About Us – Farm Discovery at Live Earth


Farm Discovery at Live Earth engages kids and families with seasonal, organic, and local food systems for their bodies, the environment and their communities.

Food, farming and nature exist in complex, interconnected socio-cultural, economic and ecological systems. Farm Discovery empowers kids and families to make these systems regenerative and healing for individuals, communities, and the natural world.

Farm Discovery’s vision is growing healthy relationships through food, farming and nature.

Our farm, Live Earth Farm (LEF), established in 1996, is a 150 acre diversified, organic, family farm overlooking the Pajaro Valley in the Santa Cruz area of California. LEF runs a year round CSA, growing over 50 different fruits and vegetables surrounded by a native landscape of redwoods and oak woodland. LEF’s produce is directly marketed through local farmer’s markets, restaurants, a thriving web store, and a weekly CSA program. Education has always been a part of Live Earth Farm since its beginning, but in 2007 a separate non-profit entity, Farm Discovery was formally established to compliment and expand the educational programs at Live Earth Farm. We now host more than 2000 children on the farm each year for engaging farm-based, hands-on learning opportunities in a variety of formats.

Why Teach in the Wild? by Angie Moline, Ph.D.

 Who we are

Jessica Ridgeway, Executive Director_MG_8783_sm
In 2007 Jessica earned her M.S. in Environment and Natural Resources from the Rubenstein School at the University of Vermont.  Her Master’s Thesis consisted of Participatory Action Research in an agricultural community in Northern Vermont.  She developed, implemented and evaluated a Sustainability Curriculum and School Garden with the 6th graders of Jeffersonville Elementary School. Jessica helped Thomas and Constance Broz to found the Live Earth Farm Discovery Program in 2008.

peter pic 2Peter Nelson, Education Coordinator
Peter has lived in the Monterey Bay area for the last 24 years. He has a history with many conservation and education nonprofits in the area and has had the opportunity to help create and build many school and community gardens around the Central Coast.

Christine Landis, Field Manager
Christine moved from Maine to California in 2010 to attend the University of California Santa Cruz where she graduated with a B.A. in Environmental studies. During that time she interned at a local, organic farm where she rediscovered her passion for sustainable agriculture.

Tara Fatemi Walker, Development Coordinator

possible headshotA longtime Santa Cruz resident, Tara has more than 12 years of development experience including several years doing donor stewardship at UC Santa Cruz.  As a journalist, she has written about chefs, restaurants, and farms in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. She lived in Santa Cruz from 1986-1991 when she earned a B.A. in creative writing from UCSC, and returned to Santa Cruz in 2004 after spending a few years in Texas (where she earned an M.A. in creative writing from UT Austin).