Jess Maeder - Head Farmer
Jess began farming on Whidbey in 2014. She has worked with both Prairie Bottom Farm in Coupeville and Ebb Tide Produce on the Island.
Her interest in growing food began after leaving home for college and cooking for herself in the city of Boston where the prices and quality of produce seemed outrageous. She soon found the Sustainable Food and Farming program at UMass Amherst where she learned all about food and the plants that provide it; in and out of the classroom. The program allowed her to visit many local farms in western MA and exposed her to an opportunity for a five month internship to learn directly from farmers. There she learned what it takes to own your own business and provide quality food to the community.
The Pacific Northwest was where she wanted to search for the perfect place to learn more and found that perfection in Whidbey Island. She finished her bachelor degree and immediately moved to Whidbey. Here she is an integral part of a community that prioritizes good, local food and supports the farmers that grow it.
Now she enjoys a lovely life surrounded by the beauty of mountains, forests, prairies and the ocean. She is excited to work with Orchard Kitchen to continue providing great food to people while allowing them to experience how a real working farm runs throughout the season.