Meet the YGC team!
Yvonne Babb, Owner & Landscape Steward
After ten years of teaching at the Waldorf School of Bend, I returned to Oregon State University to get a Masters of Art in Teaching. Fortunately that degree led me into the classroom, out to the farm at DD Ranch and back to the garden program–back to the roots of my work ethic and connection to the land as a farm girl in Illinois. Enrolling in the volunteer Master Gardening program here reignited my love of gardening and outdoor work, which led to the start of this business in 2013.
My received a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Park Administration at Illinois State University and as an exchange student in Reno, Nevada where I traveled the west, climbed and backpacked in the Tetons, learned to ski and explore the ecology of the desert.
Neither degree really connected me to the land like my years as a counselor in outdoor school for Multnomah County. It was here that I learned stories about nature, made up crazy songs and just had fun teaching and connecting with kids in the great wet outdoors of Portland. There, I had mentors in wildlife, soils, water and forest ecology. This immersion in nature fueled my curiosity and I made a career change from recreation to science and natural history, and later to teaching.
I worked in eastern Oregon for OMSI, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, followed by a move to Ramsey Canyon Preserve, a sanctuary for hummingbirds owned by The Nature Conservancy, and then to Central Florida, where I conducted education programs for The National Audubon Society, and Bok Tower Gardens, which preserved sections of the unique sandhill forests.
At Your Garden Companion, I incorporate all of my education and experience to constantly evaluate our properties, learn from the land and then work with you to manage it. We bring joy to our work and have fun doing it as we share our knowledge and effort with yours. There is nothing more therapeutic than working outside on the land with others who enjoy it as well. When the hawk or owl show up to prey on all your wildlife it is a nod from Mother Nature that we are on the right track.
Education, Training, Experience Credentials & Licensure
- Volunteer Master Gardener for almost 5 years (Since 2012)
- Master Food Preserver coursework and mentoring 2014
- Sustainability Instructor, COCC, Food Harvesting and Preservation, Intro to Sustainability, Animals and Plants,
- Current Rogue Farm Corp Instructor, since 2016, taught Agroecology and Food Harvesting and Handling,
- Gardening experience in the Midwest, Southwest, Southeast and PNW
- Masters of Art in Teaching, OSU, 2011; B.S. Degree Illinois State University, 1981, Exchange program Univ. NV-Reno 30 years teaching experience with 50 credits in science, natural history, geology, botany, physics, biology, biogeography, chemistry, mammology and fisheries
- Landscape Contractor Board 9450 – All Phase: Planting, Irrigation, Backflow, Hardscaping
- City of Bend Business License, Your Garden Companion, L.L.C. #13-00010654
- N.A.I.C.S. Codes: 611710 Educational Consultant and Landscape Services: 561730
Christine Bond, Operations Manager
Christine grew up on a small lake in southwest Michigan. Her love of water sports continues to this day. Her journey to Bend has taken her to South Bend, Indiana, Geneva, Switzerland, Washington DC and the Bay Area of California. She is thrilled to apply her love of the outdoors and extensive administrative experience to the success of Your Garden Companion.
Christine joined YGC in 2017, completed the Master Gardening Program in 2018 and received her Oregon Landscape Contractor’s Board license in Irrigation plus Backflow in 2021. She thoroughly enjoys a good irrigation project and wearing overalls to work every day
EG & Ellie Pierce, Crew
A brother-sister duo power team at your service! Both seasonal workers with YGC since winter 2019, EG and Ellie are always ready to take on a challenge be that trenching, weedwacking, wheel-barrowing- you name it! We wish them the best of luck as they continue in college and are excited to welcome them back to the YGC crew come summer.
Mike Turner, Facilities Manager
Mike is in charge of all things facilities at YGC. Alongside gear maintenance and purchasing, Mike helps YGC as a company understand and improve their carbon footprint. YGC uses primarily electric equipment when possible. With a background education in sustainability, Mike has become a crucial member of the team working with the Babb family now for quite some time. Thank you for all your work, Mike!
Harrison Sky Wiltse, Crew
Harrison has worked for YGC since Fall of 2021 after graduating from Quest University Canada. When he isn’t telling puns, Harrison is hard at work here at YGC, including in our demo garden, which he is preparing for the open house we are hosting in July. He is also a passionate writer, and is in charge of composing our monthly newsletters.