Technically I've been with Eggplant since it's conception, but after flying the coop to live in Morris, MN for 4 years, I returned to work full time in 2018 and have been here ever since. I had chickens in my backyard starting at age 11, and while I can't have them in the yard of my current rental, I still love talking about them. Other favorite topics of conversation include houseplants, gardening techniques, worm composting, and waging war on the squirrel population. Outside of work, I can be found listening to podcasts or music, watching horror movies (or more often than not bad reality TV), reading, and playing tabletop games with my friends when I'm not spending time in my own garden.
Favorite houseplant: Peperomia obtusifolia
Newest hobby: Wine making
Garden accomplishment: Planting flower bulbs that are (so far) untouched by squirrels
I am a Minnesota native graduated with a degree in biology from the U of MN. I was a customer at Egg|Plant for many years before joining the team in 2021. My husband and I live in Saint Paul on our urban “farm” which is home to 2 dogs, a small flock of chickens, a vegetable garden, a raspberry patch, and a native pollinator garden. I have been a chicken keeper since 2015 and recently added an extension to the coop and run to expand my flock. Chicken math is real! My favorite part about working at Egg|Plant is listening to customers’ stories about their chickens and the excitement of baby chick season.
Special interests: Canning pickles, baking sourdough, and seed sprouting.
Garden accomplishment: Building a bean arch trellis
Newest hobby: Houseplants. So many plants, so little time and space!
WHO WE ARE
JESSIKA | CHICKEN MANAGER
I grew up on a small dairy farm in rural Minnesota, where my dad kept chickens and bees and my mom grew vegetables and canned food in the summers, beans and pickles and strawberry jam. I moved to St. Paul for college and married a south Minneapolis boy. We settled in to the Midway neighborhood, had three children and fell in love with our ramshackle Victorian house. We planted a garden, raised some chickens, tapped our maple tree, and looked around to find there was a growing movement of urban homesteaders in cities across the country.
I have a degree in history from Hamline University, and a Masters of Agriculture in Horticulture degree at the University of Minnesota, with a focus on garden center management and organic and sustainable growing methods. I am also a Minnesota Landscape and Nursery Association Certified Professional.
I started at EggPlant in 2019 as a seasonal employee and haven't looked back. Dream Job! I have a degree in Business Management and lots of experience with small businesses from my childhood in Wisconsin to cross country moves to Georgia, New York, and now Minnesota. I am a trained chef and backyard chicken keeper. Special interests include composting and soil health, all things microbiome, food forests, fermenting and preserving.
Talking with customers about seed varieties and veggie gardening is an absolute pleasure and I'm always learning something new from the conversations and exchanges.
Favorite tool in the garden: Hori Hori Knife
Best splurge: 2 Northstar Cherry Trees
Garden accomplishment: Rain barrel installation
Backyard bliss: keeping chickens
I was raised in south Minneapolis and moved to St. Paul when we decided to buy a home and raise our family. We have lived in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood since 1993, a few blocks from Hamline University, where I met Audrey and received a degree in English and German.
I am not half the gardener that Audrey is, but I am a builder and a tinkerer and enjoy the work of gardening almost as much as the fruits of the labor. I am a full-time technical writer, part-time IT-guy for the business, husband, and father to our three children. I teach our Backyard Chicken Basics class at the store and around town and have appeared at city council meetings to advocate in favor of backyard chicken-keeping.
You might also see me around town playing the bagpipes with the Macalester Pipe Band. I'm the tall one.