I have found inspiration in ongoing collaborative cultural projects - like Chinese heritage cookery workshops with my mama Peggy - and also in natural settings, while hiking solo on local trails.
What does sustainability mean to you or your business? What systems have you implemented to prioritize sustainability?
Sustainability means practicing social and environmental responsibility with the goal of sustaining a healthy loop of systems, and for me that starts with sourcing. Ingredients and materials used for events are sourced from local small businesses as much as possible. For larger Picklé events I order produce fromFood Roots, a social enterprise working with farmers who are POC. Trimmings removed from produce used at pickling workshops are always composted, and equipment provided to students are maintained in the cycle of use. I do my best to avoid plastics, including over-packaged products, and "disposable" wares because I care about the health of our ocean.
Who are the women in your community that inspire you? Do you have a mentor?
What has been your biggest challenge in your career? How did you approach it?
I am in the midst of it now with the current health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus. I am brainstorming and learning about alternative streams of revenue, so that I am not relying solely on live Picklé events. It hasn't been a simple process. I went through shock and a type of grieving period, in which I allowed myself some time to really feel the weight of the implications of the challenge and accept that it will require a major transition in how I operate my business. I am onto the next phase, feeling motivated to think positively and maintain community while getting organized to develop solutions to sustain some business activity during this prolonged period of social distance. I am staying connected to amazing humans, learning new survival skills through reading and observation, all thanks to the Internet!
Society is facing an unprecedented situation with the effects of COVID-19. What have you been doing to stay grounded and mindful during these times? Do you maybe have a recipe or favorite pastime to share while we are all at home?
It has been grounding to connect with friends and family over the phone, whether on a call or FaceTime. Sharing experiences and offering and receiving encouragement has been nourishing. Staying plugged in to reliable news sources has been helpful as well.
I was raised to be a happy homebody, and reading was a big part of that when I was homeschooled as a child. In between mining my cookbook collection for ways to make the most of my pantry contents, I am reading Octavia Butler's science fiction novel Parable of the Sower, which could not be more relevant or engaging than at a time like this.
Thanks to Jessica Wang of Picklé for contributing to Botanica World! Jess is offering a series of fermentation related webinars at very affordable prices- get to know her and learn how to make kimchi in a video chat classroom!