Supporter Spotlight – Melissa Poelling

Posted on October 12, 2021 by Alicia Alferman

Meet our dedicated volunteer, Melissa Poelling! Melissa has three kids, a dog and two cats. She is a baker, professionally and as a hobby, and if you stand near Melissa long enough, she will try to feed you.

She has been volunteering at Westport Commons Farm since June, weeding and watering and staffing the summer farm stands. She began volunteering for simple reasons: nature, sunshine and good vibes. She could pull weeds all day and feel great- no thinking, no stress and happy farmers.  She discovered that being on the farm connecting with nature has been therapeutic in ways she couldn’t have imagined. Plus, sometimes on hot days, there are secret popsicles.

When asked what about Cultivate KC’s mission resonates with her, she admitted it should be something about all the fresh, ripe produce. She has baked green tomato cupcakes, pawpaw black walnut bread and made vats of rhubarb syrup. But it’s more than that.

She says, “Do these recipes need to see the light of day? I’m not sure, but it was fun to make them and fun to share them and even more fun trying to convince others to make them. The part of Cultivate’s mission that snuck up on me was the commitment to community and being a good steward of the land and sharing that knowledge with others. Really good people connecting with really good people,  AND strange baked goods.”

What’s Melissa’s favorite veggie? Cabbage! “I love an unsung hero, I don’t think cabbage gets nearly the respect it deserves.  There are so many things you can do with it, it’s a main dish, a side dish, a condiment, a dessert and a beverage.  If you need a recipe, just let me know, I’ve got plenty!”

Thank you, Melissa, for working so hard out in the heat. Thanks for being your sweet self and for humoring us by playing all of the silly games we asked. Thank you so much for teaching the upcoming baking class to one of our luckiest Dig In! raffle winners.

We are grateful for you!