My involvement with food co-ops began as an undergraduate at UMass Amherst when I joined the Yellow Sun food co-op, which required member-owners to work in their downtown Amherst storefront. I have vague memories of cashiering and attending meetings (it's been a couple decades now!) My involvement with food buying clubs began several years prior, with Brussel Sprouts Buying Club in Colrain, Mass, where my older sister collated our orders to Northeast Cooperatives and Frontier Cooperatives, which were delivered monthly to the Grange Hall. This involvement created a lifelong commitment to eating healthfully, seeking local and organic when possible, and rolling up my sleeves to keep it affordable. This is a central pillar in my health plan! I later joined the Franklin Community Co-op, which now operates Green Fields Market in Greenfield, Mass and McCusker's Market in Shelburne Falls, where I remain a member-owner. When I decided to move to Maine, the Belfast Co-op played a large role in my decision to live in Belfast. Disappointed by the lack of working-owner opportunities (I took advantage of this opportunity at Green Fields Market, during the years I lived nearby), I decided to work for pay at the Co-op instead. I began as a cashier, trained as a stocker, served as a staff rep to the Board, became a "floor" manager (manager on duty) and then took on responsibilities in our Education Dept which led to taking the helm of the dept. I also took on our bi-monthly print newsletter, which I solicit content for, edit, layout, and coordinate printing and distribution of. My educational training was in the environmental sciences; I spent a decade providing environmental education, which continues to direct my life. One of my favorite recent achievements was installing a native pollinator garden in front of our co-op, using certified organic plants from a plant nursery I've worked with through the Co-op for the past three years to offer a month-long pre-order sale for our community. This year they sold $2000 worth of organic perennials, many of which are native to Maine.