Farm School NYC
Some of Farm School NYC's teachers...
Bilen Berhanu is currently an outreach coordinator with GreenThumb, a division of NYC’s Parks and Recreation Department. She is co-facilitating a day-long course on Transformational Leadership. She is incredibly grateful to work with an amazing community of leaders transforming the food and farm landscape of the city and beyond.
Eric-Michael Rodriguez is an educator, horticulturist, beekeeper and food activist based in New York City. He is thrilled to teach at Farm School NYC because he committed to the process of participatory learning, and loves sharing his experiences as an urban farmer and community organizer. Eric-Michael's farm, The Brontosaurus Farm and Apiary, operates to promote the art and science of beekeeping as a vehicle for environmental conservation and education.
Gary Baum is the founder of City Beautiful Carpentry, a designer and a community gardener. City Beautiful Caprentry builds some of the most elegant urban garden structures in the city upon underutilized spaces such as rooftops and rear garden spaces. Gary also teaches several professional carpentry skills workshops annually with community garden groups. He has done boat restoration, is a bicyclist, a canoeist and an avid foodie.
John Ameroso has been working in the fields of horticulture and agricultural production since 1964. He received a degree in Agronomy from the University of Georgia in 1968. From there he volunteered with International Voluntary Services and went on to study tropical agriculture at the University of Philippines. He then spent 4 years in South Vietnam working with agricultural projects involved in small scale vegetable and animal production, and established farmers’ buying cooperatives. In 1976 he piloted the Urban Gardening Program with Cornell University Cooperative Extension, and through his efforts successfully set the ground for Extension education in urban horticulture and food production for New York City.
Mr. Ameroso served as President of the New York State Association of County Agricultural Agents (1997) and serves on the Boards of Directors for three organizations - one concerned with environmental “greening” issues (Neighborhood Open Space Coalition), one involved with local food security issues (Just Food) and the other with youth development utilizing agriculture and food accessibility programs (Added Value). Two of his programs have received National recognition: Rikers Island Prison Farm Project and The Gericke Organic Farm Education Project at Clay Pit Pond State Park in Staten Island. He is currently working with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s New Farmers New Markets Program which received the “Community and Rural Development Innovator Award” from Cornell University, and the Northeast Extension Director’s Award, Honorable Mention, for the Northeast States.
Karen Washington is an urban farmer. She grows food and feeds people, body and mind. Her motto is, if you don’t know learn. If you do know teach!
Kolu Zigby is Director for Sustainale Agriculture and Food Systems and Eat4Health at teh Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. She brings over a decade of experience making grants to grassroots organizations leading the movement for a more equitable and sustainable food system. She is an organizer within the philanthropic sector, working to direct more funds toward social justice.
Linda Ameroso has been working in Urban Agriculture and Food Security in NYC since 1978. Employed by Cornell University Cooperative Extension in NYC , Ms. Ameroso has worked as an Extension Agent and Program Manager in the Urban Gardening Program; Food Systems Program; and the Farmers Market Nutrition Program. She has an MS in Entomology from Cornell University.
Lise Serrell has been a farmer for the past 6 years, five of them working at the Glynwood Center in Cold Spring, NY . While there she co-ran a 60 member CSA, maintained ornamental gardens with a focus on natives and assisted with livestock operations. She is now the Urban Farmer and co-teacher in the Learning Garden on Randall's Island. In her spare time, Lise is involved with a rooftop farm project, Farming Up, with Alec Baxt.
Marisa DeDominicis is a Co-Director of Earth Matters NY, a not for profit whose mission seeks to reduce the organic waste misdirected into the garbage stream by encouraging neighbor participation and leadership in composting. She worked as an environmental educator with the Trust for Public Land for 18 years.
Molly Culver is a farmer and consultant with BK Farmyards, and holds a degree in Ecological Horticulture from the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, UC-Santa Cruz. She has been working in urban food systems as both a community organizer and farmer since 2005, and currently Co-Manages the one acre Youth Farm in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, teaches Growing Soils and Propagation for Farm School NYC, and runs her own green floral design company, molly oliver flowers.
Sara Katz is Community Horticulturist for Bronx Green-Up, the community outreach program of The New York Botanical Garden. She is also a Bronx beekeeper.
Ursula Chanse is the Director of Bronx Green-Up and Community Horticulture at The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx Green-Up provides horticultural advice, technical assistance and training to community gardeners in the Bronx and hosts an extensive compost education program. Ursula’s background includes organic gardening, urban agriculture, and community gardening and public health. Ursula has worked with community and school gardens in the Bronx for the past 7 years.
Owen Taylor is the Community Organizer for the Garden Justice Legal Initiative at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia. He supports movement building, self-advocacy, and informed leadership to affect equitable, meaningful reforms for community land and food security, as well as sovereignty at the neighborhood and city levels. He is also a teacher for Farm School NYC, gardener for seed saver extraordinaire William Woys Weaver, an orchard liaison for the Philadelphia Orchard Project, a community gardener and one half of the queer country duo My Gay Banjo. Prior to his time in Philly he spent 7 years working with Just Food’s City Farms Program in NYC and 3 seasons working on small ecological vegetable farms.
"We are creating a network of people that will continue to grow closer and stronger in their/our contributions to the urban ag fever and sustainability (r)evolution in NYC." -Marisa Dedominicis, Propogation 2011
"The beautiful thing about farming is that it brings us together. We are able to reflect on what we can accomplish as individuals and as a community. We are able to learn through discussion, observation, and doing." -Lise Serrell, Crop Management Co-Teacher 2011
"I love how ready and excited Farm School students are to step up and participate in a positive way in the NYC food system. I felt empowered by the experience of watching students do what Ghandi advised, "being" the change that they want to see in the world." -Maureen O'Brien, Season Extension Co-Teacher 2011
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