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 700 urban farms and currently maintain more than 300 of those plots.
Dan, an Iowa native, has overseen Farmscape's growth from a start-up in Claremont to the nation's largest urban farming venture. He is a Master Gardener, a member of the LA Food Policy Council's Working Group on Urban Agriculture, and a member of the Urban Land Institute. Dan is also a periodic contributor to The Huffington Post and Seedstock, and a frequent public speaker on urban agriculture. Prior to Farmscape, he graduated from Macalester College with a degree in Mathematics and Political Science.
Favorite Veggie: Sun Gold Tomatoes
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
Head Farmer (LA)
Matthew was one of the first Farmscape interns, assisting with garden routes and nursery propagation. Before returning to Farmscape as Head Farmer, he worked as a gardener at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, designing education gardens and working with Fritz Haeg to build the Wildflowering LA installation. He earned a bachelor's degree in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona, focusing on urban and regenerative design, and has completed additional study in horticulture, permaculture, and natural building techniques. Matthew has contributed to Fine Gardening Magazine and is a visiting lecturer at the LA Arboretum and Cal State Northridge.
Favorite Veggie: Kabocha Squash
Operations Manager (LA)
From an early age Tommy’s parents told him, whatever he did, he should strive to make the world a more beautiful place. This advice led Tommy to a BS in Natural Resource Management from Western Carolina University and over 10 years of experience as a Certified Arborist in tree and plant management. Teaching the community about the benefits of incorporating nature into home-life and encouraging this harmonization has been an invaluable experience. Projects in the after-hours include a small side business, MOSS+VINE where he makes kokedama and handcrafted garden and home decor. Tommy, his wife Caitlen, and dog Moonshine are originally from North Carolina.
Head Farmer (Oakland)
Sara's love of urban farming started at age 5, planting peas with her Dad along the driveway of their Bay Area home. In her 20 years working on farms, she has grown everything from avocados to native plants, from wine grapes to lavender. She studied Natural Resource Planning at Humboldt State University and has a B.A. in Ecological Agriculture from the New College of California in Santa Rosa. She has received certification in Permaculture Design and Medicinal Herbalism. Sara has managed landscape teams in both the edible and ornamental realm and is an expert in aesthetic pruning and fruit tree production.
Install Foreman (LA)
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
Install Foreman (Oakland)
Nick’s interest in farming began with an urban agriculture field course he took at San José State University, where he obtained his B.A. in Environmental Studies. After college, he welcomed the opportunity to learn more about landscape construction and efficient irrigation design, working as an urban farmer in San Francisco, where he installed and maintained food forests and vegetable gardens. When he is not in the garden, Nick enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, cooking and watching his home-town Bay Area sports teams.
Office Assistant, Bookkeeper
Elizabeth was born and raised in Northfield, Minnesota, and came to Los Angeles to attend Occidental College, where she earned a degree in Philosophy. She continued her studies with photography and graphic design, and worked as a graphic designer for about 12 years. In addition to working part-time at the Farmscape office, she enjoys photography, hiking, and working on art projects with her young daughter.
Daniel, an LA native, grew up in a farming family. He has been a professional landscaper for the last 4 years and has been vegetable gardening for over 10 years. He is particularly fond of growing cherry tomatoes, peas, and hot peppers. Before gardening professionally, Daniel worked in retail management for over 10 years.
Kristen has a degree in Agriculture Science from Cal Poly Pomona. She works with the Garden School Foundation on their Seed to Table Program and previously served as a Nursery Intern with TreePeople. Kristen grew up right next to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, which is where she developed her affinity for nature and the outdoors. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring LA neighborhoods on foot, trying out new restaurants, road trips, and taking ceramics classes.
Favorite Veggie: Sweet Corn
Emma was born and raised in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. She received a BFA in Fine Art at Parsons School of Design in New York City, focusing on sculpture and film. After a variety of roles in creative industries, she shifted her focus to her passion for plants and working with her hands. Emma recently apprenticed her father in furniture-making, and continues to spend her free time making herbal remedies, perfumes, art, and films.
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.
A graduate from the UCLA Horticulture and Gardening program, Ashley finds joy and creativity through gardening. With a background in Special Education, she loves to share and teach anyone who is curious about the earth and the process of growing food and flowers. In her free time, she enjoys Stephen King, chinchillas, and hiking with her husband.
Favorite Veggie: Carrots!
Cici Cyr is the former garden manager at the Aya Freedom Garden in South Central LA and is a graduate of Pomona College. Prior to joining Farmscape, she maintained an organic garden for Alma Restaurant,was the produce manager at Urban Radish, and WWOOF'd all over the world.
Favorite Veggie: Watermelon Radish
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
Graham is formerly a principal and founder of Eden Landscape Design, a culinary-focused landscaping company that designed and built edible landscapes in the ethic of "grow food, not lawns." He graduated from the Environmental Studies program at UCSB, where he researched the environmental impact of global food-systems. He is a relentless gardener and builder with a boundless passion for permaculture and urban farming. Having happened upon the Farmscape office garden by accident, he was taken like a bee to flower with a company that would let him work his passions for small-scale food production and plant-based cooking.
Favorite Veggie: Endive
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.
