I loved driving the big green bus, talking to folks, doing cooking demonstrations and turning people on to new vegetables. I wrote a cookbook, perfected my Kale Salad Show, spoke on panels regarding food insecurity, and joined advisory groups for WIC and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Best of all, I spread my message that eating healthy needn't be expensive, time consuming nor difficult.
Such satisfaction I've gotten from customers telling me that they loved the recipes. Best of all, one regular told me "you've totally changed the way that I feed my baby! I thought that I had to buy baby food in jars, but now I know that I can prepare it myself!"
I have been sort of the "Market Momma" to our customers. I've held an elderly woman as she cried about her mother's recent death and occupied children with stories and drawing so that their harried moms can shop in peace. I've reassured exhausted parents of newborns that life gets easier as the child grows older, been a source of comfort for distressed college students, and looked after my "Arcadia kids" (my coworkers), making sure that they are eating and staying hydrated. Now it's time to move on and combine this love of culinary education with my love of women and babies. I will be a birth and postpartum doula. The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before during and just after birth. I am focusing on postpartum care, emphasizing the importance of good nutrition as a foundation of healthy parenting, self-care and breastfeeding. In other words, I will be a Professional Nana!
Four years ago at the Rooting DC conference, I first laid eyes on Benjamin Bartley, the brains behind the Mobile Market big green bus and asked about the position as Market Assistant. Ironically, nearly four years to the day, I decided that it was time to let go. It's been a magical and, at times, a literally bumpy ride. Arcadia, thanks for the memories and thanks for letting me be an integral part of your growth. I'll never forget ya. "Seems we just got started, and before you know it, comes the time we have to say 'so long'."