Those in the Canadian mushroom industry may read the name Kristalyn and find it familiar. That would make sense, because my father is John Kristalyn, a former President of the Canadian Mushroom Growers Association. He has worked at the Highline Mushroom Farm in Wellington, Ontario since he was 16 years old filling the roles of throwing hay to general manager and everything in between. My dad isn’t the only Kristalyn to work at the Wellington Mushroom Farm. When the Farm was owned and operated by Campbell’s soup, not only did both of his parents work for the farm, but so did my mother. Along the way, both my sister, Krista, and I have spent time working at the Wellington farm. Our family continues to grow, Krista was married just 2 short weeks ago and I will be married this fall. I wouldn’t count on either of our spouses taking on shifts at the farm, but as I learned from experience in the summer of 2014, never say “never” (wink wink).
Growing up in Wellington was great. Beautiful scenery of sprawling fields, open water with gorgeous beaches and star filled skies. I was a die-hard hockey fan from a young age and lived for the sport. Our family spent most winters on the roads of Southern Ontario from Kingston to Port Perry, me playing hockey and my sister attending figure skating competitions. I always dreamed that playing hockey would become a job for me. When I realized in high school that it was an unlikely reality, it was a natural and easy decision that I would go to college.
Having taken an interest in music, creativity and business I explored all of those passions at Algonquin College in Ottawa. In just three calendar years I earned a diploma in both Music Industry Arts as well as Business Marketing. I enjoyed both programs thoroughly, but felt that I needed more specialized education to really seek out a career that was both enjoyable and fulfilling. In 2014 I began studying Creative Advertising at Seneca College. I enjoyed every second of it and am now blessed with the opportunity to put my learned and practiced skills to working a great workplace with great people.
In my few short days so far, it has been truly amazing to see two worlds collide. Two things so important to who I am and how I got here come together by combining the mushroom industry with my educational background and career goals. I cannot wait for what experiences and learning lies ahead!
Stay tuned as I blog about my journey into the world of mushrooms!