In the broadest sense, the farm team includes the many hundreds of people who give of their time, talent, and financial support each year to sustain the community project which is Alemany Farm. They are too numerous to name here, but without them the farm would not thrive. The Friends of Alemany Farm (FOAF) “core team” comprises a group of volunteer leaders and our two paid co-directors. The team works collectively on all aspects of operations, including crop planning and planting, volunteer workday coordination, finance and fundraising, communications and outreach, and more. We also wish to acknowledge our close working relationship with our partners in San Francisco’s Recreation and Parks Department.
Abby Bell, Co-Director • Abby (she/her) has been working at the intersection of sustainable agriculture and social justice since 2005 and is dedicated to using food as a catalyst for community empowerment and social equity. She is the co-founder of “FoodWhat?!,” a non-profit youth empowerment, job training, and food justice program for low-income and “at risk” teens. She joined FOAF in 2017, and in her current role she supervises the horticultural production and produce distribution of the site and manages the Farm’s educational volunteer days, internship and apprenticeship programs, and public workshops. Abby is passionate about growing an equitable food system, nourishing our farm neighbors, cultivating culturally appropriate food through ecological methods, and building community through farm work. She has over 13 years of experience and a successful track record of managing and administering organizational projects and programs both at FoodWhat?! and at Alemany Farm.
Jack Thomas, Co-Director • Jack (he/they) joined FoAF in December of 2019. In addition to supporting agricultural activities and educational programs, he also sustains the Friends’ projects in development, communications, marketing, strategy, and partnerships. Grounded in an intersectional understanding of justice, and a deep-rooted commitment to repairing humanity’s relationship with itself and planet Earth, Jack understands that communal work with the land is an essential ingredient in personal and collective liberation. Before FOAF, he spent four years engaging Buddhist psychology, philosophy, ecology, and practice at Green Gulch Farm and Zen Center, where he was assistant farm manager, and where he taught meditation to the public. At Alemany Farm, Jack is enthusiastic about growing resilient urban ecosystems, restoring food sovereignty and native foodways to disenfranchised frontline communities, fostering cultural expressions of interdependence, and sowing the seeds of health for the planet and all its beings.
Core Volunteer Steering Committee
These folks form the nucleus of the volunteer ethos that has sustained Alemany Farm as a community project for many years. On a daily and weekly basis, on the farm and in cyberspace, they partner with our co-directors on all aspects of realizing Friends of Alemany Farm’s mission.
Chris Chimenti • Chris heard about the farm’s healing powers and tasted its local bounty in 2007, and after volunteering was immediately hooked. Becoming a volunteer co-manager in 2008, he’s been involved for 12-plus years helping with day-to-day farm management and leading volunteer workdays.
Nick Hoff • Nick discovered the farm through his desire to learn how to grow his own food. That was 10 years ago, and the farm’s community and mission has kept him deeply involved ever since. When he’s not crunching the numbers or helping fundraise, he enjoys leading volunteer workdays and helping steward the orchard.
Youngjin Jung • YJ completed the farm internship and joined the Friends of Alemany Farm in late 2019. She finds gardening to be the perfect salve for an urban lifestyle. Her wish is for more folks to experience the joy of playing in the dirt and watching things grow.
Di Yin Lu • Di Yin has been volunteering at the farm with her two little boys since 2015. Everyone enjoys weeding, especially during the spring when all the weeds are in bloom!
Jason Mark* • Jason was among the original group of “guerilla gardeners” who, in partnership with residents of Alemany Apartments, co-founded Alemany Farm in 2005. He served as the day-to-day Farm manager from 2007 to 2013, and has continued to stay involved since then as a volunteer co-manager and horticultural class instructor. When not puttering in his home garden and orchard, Jason works as an environmental journalist, and the farm has a cameo in his book, Satellites in the High Country.
Christopher Renfro • Christopher started with the farm in the winter of 2019. After searching for a space to get his hands dirty he eventually landed at 700 Alemany Boulevard.
Erik Rotman • Erik found his way to Alemany Farm in 2009, and joined the core volunteer team in 2010. In addition to leading volunteer workdays and helping out with farm communications, fundraising, and events, over the years he has enjoyed nurturing asparagus, wild strawberries, scarlet runner beans, and other perennial food plants on the farm hillside.
Evanthia Skalkos • Since 2016, Evanthia (Evan) has been a part of the Alemany Farm community, growing food and encouraging others to do the same. She has enjoyed leading workdays, cooking workshops, and the first-ever Urban Youth Farm Camp onsite. When Evan isn’t at the Farm she enjoys spending time outdoors with her dog Polly or tending to her own plot at McLaren Park Community Garden.
Past Core Committee Members
Dave Hazard (in memoriam)
Vivian Santana Pacheco
* FOAF founding members, 2005