Shelley joined the team in late 2009. She came to MOTHER EARTH NEWS after teaching English at the University of Kansas for three and a half years — a time in which her passion for both sustainability and language grew like weeds. She grew up in Oregon, lived and worked in Kansas for six years, and is now happily back in Oregon among the fir trees and rains and mountains, still working for the magazine full-time. She studied English at Western Oregon University and later at KU for graduate school.
Shelley is particularly interested in sustainable, local food production (and consumption), organic gardening, home canning and food preservation, composting, raising awareness about the ills of industrial agriculture, waste reduction, and environmental justice. She generally shakes her fists toward the sky when confronted with all things disposable — especially plastics — and her vehemence about reusing anything and everything is sometimes to the chagrin of those around her (“Pardon, but were you going to use the back side of that piece of paper?”).
At MOTHER, she heads up the Organic Gardening beat, works on the Vegetable Garden Planner, and posts in the Organic Gardening blog. While Shelley was working at the main publishing company’s Kansas office, she worked in and coordinated the Ogden community garden (pictured at right) that she helped start with her co-workers. Now, she steps out of her back door to pull weeds and plant seeds on her lunch breaks.
One of the best things this gal can imagine is getting up early on a sunny morning and working in the garden. She is also fond of beaches, cooking, KU basketball, happy hour, farmers markets, novels (preferably by authors with the brilliance of, say, Jeanette Winterson or Kurt Vonnegut), listening to folk music, and talking in an annoyingly sweet voice to her cat, Barley, and her little dog, Hazel (aka Hazel Nut). She also enjoys blogging in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish, in her spare time.