Bay Area | 510.987.8612 

LA Metro | 323.454.2888 

Farmscape is the largest urban farming venture in California. Our mission is to connect city dwellers with fresh, organic produce through a network of urban farms, while creating living wage jobs for the new generation of farmers.

To date, we have installed over 400 urban farms and currently maintain more than 150 of those plots.

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Dan Allen


Dan, an Iowa native, is proud to practice a much different sort of agriculture than his home state is known for. As Farmscape's CEO, he oversees a multiple bottom-line approach that seeks to maximize the venture's social and environmental impact as well as its financial well-being. Dan is a Master Gardener and a member of the LA Food Policy Council's Working Group on Urban Agriculture. He is also a periodic contributor to The Huffington Post and Seedstock.

Favorite Veggie: Sun Gold Tomatoes

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Lara Hermanson


Lara's lifelong love of farming began working on landscaping projects in Chicago with her mother. As a college student, she maintained the Russell T. Kirt Tallgrass Prairie Restoration in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where she specialized in propagating endangered plants. From there, she managed the 7 acre Vital Zuman farm in Malibu, CA. Since joining Farmscape in 2010, she has overseen the design and installation of over 300 urban farming projects. She has a B.A. from Columbia College and has recently completed a certificate in Project Management from UCLA extension. Lara has completed additional studies in Permaculture Design.

Favorite Veggie: Purple Top Turnips

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Matthew Geldin

Head Farmer

Matthew was one of the first Farmscape interns, assisting with garden routes and nursery propagation. He earned a degree in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona and after doing so, rode his bicycle 1,200 miles through Southeast Asia, stopping to volunteer at a natural building center in rural Thailand. Before returning to Farmscape as our Operations Manager, he was a gardener at the LA Arboretum, designing education gardens and working with Fritz Haeg to create the Wildflowering LA installation. Matthew enjoys cycling, hiking, photography, and postcards.

Favorite Veggie: Kabocha Squash

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Nikki Pressley

Art Director

Prior to joining Farmscape, she worked with the LA Country Club and helped manage their organic vegetable garden, while assisting with beekeeping and greenhouse propagation. When she's not gardening, Nikki is an artist and graphic designer. If you'd like to check out her work, visit

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Sean Carter

Urban Farmer

Sean, a Los Angeles native, earned a degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara. He is currently pursuing a certificate in Landscape Architecture from UCLA Extension and has a keen interest in vegetable gardening and urban farming. He comes to Farmscape with over 10 years of business experience in both the outdoor apparel and nursery industries. In his free time he can be found tending his home garden, surfing, cycling, and shaping custom surfboards.

Favorite Veggie: Carbon Tomato

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Ariel Chesnutt

Urban Farmer

Before moving to LA and joining Farmscape, Ariel Chesnutt ran her own business growing microgreens in Colorado. Prior to that, she managed a crew of refugee farmers from Bhutan on urban farms in Denver. Ariel also trained with Will Allen (pictured above) at Growing Power, and workshopped with Eliot Coleman and Joel Salatin. When she isn't growing food, Ariel likes to paint, cook, annoy her two cats, and play card games with her husband.

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Samantha Coagan

Urban Farmer

Samantha is an LA native. Prior to joining Farmscape, she was the Vegetable Gardener at LA Country Club. Samantha is an Oregon Master Gardener and previously worked on a vineyard in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. She has a BA in Archaelogy and worked at the Fowler Museum at UCLA.

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Nicole Doonan

Urban Farmer

Nicole is originally from New York and moved to the Bay Area to pursue urban farming. After graduating from Stony Brook University with a BA in Sustainability Studies, she decided to pursue her love of growing food by working on organic farms in Poughkeepsie, NY and New Millford, CT. After five years of farming in Northeast, Nicole was ready for a new challenge and moved to California. She enjoys hiking, cooking, and traveling in her free time.

