A Fond Farewell

It is with heavy hearts that we wish Kathryn Donovan, our departing seed farm manager, the best with the next chapter of her career. Kathryn joined the nursery program as a seasonal farm hand almost four years ago in the spring of 2014. At that time, we were still farming the soggy fields at Webster’s forest nursery in Tumwater. We had just broken ground on the new Violet Prairie seed farm and were expanding rapidly to meet the growing seed needs of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Kathryn had previously managed the seed trials for High Mowing organic vegetable seeds in Vermont, and her experience in the seed industry was welcomed at CNLM.

Kathryn on a tractor working at Violet Prairie.

We quickly offered her a permanent position managing the short-lived Sequalitchew seed farm, which she quite adroitly steered us away from. Under Kathryn’s guidance, the farm at Violet Prairie has grown significantly in size and sophistication, and two additional farms have been established and filled with an ever-diversifying array of native plants.

Kathryn keeping a watchful eye on the fields of native prairie plants.

Kathryn brought an eagle-eye attention to detail and an organizational ability that allowed her to keep track of thousands of hours, hundreds of beds, scores of species and four production sites. Her think-like- a-plant intuition and zest for improving practices have been instrumental in the success of the farms. She has moved on to the Portland area and we hope to see her at Prairie Appreciation Days in the future. Thank you Kathryn, you will be missed.