127 Sisters Hill Road, Stanfordville, NY 12581
Sister Mary Ann Garisto, SC
Farm Director Emerita
Sister Mary Ann is a Sister of Charity of New York, and a former biology and environmental science teacher. Her qualifications include a MS degree in Biology from Fordham University, and post-graduate study. Inspired by the vision of Thomas Berry and the New Cosmology, she brings to the farm a strong belief in the interrelatedness of the earth community and the sacredness of the Universe. As the former Farm Director, Sister Mary Ann has been instrumental in shaping the direction and purpose of the the farm.
Assistant Farm Manager 2016 Season
After an exciting season of learning and growing at Sisters Hill, Dev is excited to be back again this year! Having spent the winter working on crop planning, grafting tomatoes, and baking bread, Dev is eager to get back outside! Dev first fell in love with farming while WWOOFing in the Adirondack Mountains. After a summer spent singing, sweating, and eating too many strawberries in the fields, she went back to finish her degree at Binghamton University in Environmental Studies. Upon graduating she returned to the Adirondacks to further pursue her love of farming as the Harvest Manager at Juniper Hill Farm. With plans to establish her own organic vegetable farm, she hopes to spend this season building on her past experiences by learning to grow tasty vegetables, nurture healthy soils, manage a thriving business, and cook up new recipes to share with others!
Assistant Farm Manager 2014 Season
Audrey is thrilled to be back at Sisters Hill Farm for another season (with some added responsibility to boot)! After a quiet and reflective winter on the farm working on the crop plan, sign painting, planning her own farm future and ice skating on Upton Lake, she's eager to get back into the life of the growing season and see the soil, infrastructure and systems with a discerning and slightly more seasoned eye. As a first generation Russian-American, Audrey has been enamored with good food and eating since she was taught to finish everything on her plate. After graduating from the Architecture School at the Cooper Union in NYC, she spent a few life-altering months WWOOFing on farms in Italy and New York State where her love of farming officially began. Before moving to the farm, she worked for a year in Brooklyn developing human powered machines for urban agriculture, in addition to building a small community garden on a patch of concrete. Audrey has worked with Greenhorns as a beginning farmer advocate and is a proponent of eating locally and sustainably grown food, putting her money where her mouth is and cooking nutritious meals every chance she gets. Currently she is partnering with the National Young Farmers Coalition to organize events in the Hudson Valley and is embarking on a collaborative outreach campaign to raise awareness for local farms. The goal is to create a regional identity and provide basic information about sustainable agriculture to embolden folks to access and understand the necessity of supporting their local food system.
Apprentice 2016 Season
Growing up in the suburbs of New Jersey, Breezy had never really considered farming as a life path. It was only after traveling across the world and back that she finally found her place in her home soil. After graduating with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies, she spent a year in Bangladesh with an International Non-Governmental Organization, working with a project that provides alternative employment for women. Upon returning to the States, she felt a strong desire to spend her days outside, sink her hands in the dirt, fill her lungs with fresh air and her belly with fresh food. She WWOOFed on several farms, and eventually landed on a biodynamic farm in the Hudson Valley. What began with a simple desire to spend time in nature soon developed into one of the most exciting journeys of her life. Breezy is particularly interested in food justice, and how small farms can provide unique spaces for connecting with this incredible earth, fostering community, encouraging creativity, and promoting peace and justice. She is very happy to be joining the Sisters Hill Farm crew this season!
Apprentice 2014 Season
As a child growing up in rural Vermont, Hannah learned early on the importance of wholesome food and respect for the environment. This respect blossomed into a passion for sustainable food and communities, which she studied at Mount Holyoke College. During her time as a MoHo she rowed on the Connecticut River and jammed with the M&Cs a cappella group, interned with the Northeast Organic Farming Association and spent a summer as a farm apprentice in Williamstown, MA. After graduating Hannah co-developed the Search For Convenient Resilience, an adventure around the country documenting small-scale sustainable living: from up-cycling to urban permaculture, the search looked to uncover human positivity in the face of environmental emergencies. Post-travels she worked to assist Massachusetts businesses with waste diversion and energy efficiency, but it wasn’t long before she decided to give up her desk for a field of sustainably grown vegetables. Hannah is beyond excited to join the mission and community of Sisters Hill Farm for the 2014 season!
