Urban Buds

Urban Buds: City Grown Flowers are proud farmer-florists supplying high quality flowers. Together, Karen “Mimo” Davis and Miranda Duschack transformed an overgrown lot left fallow for years into a productive flower farm growing more than 70 different kinds of flowers. Environmental sustainability is paramount, so their flowers are grown in a field, in a high tunnel, and in a heated glass greenhouse with the use of Integrated Pest Management techniques, cover crops, compost, minimal tillage, and drip irrigation rather than harmful chemicals. Tucked within their fields of flowers are beehives that hum with activity, producing a rich, fragrant honey that carries with it the many flavors harvested from Urban Buds’ flowers. As consumers and farmers in an urban environment, they are committed to helping bee populations rebound. Their greatest joy is growing and arranging flowers for weddings. In June 2014, they were one of the first four same sex couples who successfully challenged Missouri’s gay marriage ban. “From this day forward,” they pledged to bring beauty, joy, and love through flowers to all couples choosing to celebrate their love with friends and family.

Josh Volk

Slow Hand Farm is a one man operation run by Josh Volk, where he helps small farms and market gardeners in a variety of ways and keeps his hand in production by working with a good friend who runs a small CSA in Portland, Oregon. Josh has been particularly inspired by the international Slow Food Movement since first hearing about it 20 years ago, and for even longer he has had a special interest in working with hand tools. The two fit well together, and while he doesn’t always work exclusively with hand tools, or with food, the Slow principles of “good, clean and fair” are always at the core of what he does.

Ellen Polishuk

Ellen Polishuk is a biological farm consultant and teacher assisting farmers, agricultural professionals and eaters of all kinds appreciate and understand the complexity and beauty of farming: the nexus of plants, animals, soils and people. After graduating Virginia Tech, Ellen researched vegetable seeds in California for four years then returned to Virginia to rejoin Potomac Vegetable Farms. There she became one of three owners managing the Loudoun County location cultivating 20 acres of land using organic practices: 10 acres of vegetables and herbs, 10 acres of soil building crops.

For many years Ellen has presented workshops at conferences and meetings around the country on numerous agricultural topics including: composting, marketing, weed control, farm business management, soils and fertility, labor. She has worked closely with Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) to develop and present Growing Farm Profits, a 2 day intensive workshop to educate growers and service providers on how to keep records, how to use them to analyze farm profitability, and how to change management strategies to increase farm profits.

Louise Liebenberg

Born and raised in South Africa, Louise has always had a love and interest for animals and nature. After obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Natal in South Africa, she decided to travel. During those travels she worked on various sheep farms in the Netherlands and Scotland and eventually opened her own grazing company called “The Grazerie” in 1992.

The Grazerie hires out their flock of sheep – sometimes upwards of 1,200 ewes – to graze nature areas, dykes, military grounds, parks, golf courses, heather regions and grass lands in the Netherlands. After moving the ranch to Alberta, Louise realized that predation from Canada’s wildlife was going to be a formidable problem. The solution she discovered, among several other practices, was to use guardian dogs. Using this and other techniques, her 480-acre ranch, though banked on three sides by heavy bush, became the very first certified “Predator Friendly” ranch in Canada. On this ranch Louise now concentrates on establishing a good commercial sheep farm, raising and training their border collies and sarplaninac livestock guardian dogs.

Maurice Pitesky

Maurice Pitesky is a faculty member at University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) with an appointment in poultry health and food safety epidemiology. Dr. Pitesky earned his BS in biology from UCLA, and his DVM and MPVM from UC Davis. Pitesky is also boarded in Preventative Veterinary Medicine (DACVPM).

Pitesky’s research interests are focused in three major areas: 1) Using “traditional” epidemiological techniques and GIS and spatial statistics to understand how avian diseases move in time and space. 2) Using various novel epidemiological approaches including Machine Learning and Social Network Analysis to gain insights into food safety and disease transmission 3) Gaining a better understanding of alternative commercial poultry production with respect to environmental sustainability, poultry heath, and food safety.


Jessi Asmussen

Jessi Asmussen owns and operates Mellowfields Farm with her husband and 7 year old son. Mellowfields was established in 2009 as a multi-plot urban farm, and moved in 2017 to its current permanent location on the outskirts of Lawrence, Kansas. Mellowfields Farm produces a variety of certified organic produce using semi-intensive production methods, including growing under cover in tunnels. Marketing avenues include direct sales through multiple farmers markets in Lawrence and Kansas City, a multi-farm CSA, as well as grocery store and restaurant accounts.

Katie Boeh

Katie Boeh is the farmer/owner of Fox + Bear Urban Farm.  Fox + Bear is a no-till, hand tended, small scale farming project currently cultivating a 1/2 acre on Sauvie Island in Portland, OR.  Fox + Bear is an intimate, one farmer operation and the product of over 15 years of experience learning, working and teaching on farms.  Katie is a devoted first generation farmer and a passionate land steward committed to producing high quality specialty produce as a contribution to a more locally adapted food culture, economy and community in Portland.


Eden Olsen

Eden Olsen owns and operates Lucky Crow Farm in Monmouth, Oregon. She grows for her CSA and farmers’ market on two urban plots and her family’s farmland. Eden studied sustainable agriculture at Scripps College, managed farmers’ markets in the San Francisco Bay Area and worked on farms in both California and Washington before returning home to start her own operation. As a young farmer, Eden embraces her responsibility to create a working model for sustainable food production and thriving rural business in her hometown and beyond.

