Mary Beth Lind & Cathleen Hockman-Wert's Bio:
Mary Beth Lind is a registered dietitian and nutritional consultant. She and her husband, Lester, are market gardeners in West Virginia: they grow enough fruits and vegetables for their own year-round needs as well as surplus to sell at local farmers’ markets.
They are also the founders of Mountain Retreat, a Christian retreat center that has as its mission “discovering the connection between the spiritual and the organic sources of life.”
Mary Beth, a member of Philippi Mennonite Church, grew up eating local seasonal foods in the mountains of West Virginia. Her mother loved gardening and her father, a country doctor, was occasionally paid in produce. Mary Beth graduated from Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, with a degree in home economics, and from Oregon State University with a degree in foods and nutrition. She returned to EMU briefly to teach nutrition.
Mary Beth wrote the foreword for the 25-year anniversary edition of More-with-Less Cookbook. With her sister, Sarah E. Myers, she has also written Recipes from the Old Mill: Baking with Whole Grains.
“Food is a part of my spirituality,” Mary Beth says. “My garden and kitchen are the places where I am most aware of God’s mysterious presence, as well as the places where I flesh out my beliefs and values. For me there is a connection between what I eat and how I pray.”
Cathleen Hockman-Wert has served as editor for Mennonite Women USA since 1997. In that role, she founded Timbrel, a magazine by Mennonite women in Canada and the United States. She previously served as assistant editor of Gospel Herald, a weekly magazine of the Mennonite Church.
An Oregon native, Cathleen graduated from Goshen College in Indiana and later earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. She is a member of Corvallis Mennonite Fellowship and an avid farmers’ market shopper.
“When I was young, my mother worked full-time yet always kept us stocked with homemade bread from MCC’s first cookbook, More-with-Less. But my journey with local food entered a new level in the 1990s as my husband Dave and I began learning more about environmental issues,” Cathleen says. “We were discovering the many ways in which our lifestyle choices—choices which we are privileged to have as middle-class North Americans—affect God’s creation and other people.
“We gradually became more and more committed to seeking out local, sustainably grown foods. Sometimes this has meant paying more; making that adjustment, for two people ingrained with the frugality ethic, hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes we chant a little mantra: ‘Cheaper is not always better.’ But by now, buying local foods is all joy.”