Olivia Rathbone (She/Her) honed her writing chops as the lead author and project manager of the award-winning Occidental Arts & Ecology Center Cookbook (Chelsea Green Publishing 2015). Life-long farmer and cook, she spent many years managing the OAEC kitchen and orchestrating innovative meals inspired by seasonal produce from our gardens and orchards. Before coming to the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center, she directed vocational education programs and authored curriculum projects in English, the culinary arts and holistic health in the San Francisco Bay area. She has a passion for language and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maryland with a BA in Speech Science.
On Staff Since: 2002 Email > Phone: x102
In Their Own Words
I grew up on a farm in upstate New York and didn’t realize until I was an adult what a rare privilege it was to have had such a close relationship to the land and to my food. My adult working life has been dedicated to creating opportunities for others to make those re-connections.
My work at OAEC:
As Communications Director, I get to be a storyteller. Whether it is through the cookbook, the website or giving a tour of the gardens, I love thinking about how to inspire our visitors (physical and virtual) to bring a little bit of the magic of OAEC back to their own homes and communities. I am an activist at heart and believe that social change can only come about through dialogue and cross-pollination – that’s where my job comes in.
Balancing screen time with hiking, music, dance and lots of time with hands and bare feet in the dirt. When I’m not at OAEC, I manage an 8-acre orchard and farm project in nearby Freestone.
My favorite resiliency resource:
Meditation in nature.
My Proudest Moment:
Playing a Sea Monkey in a psychedelic rock opera for Chautauqua.
What I obsess about:
Grammar. Compost. Meticulous care of cast iron pans.