food came from,” she explained. It goes without saying that she’s well-versed in nutrition education and farming practices. In fact, this isn’t her first farmstead position.
After volunteering to teach nutrition classes at the Jones Valley Teaching Farm in Birmingham, Garrett was hired to be their Nutrition Educator. Her position meant leading farming and nutrition programs for elementary students, similar to her current position at Stone Hollow. She quickly became the chair of the Jefferson County Childhood Obesity Taskforce, which was combined with other organizations across Jefferson County to become the Health Action Partnership.
“After taking another job for a year, I realized how much I missed being in the food and nutrition world,” she says, “I contacted Stone Hollow Farm and let them know I was interested in working with them. Thankfully, Deborah Stone called me and asked me to meet with her.”
Garrett will soon be available for consulting at The Pantry (Stone Hollow Farm’s café and market in Crestline) for advice on how to improve clean eating habits. She says, “I hope to connect with the community so they understand Stone Hollow Farm’s role in helping individuals live a healthy lifestyle!”
To learn more about Stone Hollow Farmstead, visit www.stonehollowfarmstead.com or click here for a full list of children’s workshops. Bree Garrett can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.