Love & Carrots strives to revive the knowledge of growing food that was once passed from generation to generation.
Since 2011, Love & Carrots has worked diligently to proliferate this knowledge with individuals, families, businesses, and organizations. We provide assistance to people who would like to have an organic garden in their yard, porch, patio, eatery, balcony, or rooftop. At Love & Carrots, we are passionate about utilizing a hands-on approach to get people excited about eating fresh, healthy food while educating them as to why going organic and eating locally are important.
We want to create a ripple effect with urban agriculture.
Our goal is to expose as many people as possible to sustainable practices and smart growing, so they can use that knowledge themselves and continue to share it with others. Love & Carrots raises awareness about sustainability and biodiversity, while simultaneously addressing nutritional education, promoting physical activity, and increasing access to nutritious food, making urban environments more conducive to healthy living.
DC is unique in that it has abundant yard space for a city, but very few people use these spaces to grow food. As of 2015, less than 1% of the city's total area is being used to grow food. Every garden we plant is a small step toward raising that statistic, reducing our carbon footprint, and positively impacting the District as a whole.
Founder, Meredith Sheperd, has been working in organic agriculture and environmental sustainability for 15 years. Before founding Love & Carrots in 2011, she was the manager of Chaily Farm in VA, which produces organic herbs and vegetables for high-end DC restaurants, City Zen and The Sou'wester. Meredith received the 2013 DC Mayor's Sustainability Award, 2014 Green America Award, and Business Insider's Top 50 New Businesses in America. Meredith can be reached at: [email protected]
Partner, OPS MANAGER
Julia Umiker, joined Love & Carrots in 2014 as a Farm Apprentice. Her aptitude for operations logistics and collaborative management were immediately evident leading her into the key role of Operations Manager. Julia sees her work with Love & Carrots as a turning point in her career, aligning her professional skill set with her personal commitment to improving our treatment of the environment around us. Julia can be reached at: [email protected]
Morgan Morris, Partner at Love & Carrots, has been with us since early July 2011. Before coming to DC, she was a manager at Codman Community Farm outside of Boston. Morgan has 11 years experience in sustainabile agriculture, including an apprenticeship with The Farm School in Athol, Massachusetts and an Agriculture Business major at NCSU. Morgan can be reached at: [email protected]
partner, Urban fARMER
Urban Farmer, Carly Mercer, previously worked on food issues at an advocacy group before taking the fight for access to good food directly to people’s backyards (front yards too!) She has apprenticed on farms from Costa Rica to Maine, volunteered at Eco City Farm, and participated in the DC Master Gardener Program. Carly joined Love and Carrots in 2014 and is passionate about urban agriculture and teaching people how to grow their own food.
Horticulture Director, Natalie Carver, joined Love & Carrots in 2014. Natalie's path into farming started on a cross-country bike tour of farms. She gardened intensively while completing her BA in Anthropology, then spent two years apprenticing at Ranfurly Farm in Turtle Valley, BC. At the L&C greenhouse, she propagates the supply of vegetable, herb, and perennial seedlings that go into our gardens all over the city. Natalie loves seeds, botany, running, live music, and homegrown meals.
Office Administrator, Kelly McGuinness, joined the Love & Carrots team in 2016. Kelly studied sustainable urban design and worked on an organic farm while getting her BA from the UNC Chapel Hill before moving to DC to work as the AmeriCorps VISTA at Common Good City Farm. Her work with Love & Carrots helps her continue to combine her passion for promoting urban agriculture with her inclination towards order and schedules.
Installation Leader, Gavin Thomas, began his journey as a farmer at Eckerd College, where he became a part of the student-run garden (Sol Food Grow-Op), volunteered with the Edible Peace Path Project, and became involved with food justice issues working alongside groups such as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). Gavin is an extremely hard worker who enjoys building things. He is constantly striving to learn, and is very passionate about sustainable living.
Urban Farmer, Christian Melendez, has a strong background in sustainable food production and food justice/ sovereignty. After building a community garden in Riverdale Park and serving as Urban Farm Manager at ECO City Farms, he brought his eclectic knowledge and experiences to our Love & Carrots team. Christian has a knack for teaching people of all ages about growing, construction, and design.
Urban Farmer, Kelly Johnson, has a strong background in sustainable food production and food justice/ sovereignty. She has been farming on a variety of farms (from a peony farm in Alaska to a restaurant garden in Santa Cruz) since 2012. In 2015, she ran a market garden in Northern Michigan. Kelly says she is hooked on growing nutritious food for her community (where ever that may be!) and is super excited to be able to grow food for people right in their back yards -- and to empower them to be able to do it on their own someday!
Leigh Prezkop, Urban Farmer, first joined L & C in 2013. She then left to farm in Sperryville, VA, but has returned to DC and Love & Carrots while she works towards her Masters in Public Health at GW. Her experience ranges from Peace Corps volunteering in Zambia to working with Farmstead Ferments in Charlottesville, VA. Leigh enjoys her current balance of academics and working outside, staying connected to the earth, and growing food. She loves how farming coincides with her connection to public health as a way to prevent health issues in our society while drawing communities together- and growing delicious veggies in DC soil!
Danny Haber, Installation Builder, hopes that urban farming will foster a much needed reconnection with the origin of our food. With experience in organic gardening at The Ashokan Center and WWOOFing in San Francisco, Danny wishes to utilize his background to be an agent of growth and connection. He feels that creating space to understand the source of our food is one of the most poignantly effective means of inspiring a greater awareness of oneself and of others.