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Farm Discovery at Live Earth engages kids and families with seasonal, organic, and local food systems for their bodies, the environment and their communities.
Food, farming and nature exist in complex, interconnected socio-cultural, economic and ecological systems. Farm Discovery empowers kids and families to make these systems regenerative and healing for individuals, communities, and the natural world.
Farm Discovery’s vision is growing healthy relationships through food, farming and nature.
Our farm, Live Earth Farm (LEF), established in 1996, is a 150 acre diversified, organic, family farm overlooking the Pajaro Valley in the Santa Cruz area of California. LEF runs a year round CSA, growing over 50 different fruits and vegetables surrounded by a native landscape of redwoods and oak woodland. LEF’s produce is directly marketed through local farmer’s markets, restaurants, a thriving web store, and a weekly CSA program. Education has always been a part of Live Earth Farm since its beginning, but in 2007 a separate non-profit entity, Farm Discovery was formally established to compliment and expand the educational programs at Live Earth Farm. We now host more than 2000 children on the farm each year for engaging farm-based, hands-on learning opportunities in a variety of formats.
Why Teach in the Wild? by Angie Moline, Ph.D.
Who we are
Jessica Ridgeway, Executive Director
In 2007 Jessica earned her M.S. in Environment and Natural Resources from the Rubenstein School at the University of Vermont. Her Master’s Thesis consisted of Participatory Action Research in an agricultural community in Northern Vermont. She developed, implemented and evaluated a Sustainability Curriculum and School Garden with the 6th graders of Jeffersonville Elementary School. Jessica helped Thomas and Constance Broz to found the Live Earth Farm Discovery Program in 2008.
Hayley Reitman, Education Coordinator
Hayley Reitman is the newest addition to Live Earth Farms’ Discovery Program! Hayley graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies from California State University Monterey Bay, focusing on sustainable communities in 2014. She has been working in nonprofits since 2010 with experience in environmental education, habitat restoration, community food programs and sustainable agriculture. Hayley is extremely excited to be part of Live Earth Farm’s Discovery Program and to continue a career of advocating for healthy food systems in our community and social justice.
Christine Landis, Field Manager
Christine moved from Maine to California in 2010 to attend the University of California Santa Cruz where she graduated with a B.A. in Environmental studies. During that time she interned at a local, organic farm where she rediscovered her passion for sustainable agriculture.
Tara Fatemi Walker, Development Coordinator
A longtime Santa Cruz resident, Tara has more than 12 years of development experience including several years doing donor stewardship at UC Santa Cruz. As a journalist, she has written about chefs, restaurants, and farms in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. She lived in Santa Cruz from 1986-1991 when she earned a B.A. in creative writing from UCSC, and returned to Santa Cruz in 2004 after spending a few years in Texas (where she earned an M.A. in creative writing from UT Austin).