Who We Are
When Farmscape started in 2008, our vision was to create gardens where food could travel a matter of feet from the backyard to the dinner plate. Since then, founders Dan Allen and Lara Hermanson, along with a team of experienced farmers, builders and designers, have built hundreds of organic, urban farms across California.
During that time, we’ve grown fresh produce for the best restaurants in California (n/naka, Providence), and tackled rooftop farms in downtown LA and the Bay Area (Jonathan Club, Levi’s Stadium). Our farms grow food in Silicon Valley campuses (PayPal, Samsung, Oracle, Adobe) and in agrihoods like Rancho Mission Viejo in Orange County. While the projects have grown in size, the fundamental goal has remained the same: connecting people to a fresh, local food source right in their own backyard.
Our vision has also expanded beyond food to include low-water, sustainable landscaping as we have observed the impact of climate change and a limited water supply on farmers in California.
Today, we offer design, installation, maintenance and programming services for projects to further our mission.
Management & Operations
Dan Allen, CEO
Dan has led Farmscape’s growth from a start-up in Claremont to California’s largest urban farming venture. He has overseen the creation of hundreds of urban farm sites, including the rooftop farm at The Jonathan Club and the culinary garden for n/naka restaurant. Dan is a Master Gardener, a frequent public speaker on urban agriculture, and a periodic contributor to publications including Sunset Magazine. Prior to Farmscape, he graduated from Macalester College with a degree in Mathematics and Political Science.
Lara Hermanson, Principal
Lara is a co-owner and runs Farmscape’s Northern California office. Since joining Farmscape in 2010, Lara has overseen the design and installation of over 350 urban farming projects, including Faithful Farm at Levi’s Stadium, the Farm at Patterson Ranch and the STEM Garden. Lara is a licensed landscaper contractor, has a certificate in Project Management, and is Rescape-certified Landscape Designer. Her work focuses on regenerative farming, low-water irrigation and California native plants. Lara began her career landscaping on the south side of Chicago.
Nicki Sherman, Operations Manager
Nicki has over 10 years experience working on rooftop farms in New York, school gardens, a culinary garden for Roberta’s Pizza, and community gardens at public housing sites. Prior to joining Farmscape, she worked as Deputy Director of City Growers, where she managed finance, operations and garden education programs. Nicki earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy from Fordham University and is a Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional.
Catherine McLaughlin, Landscape Architect
Catherine is a registered landscape architect, LEED Associate Professional, and a Watershed Wise Landscape Professional. As a graduate of the University of Southern California, she has enjoyed studying and practicing in the Los Angeles basin and surrounding mountains. For more than a decade she has focused on creating dynamic gardens that integrate endemic plant communities and respect climate. Her goal is to continue to create a language and body of work that will inspire people to understand their roles as stewards of the soil.
Carolina Cutri, Junior Landscape Designer
Carolina has a BS in landscape architecture from the University of California Davis. Prior to joining Farmscape, she interned with DSK Landscape Architects and worked with “Kids in the Garden”, working with students to discover a variety of native plants and animals. Carolina’s passion for design stems from her desire to protect underserved communities, invigorate native ecologies, and design outstanding human-centric outdoor environments.
Lowell Frank, Install Foreman (LA)
Lowell has two decades of farming, landscaping and construction experience, and is a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper. Since joining Farmscape in 2010, he has managed the rooftop farm at The Jonathan Club, cultivated urban farm sites in Pasadena, and served as the LA Head Farmer before leading the installation team. Prior to Farmscape, Lowell worked as a groundskeeper at Point Loma Nazarene University for six years, worked a variety of construction jobs, and volunteered at community gardens.
Aaron Seletzky, Install Foreman (South Bay)
Aaron grew up in Maine and worked for a landscaping 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 in landscaping and construction since graduation. Aaron has worked with Farmscape since 2013, leading the LA installation crew as its foreman before moving to Northern California. He is a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper and is completing coursework in Construction Management at Cabrillo College.
Nick Smith, Install Foreman (Oakland)
Nick, a Bay Area native, holds his B.A. in Environmental Studies from San Jose State University, where he first developed his interest in urban agriculture. He’s since completed Q.W.E.L. training, specialized irrigation coursework, and orchard management training through UC Davis. Nick has worked as an install foreman with Farmscape since 2015 and his passion lies in creating beautiful and productive landscapes. Prior to joining Farmscape, Nick managed food forests in San Francisco and worked with the Santa Clara Valley Water District, administering landscape rebates.
Farming & Programming
Matthew Geldin, Head Farmer (LA)
Matthew has 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. Prior to joining Farmscape as the LA 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. Matthew has contributed to Fine Gardening Magazine and is a visiting lecturer at the LA Arboretum and Cal State Northridge.
Sara Gilligan, Head Farmer (Oakland)
Sara has worked on farms for 20 years, growing a wide variety of crops including avocados, wine grapes, lavender and native plants. 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. In addition to her farm experience, Sara has managed landscape teams in both the edible and ornamental realm. She is an expert in aesthetic pruning and fruit tree production, and has received certification in Permaculture Design and Medicinal Herbalism.
Sarah Rosenberger-Gullotti, Project Manager
Sarah has worked in urban farming and community garden programs for 8 years. At Farmscape, she integrates farm amenities and their programmatic components into master-planned developments such as Rancho Mission Viejo and The Preserve at Chino. Prior to that, Sarah worked for The Growing Experience in Long Beach, Orange County Great Park, New Roots for Refugees in Kansas, and production farms in Michigan and Colorado. In addition to her work with Farmscape, she is a professor at Saddleback College where she teaches sustainable urban farming courses.
Alexis Barbalinardo, LA Residential Farming Manager.
Alexis has more than a decade of experience in regenerative agriculture. As a farmer-florist at Broadturn Farm in Maine, she cultivated organic cut flowers with a focus on seasonal floral design. At Back 40 Farm in Connecticut, she led a team cultivating five acres of organic vegetables and flowers for local restaurants, farmers markets, and a CSA. For two years, Alexis also managed the greenhouse at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. She has also worked as a cheesemaker, bread baker, and outdoor educator, and holds a dual degree in Neuroscience and Italian language from Vassar College.
Jose Hernandez, Eastside LA Territory Manager
Jose has eight years of landscape experience, serving in management and operations roles with expertise in irrigation management. During that time, he worked for UCLA, Cal-American Corporation and Cruz Landscaping on a range of sites including residential homes, a college campus, large commercial properties, and industrial parks. Jose grew up on a 50-acre guava farm in Mexican state of Aguascalientes, where they also kept livestock including cattle and horses, before moving to Los Angeles.