Kayla RunionUrban Agriculturalist

Kayla was born and raised in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Her devotion to food as a tool for physical, mental, social, & emotional healing took root when she began cooking at a young age and saw the connections between poverty, health epidemics, and access to whole foods. At James Madison University, Kayla earned a B.A. in English and Creative Writing and went on to work with youth in educational nonprofit organizations. Her passion for food never dwindled, and she incorporated themes of growing, preparing and consuming food into much of her work with youth. In 2014, Kayla moved to Richmond to pursue her Masters in Nonprofit Management from University of Richmond and work with youth at Peter Paul Development Center. In 2017, Kayla completed Tricycle’s Urban Agriculture Fellowship. Her experience in the fellowship confirmed what she had always known- that growing and consuming one’s own food is unfathomably healing, a powerful set of skills that can counter the complexities of poverty. Kayla has a deep desire to create spaces and opportunities for everyone to build an intentional, multi-beneficial relationship with food. She is excited to bring her myriad passions to Tricycle in the greenhouse and on the urban farms.

WORDS TO LIVE BY

“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE TRICYCLE EXPERIENCE?

I am humbled to experience the life/death/life cycles of the plants, animals, and insects on our urban farms. These cycles illuminate my own and teach me to grow, heal, and live with intention.

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING FOR TRICYCLE?

Outside of my work at Tricycle, I am a very busy spider. I am an administrator and educator at Richmond Young Writers, a creative writing incubator for youth, and where I also host Night Balloon Rodeo, an open-mic reading series. In my solitude and with my people, I pass time reading all sorts of books, cooking & eating, adventures & exploring (especially with my little brothers), writing, illustrating, sewing, intuiting, collecting, dreaming, and looking at things.