Diane Leutgeb Munson didn’t know what a kohlrabi was until she was an adult. But once she saw one, it was love at first sight.
“I was volunteering at the Catholic Worker House when Lonny and Sandy Dietz [of Whitewater Gardens, Altura, MN] would stop by to donate produce,” explains Diane. “It was the most beautiful food I’d ever seen. That’s when I realized food could be different from what I’d known my whole life.”
Soon after, Diane got a job farming at Whitewater Gardens and later at Blue Fruit Farm (Winona). She then moved into food production at Blue Heron Coffee House, which is known for making delicious food using local and organic ingredients. Her experiences both growing and preparing food “revolutionized my view about flavors,” says Diane. “I watched food from local farms come in the door at the Blue Heron and often go out to customers virtually untouched. I learned that good food doesn’t need us to do a lot to it.”
Perhaps most importantly, Diane’s experience has given her a deep respect for food, which is criterion number 1 for her new position as Bluff Country Co-op’s Kitchen Manager. “I definitely have a lot to learn from the kitchen staff, and I am prepared to be humbled by the learning curve,” says Diane of her new position. “But I also have a lot of ideas and I always feel at home in a kitchen.”
Just don’t expect to see much celery. When asked if there was any food she didn’t like, Diane responded immediately: “I really dislike celery.”