June has been an educator, ecologist, and gardener for nearly a decade. She has taught gardening, farming, and environmental science at the Nature Conservancy; the Seattle Youth Garden Works at Seattle Tilth; and the UW Math, Science and Leadership Camp. June has also worked as a gardener for boutique landscape design companies specializing in sustainable plant care and as a researcher in forest ecology and aquatic biology. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington and a Certificate of Horticulture from the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.
Stephen worked as a chef for 8 years before shifting intro agriculture. Prior to joining Farmscape, he studied sustainable soil fertility while managing 7 acres of goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, rabbits and fruit forests on the Big Island of Hawai'i. His cooking experience—line cook to head chef, pub fare to high-end farm-driven cuisine—gives him a chef's eye and tender reverence for ingredients in the garden. In his free time he enjoys surfing, writing poetry, and experimenting with fermented foods.
Favorite Veggie: Beets
Tyler Locke grew up in the LA area, and had the opportunity to tend a vegetable garden while caring for chickens, rabbits, ducks and goats as a child. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in Environmental Economics and Policy, Tyler renovated homes and worked for Water Saver Solutions before joining Farmscape as a member of our install team.
Brielle's passion for growing food was first sparked as a child while gardening and canning with their grandmother. That passion turned into a profession, first as a floral designer, and then in the nursery, working for 5 years tending to vegetables, herbs, and other plants at K&A Greenhouse in their native Wisconsin. Brielle simultaneously earned a Masters of Education before coming to LA to teach ESL. Not one to be confined indoors, they're thrilled to be digging in the dirt again.
Molly was formerly the Field Production Coordinator at Coastal Roots Farm in Encinitas, a 1 acre community market farm that uses organic and biodynamic practices; and the Field Apprentice at Adamah Farm and Fellowship Program in Falls Village, CT, a program that integrates organic farming, environmental stewardship, and Jewish learning. Molly grew up in Northridge and earned a Masters in Soil and Crop Science from Colorado State University, Fort Collins.
Ashley is a Central Valley native who comes from a family with many generations of gardeners and naturalists. She earned an undergraduate degree from San Jose State University in Behavioral Science and Psychology as well as a certificate for Horticultural Therapy through the Horticultural Therapy Institute. Ashley worked with the Veterans and Disability Resource Center at Foothill College to create a horticulture vocational training internship program and develop a community garden on campus. Most recently, Ashley worked with local non-profit Valley Verde teaching low-income Santa Clara County families how to increase their self-sufficiency by learning the fundamentals of growing organic vegetables and herbs. Ashley is passionate about using her knowledge of psychology and horticulture-based therapy modalities to create therapeutic garden spaces that meet a person’s physical, cognitive, academic, psychological, rehabilitative, vocational, and overall wellness goals.
Favorite Veggie: Oregon Sugar Pod Snap Pea
An east coast native, David got his start in urban agriculture working for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation's GreenThumb division, which oversees the management of the more than 1,000 community and school gardens throughout the city. Inspired by the way he saw how food and green space could bring communities together, he left the city wanting to get more hands-on experience with the production side of farming. This, along with the weather, brought him to the Bay Area, where he spent the last year as an intern at Hidden Villa, a non-profit organic farm and environmental education center located in Los Altos Hills. After a year on the farm, David was excited to get back to the city, and is loving exploring the East Bay when he's not growing food at one of his gardens.
Favorite Veggie: Collard Greens
Born and raised in Northern California, Lucas has over seven years of combined experience in education, horticulture, and agriculture. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz and serving two years with AmeriCorps, he moved to the island of Kauai. His passion for growing food blossomed there, as he spent a large part of his five years there building gardens with non-profits, the community college, and small businesses. Upon returning to California, he returned to Northern California to join the Farmscape team and continue his pursuit of a career in agriculture. In his free time, Lucas enjoys the wilderness, surfing, kayaking, dancing, and painting.
Favorite Veggie: Turmeric
Originally from Washington D.C. Emily has been in the Bay Area for the last 10 years. She received an undergraduate degree from the University of San Francisco in International Relations emphasis in Environmental Studies. For the last five years she has been working in organic agriculture at varying scales. Emily has worked at: residential edible gardens in San Francisco and Berkeley; Hidden Villa, a non-profit education farm in Los Altos; Dark Hill, a farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains owned by Michelin-starred restaurant Sons and Daughters; and most recently Fifth Crow Farm in Pescadero in organic cut-flower production and design.
Favorite Veggie: Hakurei Turnips
Matt Sandoval was born and raised in the Santa Clara Valley, the Valley of Hearts Delight. The great-grandson of immigrant farmers, growing vegetables is in his blood. Matt went to school at Cabrillo College in Aptos where he specialized in Organic Food Production. He was then able to hone his landscaping skills while working at Stanford University, Santa Clara University and Cabrillo College. Matt has been growing food all his life and has an extensive cacti and succulent collection.
Favorite Veggie: Bush Delicata
Urban Farm Intern
Manaiya's passion for the environment began in middle school when she completed a project on air pollution common in low-income communities. She founded the Green Club at Oakland Tech High School, which her advisers are in the process of turning into a fully-funded academy within the school. Manaiya has also worked as an Environmental Investigator for Friends of Sausal Creek, as a Peer Instructor at Chabot Science and Space Center, and a Farm Resource & Management Coordinator for WOW Flower Farm in West Oakland. She plans to attend University of California, Santa Cruz to earn her Doctorate in Environmental Studies, and is currently managing our summer camp at Ironhorse in West Oakland.