Meet the Village: Katie Hibbard – Farm Stand

Katie standing in front of the Farm Stand.
Katie has been with The Ecology Center almost from it’s beginning. She has an infectious optimism and hard work ethic that has added immense value to the village over the years.

What’s your role in the village?
As the farm stand manager, I get to show off some of the hard work that our village does each day. While I am extremely proud of the variety of fruits and vegetables we offer, I am most proud of the team. Customers come for the produce but they stay for the company.

Tell us about a memory in your life that shaped you becoming a farmer?
It is hard for me to pin down one memory. I feel blessed to have been raised between the ocean and this farm. Growing up, my sister and I were the girls supplying bushels of crisp fall Braeburns as post soccer practice snacks, walking our pet chicken around the neighborhood, and squashing wine grapes with our toes in early summer. I truly knew I wanted to become a farmer when I chose pruning apple trees with my dad over anything else…

How and where do you find inspiration?
I enjoy the water in all its forms. Every day I am inspired by the changing beauty of the ocean. Whether swimming in the 55-degree winter, ocean, or surfing glassy, summer waves my outlook, my optimism, and my strength feel replenished- one of those undeserving gifts that keep giving much like an apple tree. 

Tell us about a moment when you experienced the power of community?
Working with the general public several days a week, I can confidently say that the instances when the power of community shines are countless. One moment that I will never forget occurred back in April 2020. I finished ringing up one customer’s produce when they insisted on paying for the customer’s groceries right behind them. The second customer’s response to this surprise was to pay for the next two customers in line behind them. Witnessing the power of community at this moment, brought tears to my eyes. Our staff shows up for the community each day, although you could also say our community shows up for our staff through their stories, support, and random acts of kindness.

What’s your favorite meal to make?
This winter I loved creating seasonal stews for my family. The smiles on their faces as I shared the stories behind each vegetable and ingredient made me very happy.