We are a small, woman-owned company that started with one woman and a pickup truck. Since then, we've grown to a staff of as many as 15 during the growing season. We have built and planted over 500 gardens for residents and businesses in the DC Metro area.
Love & Carrots envisions a future where vegetable gardens a commonplace feature of our urban landscapes.
Since 2011, Love & Carrots has worked diligently to proliferate gardening 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 DC restaurants. Meredith received the 2013 DC Mayor's Sustainability Award, 2014 Green America Award, and Business Insider's Top 50 'Coolest' Businesses in America. Meredith can be reached at: [email protected]
Partner, CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER
Chief Operations Officer, Julia Umiker, joined Love & Carrots in 2014 as a Farm Apprentice but quickly used her aptitude for operations logistics and collaborative management to transition into the COO role. 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]
partner, Director of Garden programming
Director of Garden Programming, 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 & Carrots in 2014 and is passionate about urban agriculture and teaching people how to grow their own food.
partner, Horticulture Director
Horticulture Director, Natalie Carver, Natalie Carver joined Love & Carrots 2014. Her path into farming started on a cross-country bike tour of farms. This inspired her to start gardening intensively at university, and then spend two years farming in British Columbia. As horticulture director, she propagates the supply of vegetable, herb, and perennial seedlings that fill hundreds gardens across DC. She is also a garden coach, teaching new and experienced gardeners how to grow their own food. To Natalie, the process from seed to harvest is a pace of life, and she celebrates working and eating with the seasons.
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.
INSTALLATION & Urban farmer
Danny Haber, Installation Leader, 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.
Accounts & Communications Manager
Accounts & Communications Manager, Kelly McGuinness, joined the Love & Carrots team in 2016. After graduating UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Sustainability, Kelly worked on an organic hog & vegetable farm. It was there she learned the value in connecting to our food sources and the balance between production and sustainability. She pursued her passion for urban agriculture in DC as the AmeriCorps VISTA at Common Good City Farm. Her work with Love & Carrots allows her to continue combining her desire to promote sustainable living with her inclination towards order and schedules.
Manuel Rojas, Urban Farmer, has been dedicated to sustainable farming since he was growing up in Paraguay, where his family cultivates organic/fair trade sugar cane. He has a degree in Agriculture Science with focus in Sustainable Agriculture and Entrepreneurship from EARTH University in Costa Rica, and has worked on a number of sustainable farming projects in Latin America and the United States. Working with Love & Carrots has allowed him to pursue his passion for urban farming and growing healthy food.