Apprentice 2014 Season
Alison grew up in a small, western New York town and arrived at Sisters Hill Farm by way of a winding path. Since graduating college she has accumulated an eclectic work history spanning from waiting tables at an island resort in the Florida Keys to teaching English on the northwest coast of Spain. Her rambling spirit has also driven her to hike a piece of the Camino de Santiago and to pedal her bicycle from Buffalo to Key West. She stumbled onto her love of farming while volunteering on a small-scale sustainable farm in her hometown. While she was there, she also worked helping low-income members of her community obtain supplemental nutrition assistance through local food pantries and the community soup kitchen. These experiences made Alison realize how valuable it is to give everyone access to honest, healthy food. She sees that we are a nation that is perplexingly overfed and undernourished and looks forward to being part of an incredible farm that breaks down the barriers preventing people from accessing nutritious (& delicious!) food.
Apprentice 2015 Season
Before arriving at Sisters Hill Farm, D. has enjoyed a variety of interests inspired by food, fun and physical activity. D. has worked in restaurants, the music industry and in carpentry. Wanting to take her understanding of food to a deeper level, D. immersed herself in the urban agriculture and social justice community in NYC. She worked with Brooklyn nonprofit, EcoStation:NY, focusing on their Bushwick Campus Farm and their rooftop farm project, Farm in the Sky. During that time, D. obtained a certificate in Social Justice and Urban Agriculture from Farm School NYC. In 2014, D. worked with Farming Concrete and Design Trust for Public Space, assisting urban food growers with recording data about the important work that they do. D. is so excited to be working this season at Sisters Hill with Dave and the other apprentices. She hopes to take all of the awesome knowledge she learns this year to her farm in Chester, NY, Rise & Root Farm.
Assistant Manager 2018
Isabel is thrilled to be back at Sisters Hill Farm for a second season! After a successful season growing her skills through growing vegetables, winter has been filled with lots of new opportunities helping Dave with the crop plan, seed order, website updates, and building projects. During the winter she also reveled in the quiet time, baking, ice skating, having coffee with friends near and far. She is excited for the awakening energy of a new season and the immense possibilities for further expanding her skills and knowledge. Isabel found farming while completing a degree in Neuroscience at Smith College. Although she loved the science, math, and systems thinking of her major she desired a career that would allow her more time outside, a way to make a positive impact on the human and natural communities around her, and an outlet to explore her love of great food. She interned on two farms during college and after college worked full time at an organic, diversified farm and part time at a micro-dairy in Central Vermont. Through those experiences she gained a broad set of skills in agriculture. She came to Sisters Hill Farm to learn about systems and efficient vegetable production, hoping to meld her love of efficient processes with her love of natural farming systems. She looks forward to another season of learning, teaching, and growing with the Sisters Hill Farm community!
Apprentice 2013 Season
Julia grew up in Easton, Pennsylvania and has always felt the pull of the outdoors -- through time spent on the Schuylkill River as a collegiate rower at the University of Pennsylvania, and more recently as an avid trail runner and marathoner. Her interest in small-scale organic farming took root in college, and blossomed through volunteer efforts at urban gardens in Washington, D.C., where she lived and worked for three years after college as a junior analyst at a strategic polling firm. Time spent working with low-income residents in Washington convinced Julia of the importance of shortening the link between farmer and consumer: the belief that when we eat well, we thrive, and when we understand how our food is grown, we more deeply appreciate our environment and its sustainability. Julia is thrilled to be part of Sisters Hill Farm, to learn the craft of small-scale farming, and to share our bounty with our community.
