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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 Spring ‘22 Interns

Averi Childress (she/her) is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in horticulture with a certificate in International Agriculture. She is interested in food security in both urban and rural settings, locally and abroad. She chose to be a UGArden Intern to learn more about the farm operations, spend time outside, and get her hands dirty. In her free time she enjoys reading, hiking, cooking, and trying out local restaurants and coffee shops.

Ezra Lewis (they/them) They are in the College of Environment and Design studying Landscape Architecture and is planning to pursue a minor in horticulture. They do not have much farm experience, but dove into herbalism and medicinal herbs over the pandemic. They really enjoy being outside, baking,  and connecting with people.

Jackson McLendon (he/him) Horticulture major. He joined UGArden as an intern to get some hands-on experience in the field and to learn the process of maintaining a small-scale community farm. He enjoys cooking and baking, being outdoors, and making music in his spare time. He is excited to be able to serve the community through the farm and look forward to learning and making connections this semester as an intern!

Isabel Pruitt (she/her) is an English major, horticulture and theatre minor, and first-year undergraduate student at UGA. She has always loved the outdoors, but recently has become interested in medicinal herbs and organic farming. Isabel is a singer, actress, and performer and in her free time she loves to practice her craft as well as listen to her favorite artists. She is very excited to work at UGArden as an intern this semester and she’s already learned so much from amazing people!

UGArden Staff

JoHannah Biang (Farm Manager)  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) has 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.

April McCoy (Assistant Farm Manager) recently 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 Assistant Manager) 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.

Rachel Dingley (AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer Coordinator) graduated from Berry College in 2018 with a B.A in Religion and Philosophy and TEFL minor. Prior to her time at UGArden, she worked on an organic farm near Athens. She is interested in how farming connects a community and can bring growth and healing to individuals through working outdoors towards a greater purpose. In her free time, Rachel enjoys birding and hiking with her husband and pup. 

Johnathan Pulliam (Herb Program Student Worker) is an undergraduate student in Environmental Resource Science with a Horticulture Minor. He started as a longtime volunteer turned intern and now student worker. He is known to say that UGArden is his favorite place.

Colette Blackmon (Office of Sustainability UGArden Compost Intern) is majoring in International Affairs and Agricultural Economics with a Sustainability certificate. She is interested in global development and rural poverty alleviation. She would like to learn more about how food systems impact economies and societies, as well as how farmers can balance sustainability with productivity. She is also passionate about the environment and is looking forward to being part of an eco-friendly space on campus. She loves crafts, specifically embroidery and collage, and enjoys hiking, reading, and trying new recipes.

David Berle (Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture) 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) 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.

Faculty Advisory Committee

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