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Welcome to Westchester Local Food Project!

Welcome to Westchester Local Food Project, where we're on a mission to create a more sustainable and equitable food system for our community. Our group is made up of passionate individuals, including farmers, garden educators, regenerative agriculture believers, herbalists, holistic practitioners, local chefs, self-taught gardeners, and marketers, all working together towards a common goal. We're committed to empowering and educating our community on how to grow, cook, and preserve their own food, with the hope that everyone in Westchester, NY has access to fresh, healthy, and locally grown produce.

At Westchester Local Food Project, we believe that education is key to building a more sustainable future. That's why we've collaborated with organizations, schools, and the community at large to embed education at every step of the way. Through our educational events and programs, we encourage volunteerism, participation, and engagement to create a thriving and equitable local food system that benefits all in our community.

But our work doesn't stop there. We're also committed to closing the gap on food justice in our own towns. We're determined to reclaim shelf space in food pantries and introduce fresh, locally grown produce and meals made from those ingredients instead of highly processed foods. By doing so, we hope to make a positive impact on our community and create a better future for generations to come.

We're excited to be a part of this movement towards a more sustainable future, and we invite you to join us on this journey. Together, we can make a difference and create a better future for all in Westchester, NY.

The Advisory Board

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Ellen Best

Community Facilitator/Healthy Soil Educator

Ellen runs the Westchester Chapter of the Bionutrient Food Association (BFA), organizing workshops and gatherings for local growers. Although she has grown plants most of her adult life, she felt that there was something missing in the life of her garden. The BFA - connecting soil, nutrition, and food - provided the solutions with resources and folks with like-minded values – a soil family that cared about growing good food! After a brief career as a Special Education teacher, she has been a journalist for over 30 years, often weaving her gardening and nature musings into her writing.

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Leslie Dock

Garden Manager/Educator

Leslie Dock is Katonah-based, farmer, gardener, landscaper, educator and permaculture designer. She formed Leslie Dock - Farms & Gardens after years of working in the arts as an actor, producer and sponsorship manager.

 

She tends a small roster of private clients in addition to teaching and writing a monthly gardening column for Katonah Connect magazine. 

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Janet Donat

Director of Programming

Janet Donat is a Child Development Specialist with over 15 years working within the social service sector in Westchester County. Her focus is community education, advocacy and collaboration to address issues of restorative justice. In 2017, Janet co-founded the Resilience Coalition, committed to building awareness of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as a public health concern fostering individual, family and community resilience. Her innovative programs for incarcerated women at the Westchester County Department of Corrections include a gardening program and a re-entry program focusing on restorative practices and the formation of healthy community.

Mey Marple

WLFP Co-Director/Media Director

Mey Marple is a 26-year resident of Mount Kisco and a self-taught gardener. She founded the West Patent Elementary Learning Garden in 2008 and has managed community gardens in town ever since. Her professional background is in advertising and marketing, having served as an Account Executive at a global agency based in NYC.  Through the lens of raising a family and looking to the natural world for guidance, she now uses photography to view life’s moments in special ways, believing everyone deserves a prized image of a decisive moment in life including a seedling. 

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Marcia Morgan

Lower Westchester Community Engagement/Garden Manager

Marcia Morgan, a passionate gardener and community leader who is making a difference in Westchester County through her work with the First Presbyterian Church Community Garden. As a dedicated member of the First Presbyterian Church, Marcia saw an opportunity to use her gardening expertise to help those in need. She started an initiative to take the bountiful harvest from the community garden and coordinate the preparation of 100 meals each month for the local homeless shelter. Through her tireless efforts and dedication to this cause, Marcia has inspired others to get involved and make a positive impact in their community. Her commitment to sustainable, local food systems and her passion for helping those in need has made her a true leader in the Westchester County area.

Allison Turcan

WLFP Co- Director/Dig Farm Founder

Allison Turcan is the founder and farmer at D.I.G. Farm in North Salem, NY. D.I.G. Farm is a registered 501(c)(3) with a mission of "Reconnecting Communities to the Natural Good of the Farm. 

 

After spending a year WWOOFing in France, Allison came back forever changed after seeing the stark differences in the food system between the US and France. It became a mission to create opportunities to "Reconnect" communities to the essential values of a local food system. 

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Garden Educators

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

Our team of garden educators is dedicated to sharing their knowledge and skills with the community. They possess a wealth of expertise in organic gardening techniques, soil health, pest management, and more. With their friendly and nurturing nature, our educators are here to guide you every step of the way towards creating sustainable gardens and accessing fresh, healthy, locally-grown food

Chefs

Passionate. Talented. Resourful.

Our talented chefs are passionate about teaching others how to cook with local, sustainable, and seasonal produce from our farm. They believe that cooking with fresh ingredients not only tastes better but also supports our local economy and protects our environment.

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