Katie Sharrow Nichols holds a degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin, and completed the Organic Gardeners Certificate Program with OSU-Extension in 2008. She has cultivated her subsistence skills since 2000 through dedication to year-round local eating and through apprenticeships in vegetable farming at Hermit Creek Farm in Wisconsin and goat dairying at Fraga Farm in Oregon. She revels in the creative challenge of cooking and preserving with the rhythm of the seasons and the simple joy of a eating homegrown meal.
Since moving to Portland in 2005, Katie has spent much of her employment in the retail produce. She is now a part-owner and produce manager at Cherry Sprout Produce Market. She loves connecting with people through food–introducing someone to a new vegetable, learning a new recipe for something familiar, helping people down the path of seasonal eating. She believes that our community is healthier and more resilient with small and mid-scale diverse farms and is grateful to all of the excellent local farmers she sources from.
Katie’s Garden is in her neighbors’ (Debbie and Steve Baker’s) backyard. It is also the site for the Living City greenhouse. In the spring of 2008, the Bakers hired a crew to chop down 15 years of Himalayan blackberry growth covering the back third of their lot. They agreed to forego spraying the invasive berries in lieu of an organic garden plot for Katie and her partner, Jamie. The two have since been gardening the site, paying the Bakers through land care and vegetables, and digging lots and lots of blackberry roots! They have enjoyed the reclamation—building the soil, working the ground by hand, tending long-neglected fruit trees and coaxing loads of vegetables, flowers, herbs and berries from the earth. Over the winter, they began collecting rainwater from the Baker’s roof in a gleaned stock tank and are excited to incorporate drip irrigation this summer. This season, Katie is reserving a portion of her garden to plant a CSA share as a demonstration for subscribers.