OUR TEAM

As a child, Lisa enjoyed visiting her grandparents at their farm, riding the tractor, feeding the pigs and picking fresh blackberries. She was fortunate to grow up with a family vegetable garden and fruit trees in Arizona. Growing up in Arizona, she developed a respect for Native Americans growing up next to the Salt River Indian Community which is comprised of two Native American tribes: the “Akimel O’Odham” (River People) and the “Xalychidom Piipaash” (People who live toward the water), also commonly known as the Pima and Maricopa.

 

These roots developed an appreciation of farming and healthy eating that would develop into interests in indigenous agriculture, self sufficiency and sustainable living. From her own experience, Lisa holds firmly the belief that we cannot underestimate the impact that teaching children early on where food comes from has on their nutritional choices and overall health. The ability to make healthy food choices and enjoy open spaces are a right and necessity for all persons in order to build successful, equitable communities particularly in a time of increasing urbanization. 

Lisa comes from a professional career at Dole Fresh Fruit International. Working collaboratively with a diverse, multi-cultural team in Latin America promoting fresh produce, nutrition education and sustainable practices for over two decades is a part of her motivation to make change happen.

When Dole relocated her position, Lisa decided to stay in the Garden State. She has lived in Morris County for over 20 years primarily in Morris Township. Her children attend the Morris School District public schools, and her kids have appreciated first-hand the educational sessions provided by Grow It Green. Lisa has volunteered as a leader with the Girl Scouts, and her husband has volunteered as a coach for multiple Morristown sports. 

Being curious and always willing to listen and learn are essential to her role at Grow It Green. She deeply appreciates the local community- working with NJ organizations, schools, churches, business owners and neighbors to support each other in a combined mission to address nutritional and racial inequity while inspiring wellness and environmentally sustainable choices.

Lisa Alexander, Executive Director (she/her/hers)

Shaun Ananko, Director of Agriculture & Education (he/him/his)

 

A native to Morristown, Shaun Ananko began developing his love for farming as a small child when his mother taught him how to grow tomatoes in their home garden. Now as Farmer Shaun for Grow It Green Morristown, he is proud to share his knowledge of sustainable food cultivation with the Morristown community and students of local schools. Shaun’s career prior to joining the Urban Farm included 10 years at the former Health Shoppe in Morristown, managing operations for their online vitamin business. Shaun has a degree in Agriculture from Community College of Morris and completed an internship with a Morristown-based CSA at Valley Vue Farm. Shaun challenges himself each year to finds ways to learn more to increase the impact of the organization listening to the members of the town to become more inclusive, recognizing the rich diversity of the neighborhoods where the farm and garden thrive. An urban learning farm is a unique resource to welcome others into the study of land stewardship, water conservation and integrated pest management.

 

Through his experiences and studies, Shaun was also brought into the world of beekeeping in 2007 and has delved into apiary practice with an emphasis on treatment-free strategies for breeding strong and healthy bees. As the Grow It Green Farmer, Shaun teaches classes on the life cycle of honeybees and the crucial role they play in feeding our world through pollination. He has a beehive site in Morristown at Early Street Community Garden and offers mentoring and beehive management services throughout Northern New Jersey.

Ann Kent, Development Manager (she/her/hers)

Ann is thrilled to be part of the team at Grow It Green Morristown. She has over 15 years of professional experience in corporate, legal, and non-profit marketing and communications work with a strong interest in local, healthy food, and the importance of our education program. As a volunteer, Ann helped to rebuild the Woodland School Garden and serves as the Co-Chair the Landscaping and Gardening Committee at Woodland. In the spring of 2019, she planted with each grade level at the school. 

 

She grew up in Morristown and has three young children who love visiting the Urban Farm. Farmer Tina taught her children in the Morris School District and at The Presbyterian Church of Morristown’s Nursery School. 

Marley Weaver, Assistant Farmer (she/they)

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Marley grew up in the city of Rahway playing in the dirt, climbing trees and fences, and collecting insects. She was lucky enough to have an active family that introduced her to the outdoors through camping and sailing, activities which taught her the joys of working outdoors with her hands and learning practical skills. 

In high school, she began working in the restaurant industry, fueling an already well-established love of food. She continued to work in restaurants through college where she studied biology, literature, and psychology.

 

During her studies, she developed a passion for environmental and ecological sciences, equitable and sustainable food systems, and social justice. These passions encouraged a natural interest in farming, and she began to experiment in her own yard with a vegetable, herb, and flower garden. She's so glad to be at Grow It Green where she can learn more about farming, put her interests and knowledge to good use, and continue to play in the dirt.  

Andeana Gonzales, Winter Market Manager (she/her/hers)

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Growing up in rural New Jersey, Andeana was a playful kid; stealing tomatoes from her mother's garden, climbing trees, and swimming in the creek by her house. She was a true nature lover from the get go and a bit of rebel as well. She lives the message her father continues to tell her, "the best room in the house is outside."

While growing up, Andeana realized she was an extrovert that really liked working with the public. After 10 years working at a library in Warren County, she decided to break away and start a new life in the great outdoors. Wanting to do something new and different she decided to take a farm job in California. Immediately she felt at home in the fresh air. Since 2016, Andeana has worked on a variety of farms in California, Georgia and Pennsylvania. She values small farms that share the same values as her: sustainability, eco-friendly, organic and community oriented. 

Andeana loves bringing the market to the community!

Grow It Green Morristown is a 501(c)(3) public charity and, in order to maintain this nonprofit status, we must abide by a strict IRS prohibition against involvement in candidate campaigns ("electioneering"). Grow It Green Morristown cannot and does not support or oppose political candidates in any way.