Larrissa is inspired by the power of food and our relationship to food for creating healthy communities. During her undergraduate degree in International Development at the University of Waterloo, she became passionate about community-based food initiatives that increase our access to socially-just, ecological, and locally-produced foods. Since 2013, she’s worked in diversity of realms where people and food connect: on non-profit farms, backyard gardens, CSAs, small-scale ecological farms and with local food producers and retailers in Waterloo Region and Perth County. At Fertile Ground, Larrissa is looking forward to learning more about agroecology, skills for sharing food knowledge, and new seasonal recipes from CSA members. When she isn’t in the field, you can find Larrissa sipping coffee at Show & Tell café, hiking and reading by the Grand River, or advocating for local food with the Food System Roundtable of Waterloo Region
Larrissa Jerome - Team Lead
Angie Koch - Farm Manager
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 over a decade ago. Favourite farm tasks include basket weeding, 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 likely be found strumming her banjo, sipping a craft brew, puttering in her kitchen, or shamelessly reading a novel in a sunbeam.
Cassandra loves working outdoors, especially if plants and animals are involved! Throughout her studies in Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph, she learned that conventional agricultural methods are very harmful to the environment. With this knowledge, she developed a strong interest for sustainable agriculture and is excited to work toward a career in this field. This season at Fertile Ground, Cassandra is excited to develop her farming knowledge and growing skills, as well as helping to provide the community with fresh, seasonal, and local food. On days off, Cassandra can be found playing with her bunnies, sketching and painting, watching cartoons, or swimming at the cottage.
Austen is an Ecosystem Management student at Sir Sandford Fleming College Frost Campus and has grown a passion for the outdoors and sustainability. While at Fleming College, Austen has gained a vast knowledge of the different plants and animals found in Ontario and has spent many hours in the field observing and recording his findings. With these skills, along with his love for getting his hands dirty, Austen will be a positive input to the team at Fertile Ground. The experience and information he will gain this season will help him to grow into a well-versed environmentalist while contributing to a well-established local community. During his time off, you will find Austen reading a book, going for hikes, collecting and pressing plants for his studies or playing music with his friends.
Laura started out in the beauty industry but became very ill and realized it was because she was around so many chemicals. This was a huge catalyst for her in finding more natural products, and also to take a good look at the earth around her to see what kind of healing remedies were accessible. This led her to take on her own organic project in 2016, growing food to ferment and herbs for drying. Years later, she has become in love with the plants and watching each stage from start to finish to what feeds and nourishes her body. She feels part of something awesome by teaming up and being a part of a local organic farm to help bring more awareness and just pure love of good veggies to everyone!
There's a lot of dirty hands that grow your food!