MICHELLE ARONSON | FOUNDER OF FARMBELLY
Garlic is my spirit vegetable, food is my love language, and I firmly believe in the power of home cooked meals to inspire, heal, and create community.
But let’s be real. I grew up in the midwest, on a diet of Kraft Mac & Cheese, frozen pizza, and scrambled eggs made in the microwave. It wasn’t until I moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia for college that I discovered my love for food + farming. After several summers apprenticing on different farms, I managed an educational farm in Charlottesville, complete with laying hens, bee hives, and lots of eager student volunteers. Being surrounded by an abundance of just-picked produce was my favorite part of farming, but I had ZERO confidence cooking with our hard-earned fruits and veggies.
Determined to learn my way around the kitchen, in the spring of 2013 I attended culinary school at the Ballymaloe Cooking School. The school is situated on a 100-acre organic farm on the coast of Ireland (aka heaven), where almost all of the dairy, meat, vegetables, and herbs come straight from the fields into the teaching kitchens. Inspired by the incredible teachers, fresh ingredients, and straightforward culinary ethos at Ballymaloe – I returned home with a dream of sharing my love for growing, cooking, and eating with my community.
After culinary school, my husband and I moved to beautiful Santa Barbara, where I worked in several facets of the the food / farming world… from being a sales manager at a local food hub to a elementary garden educator, chef, veggie garden installer, garden manager for Westmont College, and eventually as a teacher leading cooking classes as a “side hustle”… which eventually became my full-time gig.
These days we live in beautiful North Carolina, where I work on an amazing vegetable farm and I teach farm to table cooking classes + develop educational content online (like my YouTube channel and weekly newsletter) to help folks learn how to grow, cook, and eat like farmers. I’m also pretty darn good at helping you find out your spirit vegetable. ;)
I look forward to sharing my love of all things food + farming with you. Let's get cooking! To get in touch, contact Michelle.