Member of the Month

March 2024: Kelly Froats

Full name: Kelly Froats

Pronouns: she/her

Biography: I grew up on the Oregon coast where most of my family still lives. I moved to the valley with my two young sons to finish college about 15 years ago. I got my Bachelors in Planning, Policy, and Public Management which I’m currently using to substitute teach and I think middle schoolers are my favorite for structured group teaching. I love kids and am stoked that my partner has two littles so I get to have littles around a lot more often! Both of my sons live far away, one in the military and one in Moscow, Russia and I miss them both very much. I still have produce that I put up with the help from my youngest years ago <3

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

A: Blackberry, because I’m sweet

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

A: I love making smoothies! It’s an awesome way to use up scraps and produce that’s past its prime all while getting in your fruits and sneaking in veggies. A great way to help with the veggie sneaking is to make Kale pucks. Simply stuff as many greens as you can in the blender and add apple cider or whatever juice you have on hand, blend and then freeze in cupcake tins and freeze in gallon ziplocks. Picky eaters don’t even notice 🙂

ABOUT YOUR EAG JOURNEY

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

A: 2013

Q: What inspired you to join EAG? 

A: Brandy doing a powerpoint presentation at what I think was a propagation fair.

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

A: Glean Leader

Q: Why do you love volunteering with EAG? 

A: I love helping people eat while minimizing waste and finding free local produce!

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

A: I loved dragging my two now-grown sons along on gleans, helping them eat better while understanding where their food comes from. Now, I love when we have gleans that allow kids for the same reasons.

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

A: When you’re divvying up your group’s haul at the end, be mindful of how much you can actually process in the next few days. It helps a lot to have another set of hands. Also try new methods; canning, dehydrating and freezing, lots of these tools are accessible through the gleaners library. Lastly, encourage all your friends and family to join so you can share your bounty while adhering to the rules.

February 2024: Suzanne Reed

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!