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Who We Are

UGArden is supported by a wonderful group of student volunteers, UGArden Club members, interns, a farm manager, Americorps Volunteers, UGA faculty, Master Gardeners and community members. The continued success and growth of UGArden is the result of the dedication and hard work of these people. The people that make up the UGArden community give freely of their time and energy. Without them, UGArden is just a roadside field.

UGArden Summer ’20 Interns

UGArden Staff

JoHannah Biang (Farm Manager) jb1410@uga.edu has a MS in Horticulture. JoHannah plans and oversees the seasonal planting, teaches and supervises student interns, assists with class instruction, gives tours, conducts workshops in the Athens community, and too many other tasks to mention. Her positive outlook and energy keep UGArden growing. Last fall, she began work on a PhD in Crop and Soil Sciences, researching the impact of UGArden on the hundreds of students who have passed through our gates.

Noelle Joy (Herb Program Coordinator) noellejoy@uga.eduhas a Certificate of Herbal Studies from the Botanologos School of Herbal Medicine and an M.S. in Horticulture from UGA. This summer she has started work on a PhD in Horticulture, focusing on extraction and measuring CBD and other essential oils derived from hemp. She enjoys experimenting with herbs in her kitchen, teaching, researching, foraging and posting on her instagram account @iamnoellejoy.

Lynae Bresser (Volunteer Coordinator) graduated from UGA with a degree in environmental economics and management and a minor in German. She’s a big fan of all creatures, from hanging with snakes at herpetology events to working on an organic sheep farm learning to make cheese before coming to UGArden.

Sarah Rucker (Assistant Farm Manager) is a 2017 UGA graduate and has spent the past few years working on several organic farms. From urban flower farming in Portland, Oregon to designing a chef garden for a farmhouse restaurant in South Georgia, Sarah enjoys learning the diverse approaches to sustainable agriculture used across the country.

Philip “Wick” Prichard (Grow it, Know it Coordinator) warwickp@uga.edu coordinates the Grow it Know it Program at the four middles schools in Clarke County. Wick enjoys teaching students to cook straight from the garden.

Erica Head is majoring in human development and family sciences with a minor in human services. She just completed her freshman year at UGA. She loves cats and coffee. She is on the UGA women’s club rugby team.

Sandy Begani is a graduate student in the Horticulture Department. Her research at UGArden centers on evaluating various methods of drying holy basil and post harvest handling of holy basil in general. She also works full time as a greenhouse assistant manager for the Horticulture Department.

Master Volunteers

Donald Fowler (Resident Builder) is from Cordelle, GA. He is a retired contractor. Donald is our resident tiny house finisher, shelf builder and general handy-man.

Dr. Peter Hartel (Mushroom Guru) is a retired UGA soil microbiology professor who has a passion for organics, especially chickens and mushrooms. He has constructed a very efficient shiitake mushroom growing area at UGArden as a demonstration. Peter teaches classes in mushroom production (shiitake and oyster mushrooms) to students and volunteer.

Bert Richards (Compost Manager) is a Master Gardener Extension Volunteer and helps at the UGA Trial Gardens, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, and UGA Horticulture Farm. He recently completed the Master Composter course and currently oversees composting at UGArden. He retired from Georgia State University as Lecturer in Accounting in 2013.

UGArden Director

David Berle, Associate Professor dberle@uga.edu has been interested in organic food production since his undergraduate years in the late 70’s. He has a passion for mentoring students and exposing them to real-world experiences. He teaches classes in horticulture science, organic gardening, landscape design, and sustainable food production.

Faculty Advisory Committee

Tim Coolong
Brad Davis
Paul Guilebeau
Elizabeth Little
Jenn Jo Thompson
Shannon Wilder