Full name: Catherine Wilkins

Pronouns: she/her

Biography: Born and raised in Eugene, doing the urban homesteading/frugal thing before it was trendy. I worked for St. Vinnies then became a stay-at-home parent. I like learning about business, psychology, board games, ballroom dancing, and of course, food preservation. My family is wonderful with my spouse, Paul, two sons, and a nephew. I love to see all that is accomplished individually and as a team in EAG. Personally, keeping the kids and myself sane is an accomplishment.

Q: If you were a fruit or vegetable, which would you be and why? 

A: Bartlett Pear: classic Northwest, sweet, bruises easily

Q: Do you have a favorite food recipe?

A: Baked brie with my quince jelly


Q: When did you join Eugene Area Gleaners (EAG)?

A: 2014?

Q: What inspired you to join EAG? 

A: My friend Cyndi told me about it and I had grown up canning. Saving fruit (and money) was apealing… (or a-peeling!)

Q: What volunteer role(s) have you held with EAG?

A: Mostly glean leader (with breaks for newborns), some transportation

Q: Why do you love volunteering with EAG? 

A: I love seeing team work to provide for families of all kinds. I’ve met a ton of great people and tried a ton of new foods!

Q: Do you have a favorite gleaning experience, cherished memory, or fun moment?

A: I love returning to sweet donors! I gleaned quince while pregnant with my second son (he was roughly the size of a quince at the time) and donor Tona took a photo of my by the tree. Last year I led the glean there with Simon being two years old and helping to pick! <3 Another favorite memory was the awesome hustle of a large group gleaning over 2,000 pounds of Asian pears the evening before the first frost was expected.

Q: What are your words or wisdom or tips on how to be a successful gleaner and EAG volunteer?

A: Gratitude, transparency, and hard work. Be open to trading or brainstorming for working with fellow gleaners.

Q: Anything else you’d like to share with our community?

A: My kids aren’t always excited to glean, but they have had some really good experiences. They love cider pressing. I’m also glad I recruited my mom to join EAG.

Fair ribbons