Recently, we celebrated Cian Brun's 2 year anniversary of being part of the City Sprouts crew! Cian is our Education Manager, and there couldn't be a better person for the job. They are a person who we've seen grow an incredible amount in the last two years. They are so passionate about learning, education, and outreach, and it really shines through in our programs.
Even during the chaos that was 2020, Cian was one of the first to jump in and make sure that we could still offer educational programs digitally. They built nine months of weekly virtual lessons for 3-8 years olds in our Little Sprouts program, were a big part of converting our Growing Gardeners workshops to a virtual platform, and constantly found creative ways to engaged our middle schoolers in virtual Garden to Table classes. We are so thankful to have Cian's calm, creative, and curious self on our team and in our community! Get to know them a bit better through the interview below:
What's your favorite part about working at City Sprouts?
I have been a part of the City Sprouts team for 2 years now, and I would have to say my favorite aspect is the sense of community within the team itself. With a small staff, it's comforting to know that my coworkers—including our executive director—are always willing to help out and share resources to get things done! On top of that, I appreciate the autonomy we all have to show leadership in our own projects. It motivates me to be more passionate about the work I do when I'm able to make higher-level decisions.
What's a project at City Sprouts you feel really proud of?
It's so hard to pick just one thing! There are a lot of things I'm excited for in 2021 and a lot of things I'm proud of from the past 2 years, but the most recent project I am proud of is the new garden beds that we built at our neighborhood school, Walnut Hill Elementary. We have made some significant progress in designing an educational garden space for the students with plans to start teaching classes this Spring.
What types of vegetables or herbs do you like to grow the most?
Since I have been an apartment dweller my entire adult life so far, I have not had the opportunity to grow a personal garden until just this last Summer of 2020 when I leased a plot of land from the Omaha Land Bank. I like to grow unique vegetables that you can't typically find at the average grocery store, so this last year I grew Adirondack blue potatoes, French breakfast radishes, Painted Lady beans, and Russian red kale just to name a few. I saved seeds from a variety of tomatoes and squash I enjoyed in 2020 that I'm excited to grow this year (especially Delicata squash). I also planted sage, calendula, yarrow, garlic, tulips and alliums that I'm looking forward to popping up. It's been an amazing opportunity so far, and I am in the planning process now for even more delicious things this growing season!
What do you do outside of work?
When I'm not at City Sprouts or tending my own garden, I stay pretty busy. I enjoy playing the piano and occasionally the accordion, and I teach piano lessons as well. I am also really into visual art. I am on the Board of Directors at a local art nonprofit, and I am also in school for Illustration and Design. I have a competitive spirit and love board game nights with friends (I actually met my roommate over a game of Scrabble). And, of course, I love spending time outside - exploring new forests and discovering neighborhood treasures on long walks.
If you were a plant, which would you be, and why?
Not to get too deep here, but I think I would be a milk thistle because I am resilient and adaptable, but at times misunderstood. Like milk thistle, I'm a good support, and you can find me growing everywhere!