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.
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.