Jennifer Kongs, Former Managing Editorjennifer kongs

Jennifer joined the editorial team at MOTHER EARTH NEWS at the start of 2011 after working as an intern for the magazine for nearly 6 months. As she has been reminded several times, her amazing mother is the one who saw the advertised open intern position, and is the reason she came to work here at the magazine. Jennifer is originally from Topeka, Kan., and still has trouble believing that such a forward-thinking magazine focused on sustainability is published in her hometown. 

Jennifer studied at the University of Kansas, graduating with a dual degree in Environmental Studies and Geography in the spring of 2009. Her academic interests focused on local food systems and the global effects of our modern, industrialized method of producing, acquiring and consuming food. Her love of cooking and plants merged when she took a job on a nearby organic farm, where she has worked in varying degrees since she started there in 2005. She also spent 6 months living in a rural village in El Salvador, where she learned even more about self-sufficiency and began many strong friendships (and took the photo at right).

jennifer baby kaleHer commitment to local foods and love of the homesteader lifestyle has led her to seek out various ways to be self-sustaining while still living in a small, urban house in Lawrence, Kan. Besides growing and preserving the organic fruits and vegetables she helps cultivate on the farm and in her own gardens (like the baby kale to the left), she has “adopted” several goats and a cow named Boise (below left) as her own milking animals. (She still lets them live with their rightful owners, until she can get a farm and livestock to call her very own!) Jennifer has become enamored with the art of aging cheese, fermenting vinegar and pickling vegetables, and hopes to add charcuterie and homebrew to her list of “projects.”

When she’s not in the kitchen or the garden, Jennifer enjoys whipping up batches of lotion, playing with her pets, embroidering, running and biking, hiking and camping, and farm sitting for various friends and their beautiful farms and animals. 

jennifer boise cowPieces Written by Jennifer: 

Demand for Local Meat Brings the Butcher Shop to the Farm 

Organic Farming 101: Farm Sitting for the Farmer-in-Training 

Food Safety Modernization Act Controversy for Small Farmers 

Harvesting Sweet Potatoes 

Enjoy Fall Flavors with Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes 

Growing Healthy Lunches With School Gardens