Melissa Harwin is co-owner and operator of Highgate Farm, a Certified Naturally Grown market garden in Marshall, North Carolina. She is also a Registered Nurse, an accomplished chef, and culinary enthusiast.
Melissa’s keen interest in food, nutrition, and health began in her formative years. She relished time in the kitchen assisting her mother with meal prep and new recipes from Chinese cooking classes, and enjoyed a robust health education curriculum throughout her schooling, taking particular interest in nutrition and human health.
Through Melissa’s early and ongoing career as a professional cook and baker, she has honed skills in international cuisines, creative seasonal farm-to-table cooking, and healthy, low-budget menu planning. She has developed dozens of recipes, as well as demonstrated and taught cooking skills and basic nutrition to varied populations.
As a Registered Nurse for over two decades, Melissa has most recently worked as a Nurse Navigator with the Western North Carolina Patient Centered Medical Home Project and as a Nurse Care Manager with Community Care Of Western North Carolina and Mountain Area Health Education Center’s division of Family Medicine. Utilizing Motivational Interviewing, knowledge of resources and a patient-centered team approach she has helped identify, coach and support high risk patients in pursuing their health-improvement goals.
Melissa has been involved in organic farming since 1990. In 2006 she and her partner, John Kunkle, established Highgate Farm, and have been utilizing organic growing techniques to bring a broad selection of high quality produce to area tailgate markets, their CSA customers, and local food pantries for over a decade.