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]
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, 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]
Human Relations Manager
Roo Sobczak brings her diverse background in Behavioral Biology and Marriage & Family Therapy into her fundamental role as Love & Carrots' Human Relations Manager. Prior to joining the Love & Carrots team, Roo counseled at-risk inner city youth and families in Syracuse, NY. She now uses her knowledge and passion for creating positive systemic social change to keep residents of the DC area "well-feducated." Roo can be reached at: [email protected]
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.
Andrew Salmon brings his love of woodworking into his leadership role as Garden Installation Manager for the Love & Carrots Build crew. Andrew joined the Love & Carrots team in 2014, and adds a combination of brains and brawn to our group with his eclectic background in farming, construction, and sculpture. Andrew's experience shines through in everything he builds-- "His woodwork is sometimes too perfect, so he needs to destroy it and start over." - Ron Swanson
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, 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.
Urban Farmer, 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.
Installation Builder, Tanner Treschuk, did not have much experience farming before joining Love & Carrots as a Farm Apprentice in 2014, but he was seeking a career change from the office to the fields. His natural talent for carpentry and managing garden installation projects led him to become an essential member of our Love & Carrots Build Team. Tanner is an industrious worker and is passionate about improving the environment in any way he can.
Installation Builder, Christian Tomasselli, came to Love & Carrots from Alexandria, VA to work as an apprentice in 2014, where he discovered his passion for urban farming. Christian has always loved nature, and as a member of the L&C build team, he takes part in creating a foundation upon which people can grow healthy gardens and luscious landscapes. Christian is currently pursuing a degree in Horticulture and is excited to improve the way he lives and interacts with the world around him.
Nina Budabin McQuown
Nina Budabin McQuown, Urban Farmer & Installation Builder, hails from New York City, where she got her first taste or urban gardening in her parents' Bronx back yard. Since then, she's apprenticed or volunteered with organic and sustainable farms across the US and Canada, including Phillies Bridge Farm in New Paltz, NY, and the Strong Farm sugaring crew in Plainfield, VT.. She also writes about food and farming, most recently finishing up a dissertation on dirt in eighteenth-century agricultural writing.