Farmer Training Program
Meet the Host Farms & Advisory Committee

2021 Participating Host Farms



Ara’o’cibanikú Maisi Guaní Yukayeke Taino

Traditional Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Healing (TCIKH), Conuco del Bohio

Joe and Maya Soto and Alexas Esposito

As Indigenous people, our way is to honor our traditions, culture, and ceremonies as a way of life. Through, Ara’o’cibanikú Maisi Guaní Yukayeke Taino, The Traditional Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Healing (TCIKH,  Conuco del Bohio is a refuge for people to find safety and a space for their healing.

Our focus is on helping all those who come; making it a space safe for women and children that is our first priority. It is a humble refuge, surrounded by dozens of acres of wooded land, which is surrounded by state forest land.

Our aim is to help our people heal through the sharing of knowledge and healing modalities, and the practice of sovereignty through traditional community roles and values, which is a matrilineal way of life.


The Learning Farm

Christa Nuñez

Christa operates a sustainable agriculture teaching farm here in Ithaca, called The Learning Farm. This organization supports natural world exploration as well as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) through summer camps and family learning intensives, in order to provide a high level of free, high-quality access to the natural world for all kids, with a focus on children of generationally-displaced families. The learning Farm also collaborates with several local grassroots organizations on issues of reparations, literacy, African diaspora, indigenous and refugee community land access, and family agriculture. Christa's aim is to involve youth and adults in sustainable agriculture work in order to make strides in creating a truly equitable and fair food system and society-at-large.


West Haven Farm

West Haven Farm

Carlos Aguilera and Lorena Mendoza

Carlos and Lorena currently own and operate West Haven Farm, an organic fruit and vegetable operation.  Carlos and Lorena have three children Diego (11), Benji (3), and Nico (2). They grew up in central Mexico in a community of about 300-400 families surrounded by peaceful nature, eating what the land produced. Carlos first visited a supermarket when he got to the US at age 16. After they came to the US, they ate conventional food for a bunch of years, until Carlos became a licensed spray technician in the state of New York for his work. While he began to study for the license they realized the terrible consequences of pesticides and started to value more what they had back in Mexico as kids.

“We know that it is not only the chemicals that make food taste good or bad, we think that food tastes best when the recipe includes things like equality, diversity, justice, and happiness in the plate.”—C&L

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Van Noble Farm


Van Noble Farm

Devon Van Noble

Devon Van Noble ran the Groundswell Incubator Farm until 2017 and now is excited to continue bringing Groundswell programs to life as a Farmer Advisory Committee member and mentor host farmer in the Farmer Training Program!

At Van Noble Farm, has been raising pigs on pasture since 2012 and has transitioned from being a wholesale producer to selling all of their pork through direct retail opportunities.  They have a commercial kitchen at the Farm on Podunk Rd. in Trumansburg, which they use for both prepping for catered events and butchering their pork to make smoked, cured products.

Meet the Farmer Advisory Commitee

Martha Williams

Martha Williams is an avid vegetable gardener with a passion for food. Currently, she is a MA student at NYU Steinhardt working towards her goal of opening a sustainable, affordable grocery store in her hometown that centers food justice and community grown produce. 

Patrice Lockert Anthony

Patrice is the founder and owner of BLACK LABEL Coaching and Consulting 

Brian Caldwell

Brian Caldwell owns and manages Hemlock Grove, a certified organic apple orchard.

Alexas Esposito

Born in San Antonio, TX, Alexas is Ciboney Guaní, Black, Apache, Mexican. She is a doula, an herbalism apprentice, a seed-keeper, food sovereignty advocate, and a strong advocate for traditional indigenous culture with her family. 

Joe Soto

Joe Soto co-founded Traditional Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Healing with his daughter Maya Soto and Alexas Esposito

Christa Nuñez

Christa operates a sustainable agriculture teaching farm here in Ithaca, called The Learning Farm.

Jay Smith

Jay Smith is a member of Groundswell's Equity & Accountability Committee and the Black Urban Growers Association.  

Barb Neal

Barb Neal is the Agriculture Agent and Horticulture Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tioga County.  She has a small farm that she has been building with her partner over the last 6 years.  Her technical expertise is in trees, soils, and landscape horticulture.

Taili Mugambee

Taili Mugambee has been the executive director of the Ultimate Reentry Opportunity Initiative since 2017. Taili is a lover and performer of spoken word poetry, is an avid writer when he is not tending to the needs of his two precious babies Yekaterina and Ezekiel and loving wife Paula. 

Karma Glos

Karma co-owns Kingbird Farm a small-scale, diverse, organic farm growing food for her neighbors.

Heather Sandford

Heather Sandford co-founded The Piggery, a butcher shop and pig farm.

Devon Van Noble

Devon Van Noble owns and operates Van Noble Farm in Trumansburg, NY.  He was the founder of Groundswell Incubator Farm.


This Project is funded in part by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). 

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