NBS Blog

Staff Spotlight: Sophie Cleland

Get to know Gardens Program Assistant, Sophie Cleland.

What is your favorite part of working on the properties team at NBS?  

One of my favorite parts of working on the properties team is the sense of place I’ve developed on the land and in the gardens. In my role I am constantly observing the property as an ever-changing, resilient landscape and have found fulfillment in shaping the land for the better. I am lucky to work outside year long and see tangible results such as ecosystem restoration projects and over 1,000 lbs of fresh produce harvested for the community.  

What drew you to getting involved with beekeeping? 

This year I have begun training as a beekeeper and am excited to begin caring for the two hives of honeybees we have on the NBS property this spring and summer. Working in the gardens last summer I began noticing the wide variety of bees who work to pollinate the landscape. Caring for honeybees I am hopeful to promote even more pollination within our gardens. My fingers are crossed for a surplus of honey. 

Describe your perfect day of skiing. What would it look like?  

A perfect day of skiing would take place at Sugarbush in Vermont on a clear day after a fresh powdery snow. Ideally I would be skiing with friends and the mountain would be fairly empty except for us. We’d end the day around a fire or warming up at a local brewery. 

What is your favorite book and why? 

My favorite book is Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. I’ve re-read the book a couple of times now and am always amazed by Kimmerer’s beautiful storytelling. As a Potawatomi botanist, Kimmerer writes about her perspective on the relationship between land and people, emphasizing the importance of reciprocity. I think anyone would benefit from and enjoy reading this book. 

What is on your knitting bucket list to make?  

The next project on my bucket list is to knit a vegetable hat. Imagine a beet hat with a deep red body and little green leaves on top. I hope to knit some matching mittens too.