Meet the Testers
Chris studied horticulture at Temple University, assisted Ann and Liz at Green Heron Farms and is continually improving the landscaping of her home and backyard in Bethlehem, PA.
Nitya grew up in Australia and worked on sheep and cattle farms there as a teenager. She now lives and farms in Berks County, Pennsylvania, organically raising pastured sheep, hogs, goats, turkeys, layers and broilers. She direct-markets from the farm and sells through a local co-op and farmers markets.
Darlene farmed 133 acres with her husband for more than 50 years, growing tobacco, hay and corn and raising dairy cows. She now gardens on their farm in Harrodsburg, KY.
Deb has raised dairy goats for 10 years and is the operator of Goat Soap Chalet, LLC, in Littlestown, PA.
Susan is co-owner of Growing Point, an eco-friendly landscape company in Quakertown, PA, that designs, installs and maintains quality outdoor spaces for beauty, comfort, and durability. Susan has been landscaping for 25 years.
Sara Armstrong Donegan
Sara lives in Hinesburg, Vermont where she owns and operates Trillium Hill Farm with her husband, James. Their farm is diversified and includes a small-scale goat dairy, a vegetable operation, beef cows and laying hens. Sara's main focus is on the goat dairy, which currently sells raw milk and is moving towards value-added products.
Edge of the Woods co-owners
Louise Schaefer and Sue Tantsits founded Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery in 2003. They propagate and grow native trees, shrubs and perennials on their 3-acre retail nursery in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and offer landscaping and maintenance services. “Whether in the nursery or at a client’s property, having the right tool for the right job is as important to us as selecting the right plant for the right place,” notes Louise.
Kimberly operates Osprey Hill Farm in central Vermont, a small and slightly diversified operation now in its 19th year. A flock of 30 sheep – Dorset for meat and merino crosses for wool -- plays the dominant role and contributes to the local meat market as well as to the fiber artists who live nearby. There are a few turkeys, and several fruit and nut trees. Raspberries, blueberries and kiwis will be available soon.
Gladys, of Waxhaw, NC, has been an avid gardener for approximately 30 years. Despite arthritis in her hands, she’s out in her garden every day and describes gardening as her passion.
Liberty Gardens crew
Sabrina Mita, Jennifer Evans and co-owner Kristin Illick all participated in tool testing for us at Liberty Gardens in Coopersburg, PA. Kristin and her husband Jeff have been farming for 10 years. They grow high-quality produce in an environmentally sustainable way. “The quality comes from the land,” says Kristin. “We treat the soil with high regard, using composts, cover crops, mineral amendments, rotations and responsible tillage to preserve and enhance its quality.”
Sabrinajoy owns Just Dancing Gardens and Greenhouse in South Burlington, VT. She specializes in designing and planting artistic and unusual container gardens, hanging baskets and window boxes.
Amy, her husband Dan and two daughters own and operate StoneCroft Farm in Macungie, PA. They raise Oberhasli dairy goats and are a licensed creamery, making fresh goat milk cheeses and yogurt. They sell their products at local farmers’ markets and supply several area fine dining restaurants. Pigs, chickens and donkeys can also be found on the farm where they harvest their own organic hay.
Deborah Reed, RN, works with farmers to keep them safe and healthy. She is from a Kentucky farm family and lives in the country, so she still has her feet on the family land. She identifies with the equipment challenges she hears from other farmers, particularly the women.
Susan is the owner-operator of Rawson Brook Farm in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, where she has been producing Monterey Chevre goat cheese since 1984. Susan shares her farm with a herd of more than 50 Alpine goats, whose trademark cheese is distributed from New York City to Boston.
Kari is co-owner of Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery, located in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. She has grown up in the family business and is proud to be celebrating more than 24 years of premium Pennsylvania wines.
Layne is the owner of Layne’s Garden Design in Montpelier, VT, which she started in 1997 after a career as a special education teacher. Layne has taught at Vermont Technical College, is a Vermont Certified Horticulturist, served as President of the Vermont Nursery and Landscape Association, and is now working on a Master’s degree in historic preservation. She was instrumental in the renovation of the Greatwood Gardens on the Goddard College campus in Plainfield, Vermont, which are on the National Register and have been recognized nationally by the Cultural Landscape Foundation.