I grew up in Rochester Hills, Michigan and graduated from the College of Charleston with a BS in business administration with a concentration in finance. While working in restaurants during college, I developed an interest in food and with a wide-eyed spirit to make a difference on the earth was led to Serenbe Farms in 2010 to apprentice with Paige and Justin. It was here I fell in love with farming. After my apprenticeship I built, including infrastructure, greenhouses, CSA and a farmers market, and then managed the organic vegetable production for White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, GA. In 2012 I began working on Planted Rock Farm, just down the road in Chattahoochee Hills. Now my farming career truly comes full circle as manager of Serenbe Farms, and I am looking forward to growing more farmers! Outside of farming, being creative and creating things with my hands is what I enjoy most, whether its sewing, cooking, building a table, or designing an herb garden.
Matt Nesbitt- Matt is from Birmingham, Alabama. He studied secondary education at Lambuth University in Jackson Tennessee, after a few semesters he chose to leave college, and moved back to Birmingham to work in several fine dining restaurants throughout the city. Over the past 10 years in the kitchen Matt found his love for working with food, and high quality produce. He was inspired to start growing his own food in a backyard raised bed garden along with chickens and ducks. As an apprentice at Serenbe Farms Matt is looking forward to taking all the farming knowledge and skills he learns back to Alabama to conquer to the farming scene.
Jessica Legendre- Jessica comes to Serenbe Farms by way of San Marcos, Texas where she spent the last 4 years studying Nutrition at Texas State University. While studying nutrition, she found her passion for all things food and became a nutrition apprentice at a small urban farm in Austin, Texas. Jessica has also spent time working in experiential education teaching all age groups about nutrition, outdoor living, backpacking, rock climbing, and many other outdoor activities. So, learning how to grow food and manage a farm soon became the next step in incorporating outdoor education and food. Being an apprentice at Serenbe farms, Jessica anticipates taking her acquired farming skills and knowledge to places that will allow for her passions of food and education to mingle. When she is not on the farm, you can catch Jessica baking all sorts of bread and cookies, running, rock climbing, exploring, and snoring
Ivy Ivers- Ivy is from New Washington, IN, a small, rural town in Southern Indiana. She majored in Psychology at Hanover College and spent the following couple years exploring various job interests including disaster relief and conservation work with AmeriCorps, non-profit work with the homeless and with mentally-disabled youth, and a lot of nannying in between. While in college, she spent two summers working on a local farm and loved every minute of it. Now as a college graduate, Ivy is excited to pursue that route a little further as a Serenbe Farms apprentice. Ivy is looking forward to getting her hands in the dirt and learning every aspect of farming this season. She loves to cook, has a passion for fresh local food and also enjoys playing the guitar and photography.
Ashley, Matt and Jessica’s pictures were all taken by our photographer friend Sarah Hopkins. http://sarahopkins.com/
Paige Witherington, previous farm manager (2006-2013), current consultant-I began managing Serenbe Farms in 2006 and I learned more than I thought possible working in the challenging soils at Serenbe Farms and building the business and the farm. The development of Serenbe Farms from degraded red clay to a lush biologically diverse ecosystem and the bountiful 80,000+ lb yearly harvests have proven that good food can be grown anywhere.
Justin and I were married October 2013 and now are excited to be starting our own farming operation in the Chattanooga, TN area. Of course we’ll always find fun races and adventures outdoors — see our blog here.
Justin Dansby, previous farm manager (2010-2013), current consultant–Joining the management team of Serenbe Farms reminded me that I’m meant to grow good food and good farmers. With my diversity and years of farming experiences, I’m eager and ready to put my skills to use on our own land, our own farm. We see many more pounds of colorful and fresh produce in our near future.
A few Serenbe Farms past apprentices under Paige and Justin’s tutelage:
Ryan Carnley (2013 apprentice)–assistant farm manager White Oak Pastures organic vegetable farm
Maya Velasco (2011 and 2012 apprentice/assistant manager)–farm manager Summerland Farm, Cartersville, GA
Christine White (2012 apprentice)–farmer at Full Moon Farm
Ryan Graycheck (2011 apprentice)–farmer, Summerland Farm
Ashley Rodgers (2010 apprentice)–farm manager Serenbe Farms!
Gretchen Weiher (2010 apprentice)–farmer in Ohio
John Ashley Davis (part time apprentice 2010)–farm manager Cosmos Organic Farm, East Point, GA
Natalie Sevin (2009 apprentice)–farm manager Sugar Creek Farm, Advance, NC
MK and Andrew Barnet (2008 apprentices)–farm owners and managers, Open Book Farm, Myersville, Maryland
Jack Matthews (2008 apprentice)–past farm manager, Full Moon Farm, now student at UGA
RJ Kessler (2007 apprentice)–farmers, Planted Rock Farm, Chattahoochee Hills, GA