Mary Ostafi is truly a pioneer. She is an entrepreneurial urban farmer, beekeeper, yogi, and healthy food and lifestyle enthusiast. The founder of Urban Harvest STL, she pioneered and manages the FOOD ROOF Farm atop a downtown St. Louis building. Mary is passionate about sharing her gardening and food related DIY knowledge with others, which is how she found Dabble. We met up with Mary to ask her how her involvement with Dabble came to fruition.
How did you learn about Dabble? What made you want to become a Dabble teacher?
What classes do you teach? What’s your main goal around teaching these classes?
“Kombucha brewing, as well as urban farming classes on the FOOD ROOF Farm. I’m really passionate about sharing healthy lifestyle and gardening experience with others. My goal is not only to educate, but to ensure confidence and excitement in people to incorporate these skills into their daily lives—whether it be raising chickens, brewing small batch kombucha, or growing a hydroponic garden.”
Tell us about Urban Harvest. What do you want to accomplish with it? Tell us about the FOOD ROOF.
“Urban Harvest STL started as a grassroots initiative to grow food in downtown St Louis, to take back under-utilized spaces and transform them into productive urban farms which restore natural ecosystems and engage people of all ages to create stronger, more nourishing bonds with each other—and with nature. We built the FOOD ROOF Farm atop a building downtown last year as a platform for urban agriculture and sustainable design. We collaborate with the community to grow food for the community—grow food where we live!”
What excites you about teaching on Dabble? Have you tried any other platforms?
“Why would I try other platforms when Dabble is everything I need! I’ve secretly always wanted to be a professor, instead I tend to find myself mentoring people through other avenues—Dabble enables this and connects me with people who want to dabble in similar things.”
“I like to dabble in a lot of things, which is how I transitioned from an architect, to sustainability consultant, and now an executive director of a nonprofit/urban farmer. As long as I’m learning something new, I’m happy. What’s next? I’ll know it when I see it!”
“I love learning and listening…. oh and chickens too, I am completely smitten by our chickens on the FOOD ROOF Farm and am convinced they have hidden powers that are yet to unfold!”
What activities, people or places give you energy and make you feel alive?
“Travel feeds my soul – I love exploring new places, meeting new people and experiencing the world with my better half, Joe. Locally, the FOOD ROOF Farm is still just a dream to me, sometimes I have to pinch myself and remember it actually exists. I get most excited bringing people to the rooftop for the first time, it’s always an adventure.”
It’s true what Mary says about being passionate about sharing her healthy lifestyle and gardening experience with others. I often see her at other Dabble classes geared towards gardening or sustainability as well as out in the community doing what she does best: making people passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.
If you have yet to take her Kombucha class, then register soon. Her classes have always sold out and she has nothing but positive, wonderful reviews for her classes.
As she mentioned, Urban Harvest has also been gracious enough to list some of the classes that they’re offering on the FOOD ROOF in St. Louis. Urban Chickens, Urban Beekeeping, Mushroom Cultivation, Tower Garden Hydroponics and Preserving the Harvest are all currently live and have a few spots left. So come join the Dabble St. Louis team and check out these amazing classes on gardening and sustainability and find out why Mary is so passionate about gardening and living a healthy lifestyle.