Meet Hannah Osborn, Marketing & Events Coordinator
Every seed you plant today is your hope for the future.
Hannah describes herself as a “maker.” And indeed, she makes things happen. In addition to her job as a marketing & events coordinator at Wonderland, Hannah lives on a real farm where she takes care of chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, pigs, and sheep, and grows fruit, vegetables, and herbs in her garden. She also forages for wild foods (chanterelles and blackberry wine, anyone?), hunts waterfowl, goes fishing, and sets the occasional crab pot. And she is a mom to an energetic one-year-old boy who is just about to take his first steps and will undoubtedly be chasing the dogs around the farmhouse soon after. Her maker’s hands are never idle.
Hannah grew up in a mid-size town north of Anchorage, Alaska. She remembers her free-range childhood spent “helping” salmon out of the shallows in the creek, picking wild cranberries, gathering vegetables from the garden, and running wild in the woods near the house her father built on a bluff created by the 1964 earthquake. At age 11, she moved with her family to Blaine, Washington, for milder winters and greater educational and cultural opportunities.
As a child, Hannah didn’t have assigned chores or chore charts, but if she wanted to keep the horse her parents got her, or eat fresh eggs for breakfast, stay warm in the winter, etc., she was expected to pitch in. She cleaned stalls, exercised and groomed her horse, fed the goats and chickens, and hauled firewood.
Her preteen love of horses turned into a full-time hobby after joining 4-H – a national youth development and civics organization. Throughout her teenage years, she traveled with her horse, Moonman, to local shows and the Northwest Washington Fair, as well as summer “horse camps.” Hannah also participated in leadership training activities through 4-H, including developing her public speaking skills by giving presentations in front of a panel of judges. This was before PowerPoint, so she had to create poster boards and memorize her speeches! She used these skills with confidence while giving the salutatorian speech (the second highest ranked student) at her high school graduation.
Hannah graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in political science and later pursued a master’s degree in international development at Tulane University with a focus on food security and small-scale agriculture. During her school years, she interned in the Washington State Senate, worked on a political campaign to rebuild a children’s hospital, and gained development experience at an environmental conservation nonprofit. Her master’s work focused on the agricultural sector in Nepal, especially the challenges faced by small-scale farmers and people displaced by the civil war. After graduating from Tulane, she interned at a nonprofit in Central Italy, living in a 400-year-old Franciscan monastery run as a guest house for international retreats and conferences. There, surrounded by old olive trees and fresh produce from the monastery’s garden, she became fascinated with real food, locally sourced and organically grown.
Returning to Seattle, Hannah took her maker’s skills and passion for growing food to work running the Queen Anne Farmers Market for several years. She enjoyed working with farmers and helping them bring their products to Seattle families. She remembered having access to fresh food from the garden during her childhood, canning jams with her mother, and making dinner with her dad on the weekends, and wanted to bring a taste of that experience to other people. At a time when food so often means something processed and packaged, she found purpose in creating connection between real, fresh food and the people and places it came from.
Beyond her work, it has always been important to Hannah to maintain the lost art of home cooking and to take pride in being able to do things that most of us no longer do with our hands. She knew she wanted to have this kind of life for her family, too. She met Caleb, her future husband, just a few days after returning home from months abroad in Italy. After learning he kept tomato plants in the windowsill of his rented room, brewed beer, made wine and cheese, and cooked, she knew the guy she’d met in a grocery store parking lot was her soulmate. The couple got married overlooking farm fields in the Skagit Valley. Instead of hiring a caterer, they served their guests homecooked food from their garden and Caleb’s wild hunting trip in the Mississippi bayou.
Hannah’s work at Wonderland brings her a sense of purpose because she knows her marketing efforts at a small agency can make a real difference. She loves having a shared mission with her colleagues, even though she doesn’t work directly with clients. Instead, she supports families by increasing awareness about Wonderland’s services and raising funds so all families can have access to those services. Joining therapists for occasional visits to observe their work reminds her of their incredible impact. And since becoming a mom herself, she is even more aware of the importance of helping children reach their full potential and supporting families on that journey.
Hannah hopes that her son grows up enjoying his childhood on the farm, just like she and her husband once did: “We both grew up in places where we got to run wild and just be kids. We didn’t have to grow up too fast, and we want that for him, too.” Being a maker, she sees a parallel between her work at Wonderland supporting early development and her work in the farm garden: “Every seed you plant today is your hope for the future. You believe that it will grow and blossom tomorrow, and that’s why we do this important work.”