I am a biological farm consultant and teacher. I help farmers, agricultural professionals and eaters of all kinds to appreciate and understand the complexity and beauty of farming: the nexus of plants, animals, soils and people.
I was raised in the VA suburbs of Washington DC. I discovered farming at an early age, and took that passion to Virginia Tech where I earned a BS in Horticulture. After 4 years in vegetable seed research in California and active member of the Committee for Sustainable Agriculture, I returned to Virginia to rejoin Potomac Vegetable Farms. I became one of three owners of Potomac Vegetable Farms (PVF), where I worked for 25 years. I managed the Loudoun County location where we cultivated 20 acres of land using organic practices: 10 acres of vegetables and herbs, 10 acres of soil building crops. PVF in total attends 6 farmers markets, features two roadside stands and services a 550 member CSA in the Washington DC metropolitan area.
In 2010, while still farming, I started my consulting business. I began working with local growers and land owners to develop fertility and production systems. I retired from farming in mid-2017 and now coach farmers on production practices, labor management, soil testing and fertilizer recommendations, and marketing. I also work with families and non-profits to assess their land resources for possible agricultural enterprises.I worked closely with a housing development to realize their dream of a community supported farm on site.
For many years I have presented workshops at conferences and meetings around the country on numerous agricultural topics including: composting, marketing, weed control, farm business management, soils and fertility, labor. I have worked closely with Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) to develop and present Growing Farm Profits, a 2 day intensive workshop to educate growers and service providers on how to keep records, how to use them to analyze farm profitability, and how to change management strategies to increase farm profits. I was a lecturer and adviser at the University of Maryland, College Park for two years, working with the Institute for Applied Agriculture.