About ME

My name is Lotus and I am the owner of Garden Glow Wellness. I have been wildly passionate about health and wellness with a special interest in child/family nutrition since I was 17.

My love truly began blossoming in high school; after learning some harsh truths about the food industry in a college environmental science, I began to pay more attention to what my family and I ate. This mostly consisted of a quick bite at McDonald’s on the way home from school, and although I knew about the preservatives in the food, it was what we had to work with. I became a vegetarian, which due to my lack of nutritional needs ended terribly but was a learning experience nonetheless, began encouraging my mom to go to the local farmer’s market and slowly buying organic.

Next, I joined the school’s brand new garden club. This is where I began learning more about plants, both edible and ornamental, what they needed to live and thrive. We started with about 5 small beds and over a year, quickly expanded to a student run CSA (community supported agriculture) program, a student summer job training site and a solace for me.

Taking a year off after graduating high school, I stayed to help develop the school garden program, teaching high school students and community members about how to grow food, selling flowers at the farmers market and finding myself. I still consider it to be one of the best years of my life, spending my days gardening and teaching. Sustainable

I left in 2014 to study Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Education in college with the hopes of becoming a farmer. I learned a lot about how to make a business and farm sustainable, how to care for cows/chickens/pigs and how to make kombucha. Deciding to take a more grassroots approach to my career, I went back home truly knowing what sustainability meant, how hard it was to maintain, with a budding interest in Yoga and herbalism, and an acceptance letter into the Master Gardener program back in Los Angeles.

In the Master Gardener program, I became very interested in the environmental education field while volunteering at various schools and community gardens. After learning about the American Heart Association teaching gardens, I also discovered the concept of the outdoor classroom and edible gardens. After graduating from the program, I went on to become an Outdoor Classroom Specialist focusing on my special interest in preschool aged children.

In 2015, I was accepted into FoodCorps, which is an Americorps-like year of service; primarily aimed towards teaching nutrition education to children and schools, in the hopes of lowering childhood obesity and establishing healthier eating habits. This is where I was able to begin in the classroom teaching, developing my own curriculum, learning more about gardening in a humid, rainy climate and building community. I moved to Atlanta from Los Angeles, was able to find beautiful parks/landscapes, explored the city, partnered with amazing “good food” community resources around Georgia and found a perfect place to grow my business.

After Foodcorps, I was hired at an amazing childcare center that allowed me to improve on my lessons, speak at regional conferences on the importance of child nutrition, garden, teach Yoga to preschoolers and play in the dirt.

Now in 2017, here I am. I want to continue to do everything that I’ve done but better, longer and with a broader reach. I have accepted this is where I’m supposed to be and I hope to share everything I have with you all.

My philosophy

I strongly believe in the use of food as medicine, as a way to establish a connection with each other, ourselves and the world around us. I also am a strong advocate for alternative/holistic approaches to education, health, and wellness.

My Résumé

Education

2017

Certified Yoga Instructor

2015

Certified Food Literacy Educator

As a Food Literacy Educator, I am working to empower youth, parents, families and individuals to lead healthier lives through nutrition and cooking education.

2014

Certified Outdoor Classroom Specialist

As an outdoor classroom specialist, I am qualified to start and maintain an outdoor classroom at an early childhood learning center that is used to help children establish a connection with nature, through outdoor play and learning.

2014

Certified Master Gardener

As a master gardener, I acted as an agent of the University of California system, volunteering at community events to answer gardening questions, teaching garden based lessons at greater Los Angeles garden sites. I was also a part of the Master Gardener email helpline.

Previous Jobs

2015-2017

Farm to Preschool Educator

Implement Farm to Preschool curriculum to 2-5 year olds, while informing working parents of alternative healthy eating options.

  • Teach mindfulness, meditation and Yoga practices to entire center
  • Facilitate indoor and outdoor curriculum inquiry-based plant science as well as cross-disciplinary workshops for preschool and kindergarten grades 3-5 (all ability levels, including children with learning differences)
  • Use 100%  pedagogically-appropriate practices which help build student understandings constructively through investigation of unique resources, hand-on activities, and peer collaboration in garden setting and yoga classroom settings
  • Assist in the assessment of existing and new farm to preschool curricula, and solicit teacher evaluation of education programs

2016

Educational Market Chef

  • Lead interactive educational cooking demos at Atlanta Metro farmers markets, including at Westside Market, in the West End and Ponce City Market and Pittsburg Community Center
  • Promoted local farmers through procurement

2015-2016

FoodCorps Service member

Connecting children, parents and community members to healthy food in schools, community centers and homes, so they can lead healthier lives and reach their full potential.

  • Created and implementing garden based curriculum including connections to STEM
  • Increased student involvement in health focused activities by 50%
  • Helped teachers connect Common Core standards with the garden as an outdoor learning space
  • Built and maintained 20 school gardens
  • Conducted weekly cooking and nutrition demos with students
  • Planned a school wide health centered event with 100% school involvement
  • Established and maintained relationships with key community members, helping increase community involvement by 20% and help bring in about $1000 worth of resources for above mentioned garden program
  • Contributed to monthly blog for Georgia Organics during service term bringing increased awareness of the importance of early childhood program initiatives
  • Planned and organized food related community events at Atlanta metro schools that increased parent and community involvement by 30%
  • Developed 2 complete curriculum programs
  • Worked closely with STEM coordinator at a Fulton County public school to create lesson plans related to science, technology, engineering and math

2014-2015

Yoga Instructor

Taught students how to use general wellness and personal health techniques in everyday life.

  • Taught Hatha yoga and meditation principles to middle school students
  • Established an interactive learning space by allowing students to offer lesson suggestions
  • Created yoga lessons with connections to Anatomy science standards

2011-2013

Assistant Farm Manager

Assisted in teaching “at risk” middle school through high school students about gardening; from seed to harvest.

  • Managed 10-20 students and volunteers of all ages per day; under Farm Manager
  • Represented learning farm and student internship program at local, community and statewide events
  • Trained students and new volunteers
  • Maintained appearance of farm, nursery and classroom
  • Sold sustainable student grown, hand cut flowers at Farmers markets
  • Helped CSA manager in all aspects of Community Supported Agriculture program; from assisting customers, assembly of produce shares
  • Assisted in development of onsite after school culinary program
  • Responsible for maintenance of program blog, increasing sale by 30%