For Angie, Fertile Ground has been an exciting venture into the world of farm entrepreneurship. With an educational and professional background in community development, Angie found herself shifting towards the life of vegetable-growing almost a decade ago. Favourite farm tasks include pushing the wheel hoe, trellising tomatoes, and playing with the chickens. Angie loves getting her hands dirty & is kinda proud when the grit just won’t come out from under her fingernails. When not in the fields or behind her computer, she can be found dancing blues or lindy hop, climbing a boulder, gleefully sipping a craft brew, puttering around her kitchen, or shamelessly reading a novel in a sunbeam.
Angie Koch - Farm Manager
Vanessa Carducci - Field Manager
It was while teaching internationally in 2011 that Vanessa encountered a Canadian couple WWOOFing throughout Patagonia. The following year she found herself spending time on permaculture farms in Ecuador and Costa Rica. She has since been transitioning outside of the science classroom and into the soil. Vanessa completed both her biochemistry and teaching degrees in her home town of Windsor, but her affinity towards the natural world and growing interest in sustainable local food systems led her to obtain her Permaculture Design Certification and first full farming season on Vancouver Island. This year, Vanessa is excited to work with a dynamic team of growers, providing food for such a supportive community in the Waterloo Region. Beyond the fields, she can be found on the tennis courts, exploring unmarked trails, or sipping on mate with Rosie Barton.
Zachary Zeifman - Field Worker
Zach has had a passion for plants and an accompanying green thumb since he was a young child. A life long gardener and student at the Toronto Waldorf School, organic farming principles have been instilled in him since an early age. After studying horticulture and further exploring the world of plants, the farming bug took a bite and never seemed to leave. Zach Joins the Fertile Ground Farm team in 2017 with high levels of energy and enthusiasm to grow something great for the surrounding community. Zach will take a lead in research and development on the farm, specifically with regards to better understanding foliar fertility regiments and how they can positively impact the cultivation of organic crops. Zach is an avid reader and writer, and has written free lance gardening articles for Maximum Yield in addition to doing horticultural consulting for home owners in the greater Toronto area focusing on organic hydroponic production of herbs, flowers, and food. He can be found reading gardening blogs, analyzing yield data, and taking in heavy metal and reggae concerts when not in the field.
Claudia Fierling - Field Worker & Greenhouse Lead
Growing up in a small town in Northern Ontario, Claudia often went fishing and camping. She enjoyed nature so much that she always found herself working outdoors or with plants. While working in flowerbeds, at the University of Guelph, she was encouraged to pursue a higher education. Soon after she was experimenting with growing media for organic greenhouse tomatoes to complete her Master's degree. Afterwards she went on to work for the horticulture industry and is now joining the Fertile Ground Farm team as the lead hand for the organic tomato high tunnel. If she's not at the farm, she is probably walking or hiking with her dog, or gone camping up north.
Stephanie Scott - Field Worker (On Maternity Leave)
Stephanie grew up in the suburbs of Pickering and was a nature-loving, animal-crazy bookworm who wished she lived in the country. After completing her Master’s degree in plant ecology at Queen’s, Stephanie took a job on an organic vegetable farm, and finally figured out what to do with her life. Shortly after moving to Waterloo she took the plunge, and in 2014 she started her own business: Petals & Sprigs - a small farm on borrowed land outside Waterloo growing herbs and flowers. She keeps her veggie-growing skills sharp by working part-time at Fertile Ground. When she’s not farming, Stephanie is still a nature-loving bookworm, who is passionate about food, the CBC, and her dog. She lives with her husband in Waterloo and is working on that big move to the country.
Tori Ward - Intern
Tori joins us in May..... more soon!
There's a lot of dirty hands that grow your food!