Djamila's passion for culturally-responsive connections to food and nature was cultivated during her childhood in rural Hawaii. She has over nine years of experience teaching and developing curricula in gardens, farms, classrooms and kitchens including the Garden of Wonders program at Abernethy Elementary School and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City where she received her Horticulture Certificate. Djamila's work and research on school gardens has been presented at the Oregon School Garden Summit, Environmental Education Association of Oregon, World Affairs Council of Oregon, and the National Child and Youth Garden Symposium. She earned her MA in Science Education from the University of British Columbia but her real learning comes through engaging with children and soil, saving seed, exploring trees and shores, and testing pickle recipes. Djamila joined the Earth Art Ag team in 2014 and teaches at Harrison Park, Cedaroak, Trillium Creek, and Grout.
Sharing gardening knowlege and ideas is one of Erin's favorite pastimes. She has worked on several organic farms as well as three Portland Public School gardens and she always tries to maintain a garden at home. Everywhere she goes she grows! Erin chose to get a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies in order to better understand humans' connection to the Earth. Helping others explore their own understanding of this is her occupational goal.
Founding Team Member
We are educators, gardeners, cooks, parents, community members, activists, and artists.
Karen enjoys being in the outdoors, laughing, traveling, and trying different food. She graduated Portland State University with a Bachelors in Environmental Science and has worked in environmental education with Portland Parks and Recreation since 2010. The past two years she has worked with PP&R’s GRUNT and Jr. GRUNT programs, teaching and mentoring teens on environmental science and professionalism. She is passionate about engaging teens in nature, promoting equity in the environmental field, and food justice. She is excited to start working with youth in the garden as she believes gardening provides a vital beginning to healthy eating and food equity. Karen joined Earth Art Ag in 2018 and teaches Garden Club at Harrison Park and Vestal.
Garden Club Educator
Brooklyn is a proud mother of three, and has worked with youth of a variety of ages, but specialized in early childhood education. She is an AmeriCorps Alumna, dedicated community organizer, and gardener. In 2009 Brooklyn organized the first annual SE Tablor Harvest Swap which lead her to receive the Spirit of Portland award. Brooklyn has training in Waldorf Education, and specializes in bringing Art and Nature together in a brilliantly creative way.
SEASONS Garden Club Founder
Growing up in Portland, Melia treasured the time she spent in her own school gardens. Those early experiences helped her discover her passion for growing food and working outdoors. She attended Hampshire College in Massachusetts and there pursued a degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Creative Writing, using Hampshire's self-directed learning model to fuse artistic and agricultural pursuits. After graduating, she returned to Portland to serve as an AmeriCorps service member with Confluence Environmental Center, serving as the Conservation Projects coordinator and garden teacher at Alpha School in Gresham. She returned to serve a second term, this time with the Oregon State Service Corps, as a garden educator at Portland Community College. Melia loves baking, canning and pickling, backpacking, bouldering, and knitting colorful socks. Melia joined the Earth Art Ag team in 2016 and teaches at Laurelhurst, Vestal, Beverly Cleary, and Atkinson.
School Garden Educator
After several years spent gardening alongside children and their families in Oregon public schools, and learning about food, culture, and growing practices from the many cultures that come together there, Jennie moved behind the scenes to support the work we do in our school and community gardens. She is passionate about equity in education, and wants to see every child at every Oregon public school have the opportunity to learn and play in a beautiful garden. As our Program Coordinator, she works to raise awareness of our mission, recruits and trains volunteers, and leads our development efforts. Please contact her if you have questions about our organization, or would like to contribute time or dollars to our vision of a green, thriving city where every adult and child has a good place to grow.
Aliesje is passionate about Food and Social Justice, Seed Sovereignty, Community Connections, and bringing people closer to the Natural World. She started her adventures in outdoor, experiential, and Place-Based education as a teen where she worked at camps. Through college and beyond, she worked collectively and independently to create programs and adventures for adults and children alike that foster a creative, and hands-on approach to learning in the nature. She is an AmeriCorps Alumni, an urban farmer, and spent over 10 years in the food industry in addition to working for social justice focused nonprofits. In 2010 Brooklyn and Aliesje created a summer camp program which was the seed of Earth Art Ag. She went on to received Master's of Education in Ecology and Agriculture at Prescott College where she created the foundation for the program through her thesis. Since then, she has dedicated her time to learning more about Food Justice including working internationally with women farmers, and spent the past year learning and growing with Adaptive Seeds, and Managing the Albany, Oregon Farmers Market, in addition to growing food and starts with Kith and Kin Farms.
Special thanks is due to Aliesje, whose vision, hard work, and untold volunteer hours gave birth to Earth Art Ag. Aliesje served as director of the organization from its inception in 2009 through the 2014-15 school year.
Adam is the Executive Director of Outgrowing Hunger, which is the nonprofit behind EAA. Originally hailing from Hong Kong and coming to us with a BA in International Studies from George Fox University and an MBA from Portland State University, he oversees the business end of our work with a passion for crossing cultural divides through growing food.
Lexie is passionate about experiential learning, working with kids, food justice, and helping others. Her interest in education and the environment was sparked while leading backpacking trips for youth in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in her home state of Colorado. She attended the University of Puget Sound in Washington state and was fortunate enough to work with female farmers and seed savers in India while studying abroad. She spent the last two years serving as a FoodCorps Service Member in Polson, Montana, where she connected kids to healthy food in the classroom and garden. This experience in particular solidified her love of garden-based education and supporting healthy communities. She is excited to be back in the Pacific Northwest and looks forward to learning alongside her students! Lexie joined the Earth Art Ag team in 2017 and teaches at Lincoln Park and Creative Science School.
School Garden Educator