Vicki Lander has had a life-long love affair with plants. She grew up just down the street from a 4 acre farm in St. Louis County where she started helping at the age of 10, and hasn’t stopped planting seeds since. After earning a degree in social work and training as a massage therapist, Vicki became a Master Gardener working in Gateway Greening’s Bell Garden and with Vivian Gellman doing landscaping design and installation. She has also worked alongside one of EarthDance’s farmer friends and a mighty fine organic grower Paul Krautman of Bellews Creek Farm.
While at a training at Spikenard Bee Sanctuary, Vicki found out about the Mueller Farm in Ferguson. It took only one season for her to realize that the soil was magical. Soon, thanks to John Wilkerson, Vicki was in touch with EarthDance founder, Molly Rockamann. Vicki was impressed with the possibilities for the future of EarthDance and offered her experience to help in realizing its mission.
As farm manager, Vicki takes charge of the farm side of things–such as planning out the planting schedule, starting seedlings, and facilitating the weekly field walks for the Freshman Farmies. She’ll also teach the apprentices about particular pest and disease issues, sustainable soil practices, and different crop families’ needs. She’s also looking forward to incorporating her love of flowers into the EarthDance farmscape this year. (Be prepared to see some beautiful bouquets at our farmers market booths this season!) These responsibilities satisfy Vicki’s passion for adult education and the reward of learning. She can also be found fulfilling this passion as a yoga instructor with The Big Bend Yoga Center in Webster Groves.
One of Vicki’s purposes in life has been to alleviate as much pain in the world as she can. This led her on her path of becoming a social worker, massage therapist, and yoga instructor. She always thought that if she didn’t feel the need to work all the time to stop suffering in the world, she would be in the garden non-stop; but, “I know now that gardening is part of that process.”