Kristin Illick and Jeff Frank

Kristin Illick and Jeff Frank met in graduate school at the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. They studied environmental education and resource planning there, and later applied their skills working for non-profits and government in New York City. Seeking a closer connection to nature, they left NYC for a farm apprenticeship in 1999, and created Liberty Gardens in Pennsylvania in 2000. The couple received the DuPont award for exemplary service to the local farming community in 2018. They serve on several ag-related boards and advisory panels. They have two children and live happily in Bethlehem, PA.

Alice Morrison

Alice Morrison is a small farmer, farmers market manager, and food advocate living in the Eugene area. Morrison began working with the Veneta Downtown Farmers Market in 2017 and has focused on expanding food security programs while also tapping into the agritourism opportunities available for farmers and rural markets. Morrison also serves on the board of the Oregon Farmers Market Association and as a president of the South Willamette Chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition. During the off season, Morrison is pursuing her Masters of Nonprofit Management at the University of Oregon.


Becky White

Becky White helped to found the Clatskanie Farmers Market in 2014 and was part of a three-person team who wrote and was awarded a $90K USDA FMPP Grant in 2015. She has been a vendor, member of the Board of Directors, a volunteer and an Outreach Workers for the grant. She is a mother, farmer, educator, and passionate advocate for good nutrition and self-sufficiency in her rural community.


Heather Morrill

Heather joined Portland Farmers Market in 2017 to contribute to the community in a new way. She brought with her 10 years’ experience working alongside underserved populations to bring stability, opportunity and inspiration to Portlanders. Heather is proud to serve PFM’s mission to contribute to the success of local food growers and ensure that everyone has access to farm-fresh food. When not at market, Heather enjoys swimming, righteous sauna sessions and growing a tomato plant each year, entirely for BLTs.

Samantha Schaffstall

Samantha Schaffstall is a Management and Program Analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). As a member of USDA AMS’s Marketing Services Division, Ms. Schaffstall works to address both food access and market access issues through the evaluation of creative marketing strategies and business structures. Her most recent and current work focuses on community and urban agriculture, mobile markets, measuring economic impacts of local food systems, food value chains, and community outreach and development.

Scott Bricker

Scott Bricker is the Director of Product Development on Travel Oregon’s Destination Development Team, which spearheads the development of new products and supports businesses, communities and networks to deliver amazing tourism experiences in areas including outdoor recreation, culinary and agricultural tourism and visitor transportation. Scott is a former non-profit Executive, serving at America Walks for six years and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance for over 11 years. Scott earned a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State and Bachelors in Political Science at SUNY Albany. Scott loves to wander, eat and drink his way across the globe. Scott lives on an urban farm with wife, daughters, chickens, bees, garden, and pets.

Bri Matthews

Bri Matthews is the Destination Development Manager at Travel Lane County, where she works with tourism related businesses to develop and enhance the tourism product in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region in order to inspire visitors to stay and travel throughout the region. Projects include developing the South Willamette Valley Food Trail, Eugene Tasting Trails mobile app and supporting existing development projects and programs such as the Eugene Ale Trail, Pinot Bingo, WeSpeak and more.

Erin Bair

Erin loves helping members create innovative work environments that activate their employees’ intrinsic motivation through training, coaching and team building. She also excels at meeting/retreat facilitation and board development. Prior to joining the Cascade team, she was the VP of Research & Development at Personal Resource Management Associates, Inc., where she specialized in leadership development and management consulting. She currently serves on the board of the Association of Talent Development (ATD) Cascadia Chapter and has been an active member of the Oregon Organization Development Network (OODN), where she provided consulting to the leadership of many Portland-based nonprofits through the organization’s Community Consulting Project. Prior to her work in organization development, Erin worked as an attorney in California in the public interest sector. Erin received her B.A. from UCLA and her J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.

Darlene Wolnik

Darlene Wolnik is a national advocate and trainer for farmers markets and has worked in the field for over fifteen years. Her background contains both extensive community organizing initiatives and innovative small business projects. She managed markets for for New Orleans-based Market Umbrella while serving as its Deputy Director. She also designed and ran the organization’s marketshare project, one of the first technical assistance and resource sites for markets in the US. In that role, she created over 70 free resources and tools for markets. Since June of 2011, Darlene has consulted for dozens of market projects ranging from design and strategy, resource development to data collection and analysis. She authored the 2013 Vermont Market Currency Feasibility Report and the 2014 Local Food Awareness Report for Gulfport MS, both found on her www.helpingpublicmarketsgrow.com website.

Kelly Crane

Kelly Crane has joined OFMA in 2017 to further develop its capacity to meet its mission to promote and support farmers markets statewide. Together with the board of directors, the Program Director is tasked with creating strategic goals for member relations, marketing, and organizational development.
Kelly comes with a wealth of experience, including have spent three years as the Executive Director for the West Virginia Farmers Market Association. Her experience includes owning and operating a 50-member CSA, working as an analyst in the West Virginia Legislature, and working as an organizer for Friends of Family Farmers here in Oregon. Kelly is passionate about good food, good people and supporting the local foods economy, and is based with her family in Salem.

Information about other speakers coming soon!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email