Favorite Veggie: Sweet Potatoes

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Allison Fitzhugh

Urban Farmer

Allison is a California Certified Nursery Professional with 6 years of professional gardening and farming experience. Prior to joining Farmscape, she managed the vegetables and fruit trees at Armstrong Garden Center's Wilshire location and was a school garden teacher at Rancho Vista Elementary Edible Learning Garden. Allison has a BS in Biopsychology from UC Santa Barbara.

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Lowell Frank

Urban Farmer

Lowell has nearly a decade of organic gardening and landscaping experience. He worked for five years as the groundskeeper at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, maintaining ornamentals and edibles including their Japanese-style meditation garden, before joining Farsmcape. In his spare time, Lowell likes biking, hiking, reading, and fly fishing.

Favorite Veggie: Mr. Stripey Tomatoes

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Darah Gillum

Urban Farmer

Darah Gillum is a Los Angeles native, who studied Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Farming at The Evergreen State College. She has worked on the Earthworks farm in El Monte and Lindencroft Farm in Santa Cruz. Happy to be back in her hometown, Darah is excited to help LA eat local!

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Melissa Gutierrez

Urban Farmer

Melissa has been a Master Gardener since 2006, working on a variety of urban farming projects. Most recently, she was a Seedscapes Program Coordinator at WORKS. Before that she worked on a number of school garden projects, including Niemes Elementary in Artesia.

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Meredith Kotelec

Urban Farmer

Meredith is a transplant from Maryland who has a passion for organic gardening. She managed a CSA for a small organic farm in Maryland and developed the Organic System Plan for the USDA People's Garden in Washington DC. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in Horticulture, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue teaching organic gardening to children.

Favorite Veggie: Heirloom Tomatoes

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Stephen Lewis

Urban Farmer

Stephen is a chef and a farmer with a passion for local food cultivation. On the weekends, he works at Red Bread in Culver City. Prior to joining Farmscape, he was a farm manager in Honaunau, HI, where he cared for livestock and tended vegetable plots. Stephen was also a head chef at Torta-landia! in Portland, OR, and a sous chef at The Curious Palate in Los Angeles.

Favorite Veggie: Beets

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Todd Lininger

Urban Farmer

Todd, a Southern California native, is a Farmscape founder and our gardening expert. Before helping start Farmscape, Todd co-founded the non-profit Claremont Food Not Lawns, organized the Packing House Green Market, and has years of organic gardening experience. He enjoys playing banjo with his wife Mary Beth's band, the Sugar Mountain Mama Serenade.

Favorite Veggie: Carrots

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Maia Lipkin

Urban Farmer

Maia is a native to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. After finishing an Environmental Studies bachelor's degree at UC Santa Cruz in 2010, she has spent the last three years working on 15-acre diversified farm in her home town, Nevada City. A recent transplant to the East Bay, Maia is excited to keep her hands dirty in some urban soils. Beyond farming, Maia can be found behind a cast-iron skillet wiping onion tears from her eyes or hiking in the redwoods behind Oakland with her working dog, Nellie-Bird.

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Marguerite Nesteruk

Urban Farmer

Marguerite is a gardener and outdoor educator with a passion for health and nutrition. Before joining Farmscape she was the School Garden Coordinator for Slow Food East End in Long Island, NY and the Garden & Compost Coordinator for an Environmental Leadership Program on Catalina Island. Marguerite has a Permaculture Design Certificate from Occidental Arts & Ecology Center and training through UCSC and the National Farm to School Network. She has a degree from Parsons School of Design in Fashion Merchandising & Marketing and enjoys biking, traveling, and playing the kazoo.

Favorite Veggie: Red Russian Kale

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Aaron Seletzky

Urban Farmer

Aaron grew up in Maine and worked for a landcaping firm in Scarborough before moving to California for his studies. He received a B.S. in Plant Science from Cal Poly Pomona and has worked done landscaping, construction and tended bar since graduation. In his free time, Aaron enjoys fishing, snowboarding and surfing.

Favorite Veggie: Asparagus