Jennifer Sutton: Farm to School Educator
Laurie Shelton: Early Childhood Education Director
Greg Soll: Farm Manager
Greg Soll found his interest in Agriculture while attending The University of Vermont. His understanding of Ecological Farming as a practical way to improve our environment and our communities led Greg to switch his major to focus on Ecological Agriculture and eventually to run his own farm. In 2009, while taking an Environmental Education course, Greg was introduced to Carol McQuillen. Shortly afterwards, Greg became involved in Common Roots brainstorming ways to integrate farming and farming education into the South Burlington schools. Greg successfully ran Sol Fresh Farm from 2010 to 2014, continues to work closely with Common Roots, teaches Farm Design and Greenhouse Design at Yestermorrow Design Build School, and does farm consulting.
Forest Donaj-Keys: Growing Gardens Farm Educator
Forest Donaj-Keys has been passionately exploring the relationships between food, people, and the land for many years. From his experiences owning and operating a small organic vegetable and medicine farm in South Burlington, to graduating from The University of Vermont with a degree in Ecology and Environmental Studies, to initiating a community-based agriculture program in a Haitian village in the Dominican Republic, Forest has come to deeply understand the importance of self-empowered food systems in maintaining the overall health of people, culture, and the environment. He believes that children are the foundation of a healthy and vital future and, as the Growing Gardens Educator, feels honored to have the opportunity to facilitate and inspire children’s own connections to food and the land.
Jennifer Richter: Farm to Go Educator
Jen Richter, an educator for the South Burlington School district, comes to Vermont via California and Washington. Her love of food and farming started when she was a young child, cooking with her mother and participating in 4-H. Her undergraduate background in nutrition education and food science brought her to Vermont to study at NECI. Jen has worked with all age groups in South Burlington and led a variety of summer camps and clubs. She is excited to be a part of Common Roots and all they offer their community.
Maria Di Ferdinando: South Burlington Farmers Market Manager
Maria Di Ferdinando is a life long South Burlington resident who has extensive experience in food production working on farms and in bakeries. After years of making her own bread, cheese, and cider at home she obtained her graduate degree in Food and Communications at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. Upon returning to Vermont, she continues to nurture her passion for food, teaches cooking after school at Edmunds Middle School, and is excited to bring her experience and knowledge to the South Burlington Farmers Market.
Michael Bisogno: Production Farmer at Underwood and South Village Hay Groves
Michael is the newest member of the Common Roots farmer group. His work at Common Roots reunites him with Greg and Forest as all three were friends at the University of Vermont. Michael graduated from UVM with majors in Environmental Studies and Community International Development. After graduation, Michael embarked on a tour of European countries sponsored by WWOOF, Willing Workers on Organic Farms, a network founded in 1971 that facilitates the placement of volunteers on organic farms in more than 100 countries. Upon returning to Vermont, he furthered his experience working with several local growers and collaborating with a partner on a two-acre farm of their own. He appreciates the many challenging dimensions of agriculture and especially enjoys working with young children.