Growing food AND staff at 21 Acres

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

The climate has been great this summer for growing – not only has the farm at the 21 Acres Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living been prolific and produce is abundant, but the staff is growing as well: 21 Acres has added five new people, plus the organization is hosting two summer interns.

21 Acres has been pleased to have two student interns working since early July, Aaron Huston and Johanna Marsh Rayl.

Huston just graduated from UW Bothell and he is pitching in wherever help is needed on the farm and in the school; Marsh Rayl just finished her freshman year at Pomona College and has been spending the summer working on research projects related to sourcing the most energy efficient refrigeration products available and assisting with planning new culinary classes.

Huston and Marsh Rayl are also working together to pitch in and help the educational team implement an expanded field trip program for school-age youth.

In the 21 Acres kitchen, Sue Skaggs has been hired as a kitchen assistant and when she is not cooking she will be working to support programming with the Veterans Garden at 21 Acres.  Skaggs has just finished her schooling at Le Cordon Blue Cook School and  comes to 21 Acres with a rich and diverse background: She spent 12 years in the Navy Reserves including three deployments (two in Kuwait), she worked as a corporate sales rep and is a licensed massage therapist.

For the 21 Acres Food Hub operations, Chelsea Gabrielle has been hired as driver/distributor and to assist with marketing local farm product to area chefs. Gabrielle is a recent graduate of Western Washington University and balances her role at 21 Acres with her work through the organization, Real Food Challenge. 

Patrick Park has been hired as facilities manager and Melissa Sokolowsky has been hired as assistant facilities manager. 

Both Park and Sokolowsky have extensive experience in building and systems management with a specific focus on green building and sustainable, energy efficient projects.

Park most recently worked for Adcor Consulting and Sokolowsky worked for Coastal Transportation Disaster Simulator. Together they will collaborate to ensure that the existing 21 Acres facility operates as efficiently as possible and that any new projects are undertaken with the utmost focus on sustainability and are congruent with LEED Platinum specifications

Rounding out the 21 Acres team is Jane McClure, who was hired this summer as events coordinator.

McClure comes to the organization with previous experience as marketing director of a Simon & Associates mall property and as conference services coordinator for North Texas State University. More recently she has been a residential design consultant and she is an avid volunteer for energy-related initiatives and helps organize the Solarfest in Shoreline.

21 Acres Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living is a comprehensive campus with a farm, school, commercial kitchen, market and green-built facility located at 13701 NE 171st Street, Woodinville, WA 98072. 

Click or call for more information:, or (425) 481-1500.

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