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 the yard. These roots developed an appreciation of farming and healthy eating that would develop into interests in regenerative agriculture, food insecurity 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 is pleased to join the team of Grow It Grow Morristown as Executive Director. In her words, to be able to promote and stand for the many programs that our non-profit organization offers through The Urban Farm and Early Street Community Garden is a privilege. Working collaboratively with a diverse, multi-cultural team in a successful professional career at Dole Fresh Fruit International promoting fresh produce, nutrition education and sustainable practices for over two decades are a part of her motivation to pivot to this new role.
When Dole relocated her position, Lisa decided to stay in the Garden State. She has lived in Morris County for 20 years; 17 of them in Morris Township. Her children attend the Morris School District public schools and her kids have appreciated first-hand the education 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.
She looks forward to working with the greater Morris County organizations, schools, business owners and neighbors to support each other in a combined mission to build healthy communities.
Lisa Alexander, Executive Director
Shaun Ananko, Director of Agriculture & Education
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 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.
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.
Tina Miller, Farm Educator
Tina's love of the outdoors and gardening began when she was little growing up near the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch farm country where access to fresh, local food was plentiful. Tina has over 17 years experience teaching in formal classroom settings, along with informal outdoor experiential settings. She taught 8th grade earth science in Bernards Township for over 11 years. More recently, she worked as an environmental educator for Schiff Nature Preserve and as the director of their Summer Nature Program. She also works with New Jersey Audubon Society as a contract teacher-naturalist leading field trips and providing in-class instruction.
Tina has 20 years of teaching experience and has been with Grow It Green Morristown since 2017. Prior to being known as "Farmer Tina", she taught middle school science for 12 years and outdoor environmental education for 5 years. She graduated from Lafayette College with a BS Geology degree and Environmental Science minor. She also has her Masters degree in Education. She loves being able to give children the opportunity to try fresh, organic food and appreciate the beauty of nature at The Urban Farm or in their school gardens. She designs and implements farm-based programming for Pre-K through high school level students. She currently teaches field trips at The Urban Farm, provides on-site garden programming for four Morris area preschools, and teaches within numerous classrooms in the Morris School District. All in all, she educates more than 800 students per year. The goal of her programming is to provide the students with the knowledge, tools, and motivation to be life-long healthy eaters and stewards of the environment
At home, Tina and her husband tend to a small backyard garden along with their flock of three children and chickens. She is a firm believer in experiential learning and looks forward to sharing Grow It Green Morristown's message of healthy eating and environmental sustainability with the children of Morris County.
Emma Farwell, Community Outreach & Marketing Manager
New to the Morristown area, Emma joined Grow It Green Morristown as a volunteer to get to know people in the community and to make a difference while doing so. As a member of the staff, she now spends her time working in the office and at the three sites we manage.
During the growing season, Emma manages the Early Street Community Garden and helps out at the Urban Farm. She also led our Pop-up Farm Stand Initiative. Her hardworking attitude is invaluable to keeping things up and running at the farm. Emma is also a crucial part of organizing our many community events. Her background in marketing and her entrepreneurial spirit makes her a perfect fit for the Grow It Green team!
Ann Kent, Development Manager
Ann is thrilled to have joined 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. Last spring, 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 childrenin the Morris School District and at The Presbyterian Church of Morristown’s Nursery School.
Peter Aresty, Seasonal Farm Assistant
Peter was born in Morristown and later grew up in Mountain Lakes, NJ and Colorado. Through lots of traveling based around nature and wildlife, he quickly grew a passion for the outdoors and the environment. Peter received his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Rollins College, and spent a few years in Philadelphia and Virginia working in Wealth Management before moving back to Morristown. He is happy to be working in a position much more geared towards his interests and degree and continuing his education in this field. In his spare time, Peter enjoys running with his dog Sammy and playing soccer and beach volleyball.
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.