Member of the Month

February 2024

ABOUT OUR MEMBER OF THE MONTH

Full name: Suzanne Reed

Pronouns: She/her

Biography: I am the newly hired Curator for the Giustina Gallery at Oregon State University and Event Coordinator for University Events at OSU. I just made the move to Corvallis, but I’ve been living in Eugene and working on campus at the University of Oregon since 2007. Prior to coming to Eugene, I worked for the Washington State Arts Commission and I secured arts funding for the state as a grant writer to the National Education Association (NEA). It was a big amazing job and I loved it. I was told that my boss was retiring and that they wanted to hire me so I needed to go get a master’s degree, so I came to Eugene as a UO graduate student. The economy tanked while I was in school and my very linear plan took numerous turns. My daughter is grown and out on her own, making me an empty nester.

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

A: I would be a strawberry as it is a fleshy receptacle for the seeds. I learned this recently from a botanist friend and that phrase “fleshy receptacle” is just so great.

Q: Do you have a favorite food recipe to share with the EAG community?

A: Carrot Salad: Take one bunch of carrots and shred finely. In a small mixing bowl, add a tablespoon of stoneground mustard, a tablespoon of your sweetener of choice (honey is a great option), and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix well and then toss with the carrots. Add chopped mint (can be subbed for parsley but mint is better). It is delicious and light, great on its own or as a side dish. It isn’t pretentious but it is beautiful and fancy enough for any menu. 

ABOUT YOUR EAG JOURNEY

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

A: 2014

Q: What inspired you to join EAG? 

A: We were a family of three back then and I had just been laid off at my position at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the UO. We were on the edge of food insecurity. EAG filled that gap in a way that was empowering and the model was so obviously sustainable: Everyone wins on every side of the process.

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

A: I have been a board member and there were some years where I was at all the gleans. These days I’m much more of an advocate. I tell everyone how wonderful EAG is and I actively recruit membership.

Q: Why do you love volunteering with EAG? 

A: Brandy. I’ve never met anyone as level-headed and kind.

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

A: I love Creswell Blueberry gleans. The amazing fields, the community aspects of gleaning those rows. Conversation flows and it’s just so nice.

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

A: Bring a sun hat, a water bottle, and designate a pair of shoes that keep the dirt out, but that you don’t mind getting dirty . . . Don’t forget to make friends. And to tell your friends.

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

A: Did I mention how wonderful Brandy is? ‘Cause it should be repeated!