Apprentice 2016 Season
Sam first discovered farming at Juniper Hill Farm in Wadhams, NY and fell in love with the fulfillment of seeing the literal fruits of labor. At the end of the season, he decided to make it his life’s goal to own and operate his own organic farm. To avoid winter in the Adirondacks, he travelled south to work on Walker Farms in Sylvania, GA for three months. In his second season at Juniper Hill, Sam worked as a Field Manager and started to pursue other education in sustainable agriculture to bolster his experiences in the field. Last year, he worked at Riverbank Farm in Roxbury, CT where he was able to diversify his farming experience by spending a season on a smaller, family-oriented farm similar to one he dreams of starting in the future. Sam
is very excited to join the Sisters Hill team this year. Under Dave’s tutelage, he will see the challenges and blessings of operating a successful CSA farm and get one step closer to having the experience and knowledge required to start his own.
Apprentice 2013 Season
Rose arrived at Sisters Hill from Montreal, where she spent four years studying anthropology and marveling at the incredible range of human possibilities. During her time in the Great White North, she worked with on-campus food system projects, grew balcony gardens, and ran off to woods or farms whenever possible. She has roamed far from her Chicago roots: traipsing the wilds of Chilean Patagonia, leading mule trains through the Rocky Mountains, and getting very lost somewhere in Beijing's warehouse district. Thanks to an epiphany--and the embarrassing number of YouTube permaculture documentaries that triggered it--Rose has finally landed in full-time farming, and couldn't be happier about it. Rose looks forward to her first season growing amazing vegetables, to learning with and from Dave and her fellow apprentices, and to participating in the wonderful community here at Sisters Hill Farm!
Apprentice 2018 Season
Andrew is beginning his first season of farming following 27 months working in the public health sector of the Peace Corps in western Uganda, and six much more carefree months lounging about in his parents’ basement. While working in Uganda, he saw firsthand the importance and pervasiveness of food security issues. After dabbling in tropical gardening and help his neighbors manage their own small plots of land, Andrew resolved to give farming a serious try upon returning to New York. And here he is. Andrew graduated form Canisius College in Buffalo in 2015 with a B.S. in biology, where he got his first taste of the fascinating field of botany. He grew up in the Albany/Schenectady area, just 90 minutes away from Sisters Hill Farm.
Apprentice 2015 Season
When Katherine was a kid, her family would harvest from their small patch of garlic chives every summer to make dumplings and stir-fries and share giant beefsteak tomatoes with the neighbors. This is still at heart her motivation for farming today: to grow healthy comfort food with and for her community. She grew up in Ohio but realized her love for agriculture in New York City, where she worked in nonprofit marketing and communications for several years before the lure of public green spaces led her into helping to develop urban farms and community gardens with the New YOrk Botanical Garden's Bronx Green-Up, managing educational apiaries across the city with NYC Beekeeping, and studying at Farm School NYC, where she is currently completing a certificate in urban agriculture and food justice. She also loves to cook, and through the experience of organizing bilingual community meals in Brooklyn in partnership with a CSA farm, Katherine saw how diverse communities can be brought together by sharing cultural traditions in the kitchen and at the dinner table. She is incredibly honored to be part of the Sisters Hill team this season and excited to learn with Dave, the other apprentices and our CSA members about farming sustainably for the land and for ourselves.
Apprentice 2018 Season
Sarah graduated from George Washington University in 2017 with a B.S. in Economics and minors in Sustainability and Statistics. She has a background in agriculture and food systems working as a Research Fellow at the GW Food Institute. Sarah worked alongside D.C.’s food policy experts, helped organize two national conferences on urban agriculture and local food metrics, wrote a thesis on Automatic Milking Systems, and performed data analysis for the National Young Farmers Coalition in a recent report, “Building a Future with Farmers.” After graduating Sarah moved to Worcester, NY to work on her friend’s family farm raising cows, sheep, chickens, and donkeys and to intern at Solstice Hill Farm, an organic veggie farm in Seward, NY. After spending her winter home in Cary, NC, Sarah is back in NY to pursue her dream of being a farmer and champion of the local, organic food movement that empowers small and beginning farmers and increases food security in rural America.
Apprentice 2017 Season
Apprentice 2017 Season
© 2013 Sisters Hill Farm
Sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of New York
Feeding our community since 1999