Jocelyn Zapata Ruiz Named Crabtree Farms' Food And Land Access Coordinator

  • Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Jocelyn Zapata Ruiz
Jocelyn Zapata Ruiz

Jocelyn Zapata Ruiz is a Chattanooga native who grew up near Crabtree Farms. However, her first visit to the farm was at last year's Fall Plant Sale and Festival, which she found while searching for local community events. Looking for ways to get more involved, she started following Crabtree Farms on Instagram and that is where she saw the posting for the Community Food & Land Access coordinator position.

At home, Ms. Ruiz and her family tend a garden of corn, cucumber, peppers and tomatoes each summer and she became more familiar with agriculture while working at Linda's Produce  Up until recently, Ms. Ruiz worked at Elevate Behavior Services providing applied behavioral analysis therapy to children. She said she's going to miss her clients and their families, but is excited to have a new community of families to work with in different capacities at Crabtree Farms.

Ms. Ruiz has always been passionate about community building and connection and when she saw the job posting, she felt this would be her chance to grow that passion. She is eager to promote sustainable agriculture because she thinks it's important to works with the environment instead of against it. Ms. Ruiz is particularly excited to help spread the word about the increased Spanish language programing on the farm.

While getting oriented to Crabtree this past week she's been reaching out to community gardeners about the upcoming growing season and is looking forward to meeting them in person. She's already feeling that sense of community she was looking for, she said. 

Favorite Way to Eat Something Grown at Crabtree Farms: "I love eating strawberries. Besides being pretty, I find them to be refreshing and quite delicious. A childhood staple for me is strawberries covered in condensed milk, which is my favorite way to eat them."

Something she Loves about Crabtree Farms: "I love the wildlife that resides on the farm. There are lots of animals, big and small. I enjoy seeing the dogs, goat, birds, and insects. I am excited to watch more of the animals come and go throughout the seasons."

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