Staff | Board | Committees | Farmers
Clem managed The Trust for Public Land’s Connecticut River Program from 2004 to 2014. His leadership of TPL’s acquisition and protection of the Bean and Allard Farms in 2010 enabled Grow Food Northampton’s purchase of the Northampton Community Farm in 2011. Clem has been a farmer, garden educator, and farmers’ market manager, and holds degrees in soil science from UC Berkeley and in public policy and administration from UMass Amherst.
Laura Hilberg, Administrative Manager
Laura supports GFN in many ways including as garden registrar, staff conservationist and database manager. She has a Masters degree in Conservation Biology from Antioch University.
Pat James, Volunteer Coordinator
Pat was Education Director at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society before moving to the Pioneer Valley at the end of 2012. Prior to that she managed civic engagement programs at Swarthmore College.
Alana is a senior Geology major at Smith College and writes hilarious parodies to Queen songs in her spare time. Example: Growhemian Rhapsody, a song that encourages water conservation at our community garden. Release date: June 2015.
Lilly Lombard, Founding Director and Transition Consultant
Lilly worked in the field of public health before serving as founding board president of Grow Food Northampton. She co-led the campaign to pass Northampton’s Community Preservation Act that leverages state and city funds for affordable housing, open space & historic preservation. She holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan.
As retired public health physician, Adele sees abundant healthy food as a means to improved community health, and appreciates the importance of increased production of locally grown food as preparation for the climate disruption ahead. Beginning with her role as one of the founders of Grow Food Northampton, she served as GFN’s first vice president, and since 2011 as board president.
Chris Bakker, Treasurer
Chris is a Systems Engineer and co-owner of Homegrown Microfarms. He has a passion for urban and suburban food production and an advocate for a sustainable food culture.
Susan Pincus, Clerk
Susan is cowner of Sawmill Farm, growing on 1.5 acres at the Northampton Community Farm. Prior to that, she spent five years working on organic farms around the country and in France and graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2008.
Through the years, Joe has been a leadership consultant, environmental educator and local food entrepreneur. He served seven years as a Cooperative Extension Agent in Maine, four years as Director of the University of Rhode Island Environmental Education Center and spent two years in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic helping a newly forming farmer cooperative become certified as organic.
Having successfully planted seedlings in the heavily mined soils out west, Sue realizes how land-use affects a living community. In restoration ecology, one works to create an optimal environment for seeds, seedlings, and transplants to thrive. Similarly, when we value open space, build walking and biking infrastructure and attract sustainable farmers, we foster a vibrant, thriving community. Sue and her partner own a home, along with their two dogs, in Chesterfield.
As the director of School Sprouts Educational Gardens and co-founder of The Farm Education Collaborative, Hope Guardenier works with schools, farms, and afterschool programs to realize a vision of outdoor classrooms that allow for hands-on learning and meaningful work. Hope has a M.S. in Environmental Science and additional experience in curriculum development, program coordination, and over a decade of teaching in the outdoors.
Gaby teaches Horticulture and runs the summer internship for the Smith College Botanic Garden. She also provides private residential landscape design and installation services all over the Valley, often with Smith students for a crew. A native New Yorker, she oversaw field operations for NYC’s community gardening program, GreenThumb, and accumulated a range of professional experience in both horticulture and agriculture all over the U.S. before settling down in Northampton in 1999.
Jo has over 15 years of farming experience and returned to the Valley after 11 years in Philadelphia, where she co-founded and was Director of the Mill Creek Farm, a non-profit educational urban farm. She received a Bachelors from Smith College and a Masters from the University of Pennsylvania with a Certificate in Land Preservation. She is currently working at Equity Trust as Program Associate for the Farms for Farmers program, developing a program to address land tenure issues facing urban agriculture, and at Food Solutions New England as the Community Organizer and Communications Coordinator
Jen and her husband Nate Frigard are the farmers at Crimson & Clover Farm, Grow Food Northampton’s largest lessee and “anchor farm.” Jen joined the board in 2015. She has previous farm experience and worked for several years in farmland conservation at Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust.
Farmer Round Table: Susan Pincus (Chair), Gaby Immerman, Joe Blotnick, Clem Clay, Hope Guardinier, all of GFN’s farmer-lessees
Finance Committee: Chris Bakker (Chair/Treasurer), Adele Franks, Clem Clay, Sue Crimmins
Fundraising Committee: Sue Crimmins (Chair), Adele Franks, Tom Benjamin, Chris Bakker, Susan Pincus, Clem Clay, Johanna Rosen
Governance: Joe Blotnick (Chair), Johanna Rosen, Adele Franks, Pandora Redwin, Cheri Cross
Nate Frigard and Jen Smith have a combined 30 years of farming experience, were trained at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California Santa Cruz, and have been growing, managing and teaching farming in Massachusetts including Waltham Fields Community Farm, Waltham, MA, and the Farm School in Orange, MA. In 2010, Nate managed the CSA operation at the Farm School. In addition to farming, Jen worked as a Land Conservation Associate with Mt. Grace Land Conservation Trust, but recently left her position to dedicate herself full-time to Crimson & Clover. In 2013, they welcomed their first child, Noah, into the world!
In 2012, Grow Food Northampton signed a three-year lease of it’s 10-acre “East Field” to Slow Tractor Farm, owned by Andrea and Christian Stanley of Hadley, MA. Andrea & Christian are better known for their successful young business “Valley Malt”, that malts locally-grown barley to sell to local breweries. Slow Tractor Farm grows grains, corn and beans at the Northampton Community Farm.
In 2013, Sawmill Farm, run by Kevin Korb and Susan Pincus, broke ground on 1.5 acres of the Northampton Community Farm. The business grew steadily, producing greens for local restaurants and farmers markets, and medicinal herbs for CSA shareholders. Susan has taken over the operation, which will focus entirely on herbs.
Easthampton-based Mockingbird Farm began grazing cattle on GFN’s South and East Fields in summer 2013. The pilot relationship—Mockingbird’s access to our clover-rich pasture in exchange for their “mowing” and “fertilizing” services—was so successful that we have agreed to continue the lease and officially declare Mockingbird Farm our fourth farm business at the Grow Food Northampton Community Farm. Farmer, Pete Solis, has recently accepted the position of Farm Manager at Hampshire College. He is therefore downsizing Mockingbird Farm, but will still retain cattle and graze them on GFN community farmland.