In Their Own Words

My work at OAEC

I see my work at OAEC as a beautiful and integral collaboration. With the mission of OAEC, the vision of the creative kitchen crew, and the wisdom of the gardeners, I hope to engage the senses, inspire the taste buds, and introduce people to the nourishment, flavor, and exquisite beauty of our homegrown produce. In addition to coordinating the program meals with the talented kitchen staff, I source the highest quality, sustainably farmed ingredients I can find.

Why my work matters

It is a rare and incredible privilege to introduce people to food that is as deeply healthy and nourishing as it is beautiful and delicious. Bringing people together over a meal to me a ritual art form. It is so much more than eating; it is a vehicle of connection, vitality, and enrichment. If we are what we eat, than OAEC’s kitchen is a force of transformation.

Shannon Quinces


Shannon Flowers

My passions

Time spent quiet and moving slow while observing nature. Photographing, gardening, exploring. Eating food that I grew myself. Creating food systems with minimal waste. Compassionate communication and honesty. Building loving and supportive relationships and community. My incredible network of extended family.

My background

I grew up in the San Geronimo Valley of West Marin in close-knit community. My relationship to nature and the outdoors was born there and remains a shaping force in my life today. I was introduced to cooking through educating myself about nutrition and radical power of food.  My love of food and cooking grew through farming and gardening in a variety of communities. I spent ten years traveling around the U.S. and abroad in East Africa, working as a farmer and cook. Upon returning from a year living in Tanzania, I placed art at the center of my life and began my MFA in photography at California Institute of Integral Studies. Living in West Sonoma County and working at OAEC I experience a daily intersection of art, nourishment, and earth work.

My favorite resiliency resource

Spending time in solitude watching the genius of nature. Self-care practices that invite me into my breath and body.