2012-13 Staff & Team Leaders

Meet our first leadership team!

Project Coordinators

Juliet Laney

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 8.04.34 PM

Major: Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
About me: I have a deep love of native plants – they’re perfectly evolved to survive in our harsh environment, and can be breathtakingly beautiful as well. I’m also completely fascinated by fungi for reasons I can’t explain. I’m addicted to cheese. I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up – and I’m ok with that 🙂 Lastly, I believe that exposing children to gardening at a young age is one of the most important things we can do for the next generation.
Favorite thing about growing food: There is nothing as beautiful and exhilarating as growing something from seed to seed – you get to watch the magic of the cycle of life unfold right before your eyes. And with today’s messed up food system, growing your own is one of the only ways you can have complete control and confidence in your food.
Why UT needs a farm: Knowing how to grow your own food is a basic survival skill, yet many Americans are pretty clueless on the subject. Intensive sustainable urban agriculture is the way of the future and the only possible path I see for humanity to continue our existence on this planet, so why not start at home – what starts here changes the world, right?
Spirit vegetable/fruit/herb/plant: Prickly poppy – beautiful & tough, wild & free 🙂

Margaret Wellik

954739_578797188839419_860187014_nMajor: Plan II
Favorite thing about growing food: getting to eat the food right off the plant!
Why UT needs a farm: UT has the smartest kids in the country, but most of them know nothing about growing food…which really isn’t too hard
Spirit vegetable/fruit/herb/plant: Artichokes: They’re strong plants, with beautiful flowers, and they are so worthwhile if you’re willing to give them the necessary time and seasoning!

Daniella Lewis

me2Major: Architecture
Favorite thing about growing food:
One of my favorite things about growing food are the ongoing opportunities to test my intuition. Learning from gardening books and fellow gardeners is wonderful, but making a decision and taking action, and observing the consequences, provides a most potent opportunity to learn through experience. I also love choosing seeds. The variety of edible things available to you multiplies exponentially when you’re growing your own! Also, you can’t get produce fresher than what you grow yourself.
Why UT needs a farm: To think critically about food and to realize the multifaceted implications of food as they relate to your life as well as society at large is essential to a well-rounded education. After all, food is fundamental and connects us all. Food relates to health, culture, economy, environment, social concerns, morality, law, politics. There are serious and fascinating problems present in today’s food systems, and at their core, there will always be agriculture. To engage in farming is the first step in beginning to realize the context, and to have a basis by which to frame and compare.
Spirit vegetable/fruit/herb/plant: I’m like a carrot. I’m slightly sweet, a little sharp, and I turn orange in the summer.


Team Leaders

Levi Joseph

levi carrotTeam Leader: Fundraising & Events Planner
Major: Plan II / Business
Favorite thing about growing food: Trying to fix our broken food culture
Why UT needs a farm: To raise awareness of food related issues and to encourage people to form stronger connections with where their food came from
Spirit vegetable/fruit/herb/plant: Carrot: as a source of beta carotene it is indispensable to the diet much in the same way that I would like to be indispensable to those around me. It is also packed full of sugar, and I have a sweet tooth.


Shelly Bergel

shellyTeam Leader: Compost Manager
Major: Environmental Science, Geological Sciences Track
Favorite thing about growing food: I think it’s really cool to see a tiny seed turn into the food that keeps us living.
Why UT needs a farm: Too many things in life are hidden from us, and the process of making food is one of those things.  It’s hard to appreciate things to their fullest extent when you see only the finished product, but miss out on the entire developmental process.  UT needs a farm to expose to students what is on the plates that they eat from every day, so that they will become more aware of the world around them, and will gain an understanding of the work that it takes to grow food.
Spirit vegetable/fruit/herb/plant: Onions are my spirit vegetable because they are crunchy and flavorful.  They’re also just really cool looking.

Grace Lahasky


Team Leader: Resource Recovery Supervisor
Major: Plant Biology
Favorite thing about growing food: gettin’ dirty!
Why UT needs a farm: Removing the distance between people and their food source is of the utmost importance.Students at UT are uniquely active and this project not only promotes positive social action but also keeps those activists healthy so they can fight for what’s right for the rest of their lives.
Spirit vegetable/fruit/herb/plant: Brassica oleracea, because it’s so much more than what’s immediately visible.

Julie Wilson

Team Leader: Education Coordinator
Major: Plan II
Favorite thing about growing food:The feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction you get eating something you’ve put your own hard work into.
Why UT needs a farm: I think that sustainable agriculture is becoming more and more important in our society, and what better place to start making a change than right here at UT!
Spirit vegetable/fruit/herb/plant: Pineapple, because it is sweet with a tangy punch– like me!

Renee Frederick

Team Leader: Blog Editor

Katie Floyd

Team Leader: Media Designer