The Battery Urban Farm team is thrilled to introduce our new Farm Education Apprentices and Lead Farmer. We are incredibly lucky to have such passionate and skilled people join our team, and hope you will join us in giving them a warm welcome!
Josie Johnson, Lead Farmer
After years of feeding her curiosity about food by learning where it comes from, how it is grown and raised, and where it goes, Josie apprenticed on two farms in central Maryland: an organic CSA farm and a biodynamic market farm. The following season she started her own organic farm on some rented land, ran a small CSA, and participated in three DC area farmers’ markets. After two years on her own farm, she started an educational farm at an independent school in Montgomery County Maryland where students learned to grow, eat, and compost their own food. Josie moved to the city and joined Battery Urban Farm as Lead Farmer in June of 2013 and couldn’t feel luckier. People often ask her “What is a farmer going to do in the city?” and she answers “Farm!”
Emmanuel Martinez, Apprentice
In his last year as an undergraduate, Emmanuel had the pleasure of taking a course taught by a retired organic farmer, and that farmer’s ardent passion for artisanal growing inspired his own interest in sustainable farming and all that surrounded it. Emmanuel’s avid mission is to enrich and stimulate his community’s environmental conscience through working on the urban farm and educating others (as well as himself). One of the many highlights of his day is traveling back home after a days work, wearing the dirt on his shirt and soil under his nails with pride.
Nicole Brownstein, Apprentice
Nicole came to the farm as a graduate student at The New School, studying Urban Policy and Management with a focus on urban food systems. She joined The Battery Conservancy in early April hoping to learn more about urban farming, having come from a background in rural farming and social justice, and is excited to stay on for the summer season. Nicole confesses to being obsessed with vegetables – so much so, that she “recently found a few Hakurei turnips and some (now crispy) kale leaves in the dryer when doing laundry. They were still good.”
Kristina Gsell, Apprentice
Kristina began growing her own food at the Columbia University Community Garden freshman year of college, and has been obsessed with the sustainable food movement ever since. After a stint working on rural organic farms in Italy, she joined The Battery Conservancy to reconnect with agriculture in the urban setting and expand her knowledge. Kristina is thrilled to be the newest addition to our team, and looks forward to purslane-turnip salads and many more tastes of the summer bounty.
Elizabeth Van Der Els, Apprentice
After working on a student farm in college and interning at an urban farm in Hartford, Elizabeth was eager to continue getting her hands dirty in the big apple! Elizabeth joined The Battery Conservancy as a farm intern in late March and is excited to continue being involved in the educational aspect of the farm. She enjoys seeing the reaction of fellow subway riders as she nibbles on leaves of raw kale, adorned with a layer of sweat and dirt after a day of working on the farm.