Zsofia Pasztor is a busy woman. She is a parent of four, part-time instructor, business owner of Innovative Landscape Technologies, and creator of the successful Farmer Frog Model. Her passions are horticulture and education—two things that took on a life of their own after the recent economic slump that affected many small business owners.
Pasztor is what you would call a hands-on person. She has been educated in ways that make her a standout in the field of horticulture and landscaping. She teaches at Edmonds Community College, is a LID construction consultant, certified tree risk assessor, and a certified arborist, among many other titles. Although she started as a horticulturist she said, “It turned more into storm management.” Something we can understand here in the Northwest. During the downturn, Pasztor and her husband searched for new things to do as they watched their landscaping business suffer. Although she had experienced fleeting thoughts about non-profits before, she had no idea what a phone call from her children’s school, Olivia Park Elementary, would do to change her life.
The school needed her help with an edible garden project. Student families were lacking adequate sustenance, and the school wanted to help. Pasztor recalled the first time she saw the land. “I couldn’t see through the blackberry and Scotch broom.” But what she did was turn the 3/4-acre site into a foodproducing garden that would feed families in need. It has since been adopted by Whole Foods, and continues to benefit the community.
Farmer Frog—the non-profit result of that initial call—continues to grow and help schools and the Snohomish County community. Their mission is to promote, support, and teach urban and small-scale agriculture. Pasztor is passionate about its success, and is always looking for new funding for the volunteer-run organization. She feels no one should go to bed hungry. Farmer Frog staged the family farm at the Northwest Flower and Garden show in February, and continues to reach out to make more connections in our region.
“I’ve always believed the road to anything is through education,” Pasztor said. This wonder woman is providing that opportunity for many people, including the youngest residents, in our own community.
To find out more about Farmer Frog visit their website at farmerfrog.org