Heather Metz is a parent activist with Fairfax County’s Real Food for Kids. Their mission is to improve the quality of school lunches served in jump4loves.com/ukranian-brides/ County. Through the Northern Virginia Whole Foods Nutrition Meetup group she facilitates a monthly Parent Nutrition Support Group for parents who have children with nutrition and health issues.
Anita Adalja initially became interested in sustainable agriculture and the food movement when she helped to develop a farm on the roof of a supportive housing residence for formerly homeless, mentally ill adults in Brooklyn, NY. After two seasons fighting wind, sun amplification, and other rooftop issues, she studied Ecological Horticulture at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems in Santa Cruz, CA. Anita is committed to repairing the broken food system through increasing food access, education, and community involvement.
Melissa Harris is Founder and President of the Foodshed Organization; Creative Director, Foodshed Magazine-Melissa grew up in New York City and has been in the publishing industry for over fifteen years. After publishing Flavor Magazine for more than five years and championing local food and wine related businesses, she realized there was so much more work to be done to make the local food movement sustainable and viable. Up sprouted the concept for the Foodshed Organization and Foodshed Magazine.
Sam Ullery is the School Garden Specialist at the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s Division of Wellness and Nutrition. Sam has six years of inner city high school science teaching experience where he challenged students to engage in the food system through gardening. In his current role, Sam collaborates with garden-based organizations to ensure the 80-plus DC school gardens receive the technical support, training, and resources needed to continue to engage youth in garden-based learning. Sam also serves as the co-president of the DC Schoolyard Greening Committee works to increase and improve schoolyard green spaces to promote ecological literacy, healthy eating habits and environmental stewardship among students, teachers, parents and the surrounding community.
Susanne Ortmann, of the Audubon Naturalist Society is the School Programs Coordinator at the Loudon Wildlife Conservancy’s Rust Nature Sanctuary. She initiated a partnership with the Loudoun County Schools HeadStart department in 2011. She was also instrumental in beginning a grant funded GreenKids environmental education program in the Loudoun County Public Schools in 2009 and serves as an Environmental Education specialist for the program. Prior to 2005, Susanne worked for 11 years in Fairfax County Schools, most recently as a master teacher. Susanne earned a B.A. in education and biology at St. Joseph’s University.
Debby is the founder and owner of Prior Unity Garden: Growing Your Own Organic Food Made Easy. As an entrepreneur, manager, educator, presenter and organic/biodynamic gardener, with a lifetime of gardening experience. Debby focuses on plants for food and medicine and holds several certificates in medicinal herbalism and has training in native plants, biodynamics, organic and native gardening, apothecary management, vegetarian cooking. Debby is the past President of Joe Pye and Friends, the National Capital Area Herbal Network and has written many articles on individual herbs and topics such as Herbs for Diabetes, Stress Relief and Cherokee Healing.
Russell Furbush is the head of Design and Installation for Prior Unity Garden. A New England native, Russell practiced acupuncture and biological medicine for 25 years in California. A student of Permaculture since the early 1990s he finds gardening a natural fit with the healing arts. Russell continues to apply the principles of biological terrain and whole systems healing in his work with garden design and growing living soil. He uses his design and build skills to problem solve in the garden. Russell builds roof gardens and structures like low impact season extenders, as well as implementing water and soil management strategies for growing food.
Meredith Sheperd founded Love and Carrots in early 2011, a fast-growing company that provides professional organic vegetable gardening services to hundreds of residents in DC and the surrounding area. Growing up in rural Vermont, she’s had a love for gardening from an early age, and has since acquired an extensive background in small organic farming, landscaping, and design. Before founding Love and Carrots she spent several seasons managing Chailey Farm in Virginia, which produces organic herbs and vegetables for high-end DC restaurants City Zen, Komi, and The Sou’wester. Meredith shares her passion for growing food by spending her winters farming and teaching agricultural classes at an orphanage in Guatemala.
Molly O’Boyle, with her degree in Horticulture from Virginia Tech, is now in her third year of the Fairfax Master Gardener Program. She was instrumental in creating the annual All Gardeners Meeting, a half day educational program covering all aspects of gardening and sponsored by the Reston Association’s 275-plot Community Garden Program. As Garden Plot Coordinator, she also oversees and supports 100 gardeners in the RA Hunters Woods I and II community plots. Molly is in her third year of pursuing the Master Gardener certification and is Plant Clinic co-chair at the Reston Farmers Market.
Dan Schwartz holds a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland and is pursuing a masters degree in Environmental Science and Engineering from Virginia Tech. For the last 9 years he has worked for the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District as a soil scientist. He spent several years doing field work throughout the county and this allowed him to experience the soil and geologic resources of the area first hand. He also coordinates the county-wide volunteer stream monitoring program which measures the baseline health of our waters by sampling the invertebrate life that lives within them.
Jack Moore is an Assistant Organizer for the Northern Virginia Whole Food Nutrition Meetup Group and Founder of the monthly Reston Nutrition and Health Series. He has been a member of the Reston Community Garden Program since 1977. He has a doctorate in education from Catholic University and has been producing adult education programs since 1999.