Urban Agriculture Director
Ash Richards is the Urban Agriculture Director at Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, managing the Farm Philly Program and the City’s first Urban Agriculture Plan, Growing from the Root. As a third generation farmer, their work supports the interdependence and collective determination of residents to grow and produce their own food. In 2008, beginning their career in sustainability and food justice, Ash joined More Gardens! in Bronx, NY as a community organizer, collaborating with local growers to develop an urban farm cooperative led by Black and Latine residents (La Finca del Sur). Prior to their role at Parks and Recreation, Ash worked for the Philadelphia City Planning Commission doing comprehensive and place-based planning and the Philadelphia Water Department’s Office of Watersheds doing green stormwater infrastructure projects.
Ash earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania in City and Regional Planning and has an educational background in geography and agroecology. They have been an ex-officio member of the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council (FPAC) since 2012 and served as Co-chair of the Urban Agriculture Subcommittee from 2016-2021. Outside of work, Ash enjoys outdoor adventures, food experiments, sci-fi and action films and photography, and can be spotted rummaging through local comic book shops.
Farm Philly Garden Educator
David Crutchfield, is the Farm Philly Garden Educator for the Junior Farmer program. David is a naturalist, horticulturist, a student and steward of Mother Nature. From NYC to Philadelphia David has been building and maintaining playgrounds, gardens and open spaces for over 30 years.
Farm Philly Project Manager
Farm Philly Program Manager, Donnel Brown, believes in regenerative agriculture rooted in social, economic, and food justice. She centers her work on advancing self-determination, land sovereignty, and agriculture workforce development within the urban agriculture space. Originally from Ghana, Donnel first learned about indigenous Ghanaian foodways and passion for growing food from her grandmother Lydia Adowa-Djan.
Donnel earned a Master of Science from American University and has a background in Criminology and Human Services. She envisions a world in which all people have access to clean air, clean water, and food. She also imagines a world in which everyone has the opportunity to attain gainful and meaningful employment. A talented cook and food enthusiast, Donnel currently lives in Germantown with her daughter Lydia Akosua-Djan.
Farm Philly Program Manager
EmmaKate Martin is the Farm Philly Coordinator at the Fairmount Park Conservancy. She has worked with the Farm Philly program in various roles since 2014. As administrator of the community garden programs, she ensures that the community has access to the resources and skills necessary to grow food for their families, friends, and neighbors, including those in the Park Friends Network and the Community Garden Network, which are gardens on City parkland.
She directs the Junior Farmers Program, a youth urban agriculture program offered at recreation centers throughout the City after school and during the summer. It is her work that contributes to the transformation of local public spaces into sustainable food systems.
EmmaKate’s favorite vegetables to grow are tomatoes and carrots!
Carousel House Farm Manager
Annie Tickell joined Farm Philly in May 2023 as the Farm Assistant at Carousel House Farm. Before joining Farm Philly, Annie spent 8 years teaching high school in Philadelphia and Oakland, CA. She has also worked as an artisan bread baker and believes in the power of food to connect people to each other, and to our personal histories. Annie is motivated by opportunities that sustain community health – be it physically, mentally, or spiritually – and hopes to explore the ways in which farming can provide healing for institutional harm. When she’s not at the farm you can find her dancing, singing jingles, and cooking lots of food.
Hajjah Glover joined Farm Philly in April 2023 as a Garden Educator at Bartram’s Garden. Hajjah Glover is an alumnus of the Sankofa Community Farm Youth Program. She graduated from Sankofa with plant knowledge, a connection to the land, and an embodiment of her African roots. She developed a new perspective of the value of food in her West Philadelphia community.
Hajjah wondered, “Where is the good food in my community?” This question pushed Hajjah to start looking for solutions for black and brown communities. Her answer was to start a business that built and installed garden beds. Therefore, her neighbors were the ones in control of their food. Hajjah Glover is now the owner of Glover Gardens LLC. She has built and installed over 100 garden beds throughout Philadelphia. She helps to build sovereign communities and promote food justice through her work.
Ousmane Diarra joined the Farm Philly team in April, 2023 as a Public Health Americorps Service member. He is currently a pre-medicine student at the University of Pennsylvania, and he is passionate about further integrating clinical health with community initiatives to eliminate health disparities. In his past experiences, he has served communities to increase access to vaccines, food, and education and recreational opportunities. In his present role, Ousmane will be coordinating with Philadelphia Department of Health to work on improving nutrition, exercise and social connectedness for Philadelphians. Ousmane envisions a truly equitable Philadelphia where being healthy is the default choice.