By Maggie Cowee
Rebekah May Stetson is one of the busiest foodies in northern Nevada.
In addition to homeschooling her kids and raising pastured pork, dairy goats, and chickens on her farm, Sunny Day Organic Farms, she manages five school gardens and a team of student interns for Healthy Communities Coalition and co-hosts a free monthly cooking demonstration targeted towards teaching underserved populations about health and nutrition with dietician Kim Mason of Carson-Tahoe Health.
Starting this week, Stetson will be adding another line to her impressive résumé: teaching Reno-area consumers how to cook and preserve seasonal foods.
Using locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients to the extent possible, Stetson will teach one to two courses per month and hopes to feature a different local farm in each class to highlight the variety of products and producers available locally.
The first course, “Organic Farm Fresh Ricotta,” will be this Friday September 18 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm and will feature milk from Sunny Day’s dairy goat herd. In addition to learning how to season and use fresh ricotta, students will receive a pint jar of their own cheese and will be able to participate in a discussion on the farm to table movement.
In October, Stetson will offer a two-part “Makin’ Bacon” course that will teach students to prepare and cure pork belly and smoke and finish bacon using organic seasonings from the school gardens she manages.
Students will be sent home with two pounds of bacon each. All courses will be taught at Reno Provisions and prices vary depending on ingredients used.
Stetson is motivated by her own passion for food and nutrition and her desire to share her knowledge with others. She appreciates the challenge of delivering health education and enjoys working with underserved populations.
“I ask myself, ‘How can we make this system better? How can we make it achievable to the masses?’” Stetson said.
A former corporate banker, Stetson’s life course was impacted by a handful of experiences including having kids, sustaining great loss in a house fire and witnessing the fallout of the Great Recession from inside the financial industry.
These factors piqued Stetson’s interest in living simply and health, “Not just physical health,” Stetson said, “but full-being wellness.”
While she may be keeping busy, Stetson is happy with the choices she has made. Of the career she is developing Stetson said, “This is awesome. If I could do this every day, I’d be in heaven.”