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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 Fall ‘22 Interns

Jayda Human (she/her) is a 4th year Horticulture major. Jayda has always valued the ability to produce fresh fruits and veggies by interacting with the land, and considers working at UGArden a great way to get some hands-on experience. She is also interested in organic production as she finds it to be significantly more sustainable for the earth. Jayda is an adventurer who likes to skydive and grow her own plants!

Magz Thompson (they/them) is a junior Ecology major with a Horticulture minor. Magz grew up with a garden and it has always been their favorite place. They are interested in learning more about gardening techniques and are excited to contribute to programs working with UGArden to reduce food insecurity in Athens. Magz can also hang from their toes!

UGArden Staff

JoHannah Biang, Farm Manager (she/her)  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.

April McCoy, Assistant Farm Manager (she/her) graduated from UGA with a degree in ecology and a minor in studio art. She is interested in making sustainable agriculture accessible to more diverse communities.

Erica Head, Herb Program Coordinator (she/her) is majoring in horticulture with a human development minor. She loves cats and coffee. She loves the opportunity to work outside cultivating medicinal herbs and working with volunteers.

Colette Blackmon, Communications Intern (she/her) is majoring in International Affairs and Agricultural Communications with a Sustainability certificate. She is passionate about the environment and loves being part of an eco-friendly space on campus. She loves crafts, hiking, reading, and trying new recipes.

Birkley Heynan, Office of Sustainability UGArden Compost Intern (he/him) is majoring in Ecology. He joined the UGArden club his freshman year and instantly fell in love with the environment and the community, and wanted to spend as much time here as possible. He also enjoys his work in Taka Saski’s lab studying migration, and in his free time takes indoor cycling classes for fun.

Z Douglas, UGArden Herbs Student Worker (they/them) is majoring in Horticulture. They love working at UGArden because they love getting time outside every day and getting their hands dirty to create awesome, organic food. Some of their favorite things to do outside of work are crocheting, hanging out with their roommates, and taking care of their house plants and pet frog.

Allie Johnston, Farm Student Worker is majoring in Horticulture. She likes working at UGArden because she gets to be a part of something bigger than just growing food. She finds it fulfilling to know that what we grow feeds people across Athens and teaches others about the value of our practices. She also loves tractors! Allie is a huge fan of the Dawgs and enjoys drives out to the Iron Horse statue.

David Berle, Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture (he/him) is the faculty founder of UGArden and former director. He currently teaches a multitude of classes on the farm and guides students and staff members with his wealth of plant knowledge and career advice.

Master Volunteers

Donald Fowler, Resident Builder (he/him) 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 (he/him) 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 (he/him) 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.

Faculty Advisory Committee

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