Dr. Frannie Koe
My name is Frannie Koe. I am a family physician in Collinsville, Alabama and I have a 76 acre farm just outside of town. I have been here in practice since leaving residency in 2007. I began as a housewife with three children and decided to go to school in my 30s. I entered medical school later than most with the hopes of becoming a rural family physician and living a more sustainable life on a small piece of land. We have built a small home that is electrically off the grid. We do have city water and use propane to cook with. We are working to build a lifestyle that is an example to our local community so that people can learn how to save money, be healthier and work toward preserving the planet. Our goal is to live a minimalist lifestyle that preserves and hopefully improves the land. I married young, had my children early and was able to be at home for the early part of their life. I began to study eating lifestyles, nutrition and sustainable living from the beginning out of necessity. We struggled financially and had no health insurance for many years. After a divorce I found it necessary to go back to school so that I could better support myself. I had read, studied and experimented for several years with health and diet so I decided to go to medical school to learn more about the physiology of the body. I decided mid stream after college and before medical school to get my masters in public health. I studied in the area of health behavior with the hopes of learning how to teach people to change their behavior. What I did learn was it is very difficult for us to change our behavior!! So I learned quickly that public health was not my forte so applied to medical school in the rural medical scholars program. I was accepted and entered school in 2000. I did not learn any new information about nutrition!! But I did learn a lot about how the body works, diseases and pushing drugs. It was a great experience and I feel that it did prepare me well for my career in medicine in our small rural town. I have worked hard to build a practice that teaches how to reduce medications, eat a healthier diet and improve long term health outcomes. We often spend long visits with our patients and work with them to learn how to improve their well being.
About three years ago my son-in-law, Carlos, and one of his students came up with the idea of a farm web site. It was not successful at that time but I saw great potential in his idea and using it in the area of sustainable living. So that is how we have come to develop this web site and our hope is that it works well to bring information to people who can benefit from sharing with each other how to life more sustainably!!
My oldest daughter, Holly, who has served as an executive sous chef, and now works for US Foods will be collaborating with me on agroshare. Her career path is described below. She will be contributing to Agroshare by spreading the word and teaching chefs to use healthy fat in their cooking. This is not an easy task. Much of the oil used in restaurants, including fine dining, is processed seed oil. This is a major factor in the spread of heart disease. We will be producing a brochure to teach chefs and restaurants how to use healthier fats for at least a few of their dishes to improve the nutrition of the pickiest diners that come their way.
Holly Clark’s culinary career began early on, inspired by her childhood of organic foods from her mother, along with her love and respect for quality nutrition. After graduating from culinary school at age 23, Holly sought opportunities to further develop her own creativity. Holly’s culinary repertoire flourished during an internship in Birmingham Alabama, under Chef Robert Kamm of Ross Bridge at Brock’s Fine Dining Restaurant, followed by Kathy G. Mezrano at the Botanical Garden’s Kathy G’s as a Chef de Partie, where she developed and refined her culinary techniques. Holly then went on to Atlanta’s famed 5-star hotel, Westin Peach Tree. It was there where she continued to hone her skills in all outlets of the hotel, landing her at its fine dining restaurant, The Sundial. There she learned to please the palettes of the restaurant’s most exclusive clientele. After spending 3 years with the Westin, Holly went on to take the role of Chef de Cuisine at the Admiral Hotel in Mobile Alabama, working under Chef Sam Spincer. At The Admiral, Holly was exposed to the creative expressions of Chef Sam Spincer’s use of Creole and progressive American cooking techniques. When The Admiral was sold , Clark took a job as a food consultant with a top Fortune 500 company, US Foods, where she has been successful for the past 5 years.