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 600 urban farms and currently maintain more than 250 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
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
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.
Born in Brazil and raised in Los Angeles, Beba first found her love for gardening in the form of winemaking. She has a degree in Wine and Viticulture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. After working grape harvests around the world, she returned home to wed her affection for Los Angeles with her passion for horticulture. Working with plants brings inspiration, wonder, and calmness into her life and she hopes to share that experience with Farmscape members.
Favorite Veggie: Watermelon Radish
Urban Farmer and Designer
Elisa, originally from Los Angeles, is our bay area landscape designer and farms our San Francisco commercial and residential sites. Prior to joining Farmscape, she farmed on a non-profit organic farm, Hidden Villa, in the hills above the Silicon Valley. After graduating from the Landscape Architecture program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, she worked for restaurants, a large solar company, as an Arborist in Australia, and for other edible landscaping companies before her career dreams came true with Farmscape
Favorite Veggie: Artichoke
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.
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 nikkipressley.com.
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.
Matthew grew up on his family’s farm in Boulder, Colorado and worked there every summer for most of his life. He has always worked with his hands, not just as a farmer, but also as a handyman/carpenter doing home renovation and as a classically-trained musician. It was music that brought him to Los Angeles, and fate that brought him to Farmscape. Matthew is also a music teacher and NPR junkie.
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!
Ryan comes to Farmscape via One Gun Ranch, a biodynamic farm in Malibu, where he was a farmer and managed their restaurant clients. Ryan has always worked with his hands, doing carpentry and construction with his father and grandfather since he was a kid. In addition to earning a BA in Sustainable Development from Taylor University, Ryan has also farmed with Victory Acres in Indiana and the Thorne Family Farm in Malibu.
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.
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
Angela Greco is from Houston, TX, although her demeanor might not show it. She's wanted to grow her own food since she read the Little House on the Prairie books as a child. She threw herself into organic agriculture after college, working on different organic CSA farms and homesteads - a journey that took her from the South to the Midwest to the East Coast. She is an herb enthusiast, a tree care specialist, and likes that you can grow your own avocados in California.
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.
Eli hails from Chicago, where he earned a degree in psychology and volunteered extensively on the Sustainable Student Farm at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He has been tutoring and nannying for over 5 years with elementary to high school students in subjects from science to Spanish. Eli is a UC Master Gardener and regular volunteer at Wattles Farm Community Garden in Hollywood. He also enjoys teaching kids to play chess.
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
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
Jas Wade is second generation Los Angeles, California born and raised. Jas inherits a legacy of growing and earth stewardship. Their background in community organizing led them to pursue a path of growing food. Jas has worked at community gardens throughout Los Angeles for the past 4 years and recently completed an organic farming apprenticeship at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems in Santa Cruz, CA. They are a student of herbs and plant medicine, and center their work on cultivating a greater reciprocal relationship with pachamama/Mother Earth.
Francisco Ayala manages "Faithful Farm", our rooftop project at Levi's Stadium. Francisco is a San Jose native and the son of farmers. Prior to joining Farmscape, he worked at Urban Plantations, an urban farming company in San Diego. While there, he completed coursework in Urban Agriculture at San Diego City College. Despite being a lifelong Raiders fan, he still grows the most beautiful 49er squash on the planet.
Favorite Veggie: 49er Gold Squash
Ron was led to farming by a yearning to spend more time outside rather than sitting behind the computer in his office. What started as an Organic Farming Practices class at the College of Marin's Indian Valley Organic Farm quickly turned into a passion for growing and a degree in Organic Farm Production. When not at his Farmscape gardens, you can find Ron tending to one of his five urban gardens in Oakland, where he produces CSA boxes for his friends.
Favorite Veggie: Carrots
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
Corey was raised in Los Altos, California and graduated from UC Santa Cruz in Agro-ecology. He spent several years abroad studying desert agriculture, international policy and water issues at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. After recently finishing his A.S. degree at Foothill College in Landscape Design, he is excited to be with the Farmscape team. When not at work, you can find him tending his own garden, riding his bike, hiking, cooking and eating delicious food with his family.
Favorite Veggie: Napa Cabbage
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.