Rebekka Hutton- The Hands that Feed You

The Hands That Feed You

Rebekka HuttonRebekka Hutton was born in Alberta, Canada to a second-generation Chinese mother and a fifth-generation Scottish father, and her grandparents on both sides had cold pantries in their basements filled floor-to-ceiling with jars of produce preserved from their gardens. When Rebekka’s parents separated, she and her sister went to Boston with their mother. Their grandmother would visit them from Canada toting huge bags of traditional preserves, and Rebekka would go to school with pickled carrots and homemade bao buns. 

Rebekka and her sister were responsible for cooking two weekly dinners by the time they were in high school.  During that time, Rebekka became a vegetarian and her mother had her see a nutritionist to learn how to get proper nutrition on a restricted diet.

As an adult, Rebekka traveled and lived abroad, exploring the food cultures of the places she stayed.  After settling in Toronto, she and her partner Mike began growing vegetables in a community garden plot.  The excess bounty inspired them to donate to food banks and soup kitchens, which they would deliver from a bike trailer filled with freshly harvested vegetables.

Donating produce to these programs proved easier said than done.  Sometimes food banks can’t store produce, or families don’t have kitchens to cook it. Rebekka and Mike then focused on growing those things that provided the most food from the least amount of space (like squash!) and donated them to the hot meal programs.  For the food banks they grew herbs like basil and chili peppers, which people used to transform canned beans or tomatoes into fresh meals.  One year, they grew 2000 lbs of produce on their 600 square foot plot.

Inspired by that experience, Rebekka co-founded an urban farm in Toronto and spent 4 years running urban agriculture programs for adults and families. She was drawn to Three Stone Hearth to learn more about working in a health-focused commercial kitchen, but has also been impressed by the kitchen culture she found here. Rebekka will be returning to Toronto in May and incorporating what she’s learned into her vision for starting a food-related business with a strong community focus.