The Farmers

It takes a great team to make NSO run smoothly. Our farm staff spends time working in the fields, in the barn cleaning and packaging produce or CSA shares, and helping out at farmers' markets. Many of our helpers are young people who want to learn, hands-on, about sustainable farming before they go off to start their own projects. Meet this year's "crop" of farmers below!

Do you want to get your hands dirty? Check here for staff openings.

This is (most of) our awesome 2018 team! 

Back, L to R: Hope, Jacqueline, Neil, Devin, Joseph, Lena

Front, L to R: Paige, Kevin, Hannah, Josh

Not pictured: Farmers Lisa and Ike, and our great (and very important!) part-time helpers: Allison, Ezra, Jason, Laura, Laurie, Kelly, Shannon, Deb, and Kate.

All-around great helper Andrew keeps us laughing and upbeat through the day

Ike grew up gardening, and at a young age was selling his vegetables at a tailgate market near his home. As a teen, he worked for a small local orchard that grew dwarf trellised trees. That experience inspired his goal to have his own orchard someday.

Ike graduated from Penn State and has become well known in this area for his expertise in growing vinifera wine grapes on innovative trellis systems and for his knowledge and experience growing and breeding unique fruits and vegetables. He has taught classes at Longwood Gardens, and is a speaker at various seminars and conferences. He has hosted several large grower meetings at the farm.

Ike spends his "leisure" time reading, cooking, and learning more about the fruit and vegetable growing industry. His "hobby" is developing new varieties of fruits and vegetables - they are his babies!

From fellow orchardist Ed Fackler: "You're the only person I've ever met who had apples shooting out of your fingertips like fireballs."

Jacqueline is our farm store manager, although you'll also see her out and about in the field several days a week helping to grow your food! 

She has a degree in Anthropology from the University of North Texas where she focused her studies on how people utilize their environment for food systems, global commodities, and the possibilities for sustainable agriculture. 

Jacqueline came to NSO hoping to get hands-on experience in order to continue working in agriculture. She enjoys learning about all kinds of plants, especially the ones you can eat, and wants to make sure everyone gets the nutritious food they truly deserve.

Joe helps at markets, the farm store, and on-farm...a true Jack (ummm...Joe?) of all trades!

Lisa had no farming background other than helping in her parent's garden (which she did not enjoy so much), but discovered she enjoyed working on the student farm at Penn State, after which she decided to pursue a degree in agriculture.

Lisa keeps busy marketing the farm's products, and facilitating other helpers' efforts of managing the CSA, website/email activities, and the other 'back-end' more invisible work of making a business run.

In her "other life", you'll find her up to her elbows in messy sculpture-building and colorful acrylics and other gooey medium in her studio. Visit Reflections-of-L for more information.

Melissa runs the farm store most days, and loves connecting with both people and food!

Neil continues at NSO as an all-around great field helper and equipment operator. He also can be seen at least one day a week helping out in the farm store.

"I've been a home gardener for almost 10 years ... And I like to try cooking all different kinds of recipes from whatever type of produce I can grow or get at the farmers market or now get from work! I really like old and foreign movies(anything on the filmstruck app) and reading about history and class struggle."


RJ joined the NSO team in fall 2019 and quickly jumped in to NSO culture and work of all kinds.

RJ is, in 2020 and 2021, taking on the role of "Vegetable Apprentice" on the farm (apprenticeship program is a cooperative venture through PASA). He'll also help with a farmers' market this year.

Sarah is our Social Media Manager. She has a degree in Psychology with a minor in Biology, and has worked for various search engines fine-tuning advertisements. Sarah is instrumental to keeping NSO up to date on all of the major social networks. 

Growing food in an earth friendly manner, and sharing that experience with her children, is one of Sarah's passions. She loves starting plants from seed and watching them grow and produce food for her family. 

When Sarah isn't working, she can be found volunteering at her children's schools or transporting them to a wide variety of sports. She and her family love to travel and experience nature in as many place as possible. Sarah also enjoys cooking vegan and food-allergy friendly meals, reading, crafting,listening to music and being obsessed with her cats.

Shannon has been a helper at NSO for many years. Starting out for several years as a full-time farm helper, she is now a part-time farmers' market helper.

Shannon is seen at the  Emmaus Farmers' Market, where around Halloween she'll show up in one of any number of amazing and fun costumes!

(In 2020 she's taking a break from doing markets, but we hope she'll be back in 2021!)

Shannon's training as a food anthropologist has taken her on travels throughout Europe and the US on the quest for good food. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Food Culture and Communications at L'Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche in Colorno in Italy.

In her spare time, Shannon enjoys crochet, bargain-shopping at second-hand stores, and watching and listening to pretty much any and all musicals!