Margaret Morgan-Hubbard, Founder and CEO: A seasoned social justice organizer, educator and environmentalist, Margaret Morgan Hubbard has a fertile mind practiced in translating ideas into action. Morgan-Hubbard is committed to mentoring young people in creating meaningful and purposeful lives, and to finishing the equity work her generation began, but lost track of. She is particularly interested in providing venues and opportunities for diverse groups of people to collaborate together toward a better, more peaceful and just world that respects Mother Nature.
Christian Melendez, Edmonston Urban Farm Manager: A talented young farmer and thinker, Christian Melendez’s role at ECO City Farms is to grow food, fertility, and farmers. He coordinates ECO City Farms’ production and sales of farm produce. He began farming while a student at University of Maryland where he sowed seeds at Engaged University’s Master Peace Community Farm for more than 2 years. While at the University, Melendez created and led two Alternative Spring Break experiences focused on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. For two summers, he taught gardening and nutrition to middle school youth as part of the Free Minds Collective, and at ECO City Farms has taught Urban Farming and Composting as part of the Commercial Agriculture Certificate program with Prince George’s Community College. He also ran and managed ECO’s 10 month-long new and immigrant farmer training program. Melendez is a graduate of Growing Power’s Commercial Urban Agriculture course. He is also a graduate of the Mid-Atlantic Better Composting School and a Certified Maryland Compost Facility Operator. He hopes the people he touches will discard the term “waste,” read the Humanure Handbook, and cultivate SOIL, not OIL!
Benny Erez, Senior Technical Advisor: After years working in an academic setting doing agricultural research, Benny Erez brings knowledge of theoretical and practical farming technology to ECO City Farms. He is passionate about the need to wean ourselves off the gas-guzzling commercial fertilizers and replace them with sustainably produced compost. His experience with composting technology comes from years of managing the University of Maryland Central Maryland Research and Education Center Compost Facility and visits to Austrian compost enterprises. Erez’s first-hand knowledge of the power of community comes from his experiences growing up on a Kibbutz in Israel. He believes that the human race is facing many environmental challenges and that local, sustainable food production is part of the solution.
Viviana Lindo is an avid foodie, loves cooking, baking, reading, crafting, watching foreign films, going on adventures and spending time outdoors.
Viviana was born and raised in Huancayo–a region in the central highlands and westernmost Amazonia of Peru, and as a teenager she moved to America. She graduated from California State University of Los Angeles in 2005 with a degree in Liberal Studies with minors in Latin America Studies, Sociology, and Social Gerontology. In 2006, she moved to Germany and began a master’s program in social science through the Global Studies Programme. She studied on three continents receiving degrees from the University of Freiburg (Germany), KwaZulu-Natal University (South Africa) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (India). Since then, she has worked in different areas from immigration, indigenous rights, social movements, independent media, sustainable development and agriculture. She hopes apply what she’s learned about sustainable farming practices, the respect and acknowledgement of the environment, and indigenous knowledge found in rural settings to urban settings. Viviana spent the 2012 growing season apprenticing at ECO City Farms, and during the summer of the same year she worked as an educator with ECO’s “Seed to Feed” program.
Viviana is thrilled to be a member of ECO City Farms team and hopes to continue supporting communities in which everyone has access to healthier foods, and to contribute something of value to the movement of the next young generation for a sustainable future, preserving biodiversity, reconnection to nature and to value and respect food.
David Noto, Community Farmer/Food Organizer: David Noto is a young farmer, educator and community food justice worker. He has worked for a variety of national and local programs and food growing institutions. A graduate of the University of the South, David moved from Michigan to work at ECO after studying sustainable agriculture and then teaching gardening as an afterschool program for a year. He lives at the Autumn Woods Apartments and is organizing there around food issues and helping to start a second farm for ECO City Farms on 3.5 acres of vacant land at the complex.
Amanda B. West, Operations Manager: Growing up, Amanda spent summers at a family farm, where she found the world of chickens, milk cows and barn cats magical. She has always loved animals and growing things, and harbors a secret desire to be a farmer. Her dream of working in the local and sustainable foods field has come to fruition at ECO City Farms. She brings years of nonprofit management experience in the historic preservation and community development field, with multi-dimensional skills and a passion for making things run well. She is a novice beekeeper and loves to grow vegetables at her urban community garden plot in DC.
Devin Harrison, Volunteer Coordinator: Devin’s passion for growing food began in 2009, when he volunteered on an urban farm in Baltimore and helped maintain a friend’s vegetable garden. Soon after, he began to experiment with growing vegetables for himself on his own backyard plot. He became interested in the health benefits and therapeutic power of eating much of his diet from food he grew. This led to the desire to pursue his interest in agriculture. He feels his experiences with weight loss and healthier living can help him better convey to the local community the benefits of a healthier, more vegetable based diet. He began volunteering at ECO City in 2012 as a way to start gaining more hands-on farming experience and to give back to the community and is now embracing his role as ECO City’s Volunteer Coordinator. As a child, Devin spent several summers visiting and spending time on his family’s cattle farm in Independence, Kansas. When he’s not working at an insurance agency you can usually find him right here on the farm, as our Volunteer Coordinator.