Candace Minster is the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice garden manager and fiber coordinator. Above, she harvests lettuce in October 2010.

While growing organic is trendy now, White Violet Center for Eco-Justice (WVC) has been gardening and farming without chemicals since 1995. It’s been an important part of the mission since the first small group of Sisters of Providence with a vision that later became WVC gathered in the early 1990s.

There is a new energy around this program this year — a goal to make the garden more financially sustainable. We’re exploring new ways to sell our vegetables and enhance our garden offerings. Candace Minster is the new garden manager that will guide this initiative.

Candace’s job title and responsibilities changed from WVC education coordinator to garden manager in late September 2010.

“Before, I’ve had a supporting role with the Community Supported Agriculture that included sign-ups, coordinating pick-up, and deliveries, but I wasn’t involved in the planting and planning of the garden,” Candace said. “It will be exciting to see both sides of it now.”

Candace said she looks forward to the opportunity to combine feedback from the CSA shareholders this year with planning and planting for next year.

“The response for our 2010 CSA far exceeded our expectations and we hope to expand the 2011 program. We plan to offer a greater quantity of some of the favorite CSA crops from this year, dependent on the weather.

“It’s been nice to be back in the garden again,” she said while harvesting lettuce in October. “That’s what I came here to do as a volunteer in 2004.”