Meet Your Farmers

Britt So (she/her), Agroecology Intern & Lead Farmer

Britt is someone who enjoys being close to the soil and community. She has a background in design and illustration, and has always had a heart for community building through creativity- whether that’s via traditional art materials, or through cooking and food, or of course, farming. She loves spending time outdoors, no matter the weather. Britt is excited to serve the neighbourhood, and grow in knowledge and relationships with and through the crew at Farmers on 57th this season.

Lauren Brown (she/they), Farmer Florist

Lauren has been a visitor on Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories for the last five years while finishing her Ph.D. Prior to this academic journey, she was building small-scale agriculture projects in Toronto (401 Richmond rooftop), NYC (Cypress Hills LDS/East New York Farms), and Salt Lake City (Wasatch Community Gardens). She learned tons about growing well from these communities and as a farm laborer for talented land stewards in Utah, Colorado, Guatemala, and Vancouver. Lauren is looking forward to another season of learning and growing with the Farmers on 57th flower crew – Jess, Marina, Nicki, and Eva – and finding the sweet little bees sleeping in the dahlias. 

Hannah Glasspoole (she/her), Agroecology Intern and Growing Eden Assistant

Hannah is passionate about food as culture, sustenance and healing. With a background in arts and design Hannah has always found comfort in the natural world. She enjoys the tactile observation and slow trial-and-error that working with plants requires. Hannah joined Farmers on 57th as a volunteer in 2021 to see whether a larger scale and labor intensive experience would give her that same feeling; it turns out that is a big yes with the bonus of meeting interesting people. Hannah and her wife decided to follow their hearts in 2021 and start a non-profit called Wild Embrace Farm with the aim of connecting people of marginalized groups to nature. The near-term plan is to move to Vancouver Island and find a small plot of land to farm and facilitate learning after learning as much as possible with Farmers on 57th.

Sarah Wenman (she/her), Garden Club Manager, Co-Founder & Director

Sarah helped create Farmers on 57th as part of her work with CARMA advocating for a home-like environment for people with disabilities in residential care. Driving her community building projects is the understanding that sharing locally grown food is pivotal to healthy communities and individuals. Sarah’s passion for growing, preserving and eating locally grown food started early when her dad taught her how to wipe the soil off a freshly harvested carrot and eat it. She’s always found a place to plant seeds. Sarah is dedicated to enabling access to green spaces and local food for everyone, no matter a person’s income or ability level. She sees how spending time in a thriving green space brings contentment and joy across varied populations. She knows sharing the harvest around a big table anchors a community and contributing to that meal creates a sense of pride. Sarah writes about and photographs her adventures, enjoying time (and food) with her friends and family in Vancouver.

Jen Rashleigh (she/her), Founder & Director

Jen grew up in her mother’s garden and realized that gardening was in her blood when she moved into a bachelor apartment with no room to grow. She began a guerilla garden between two parking lots for her own private pleasure, but soon learned the unbelievable power of gardening for community as everyone leaned over the fence to shares stories. When she worked with the Nation of Gitxaala to start their own gardens and witnessed the community satisfaction and empowerment (and giant cabbages!) she was officially hooked. She got the idea for a community farm while biking past Pearson (her mom worked there as a physio for 20 years). With the support and vision of the Disability Alliance of BC, Farmers on 57th took form in 2009. Jen trained with Ann Kent in Horticultural Therapy and joined the Canadian and American Horticultural Therapy Associations. Jen sees food growing as a means to build community resilience, sharing and joy. Jen is mother to Owen, farm baby #3 (there are 6). When she isn’t food growing or parenting, she’s making documentary films, tap dancing, or singing.

Karen Ageson (she/they), Market Garden Manager, Co-Founder & Director

Karen has worked to build Farmers on 57th since 2009. She is a white settler privileged by colonization in the Territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and sel̓íl̓witulh Nations where she grew up and raises two children. Learning from soil, plants and community, and facilitating opportunities for every urbanite to do the same drives Karen’s work. She has a BA in Environmental Studies, a MSc in Agricultural Economics, is a Professional Agrologist and completed the Organic Master Gardener Course with Gaia College. Karen worked internationally advocating for organic agriculture and co-founded the Vancouver Urban Farming Society in 2013 to work towards enabling urban agriculture policy.

Jess Henry (she/her), Flower Program Manager, Co-Founder & Director

Jess comes from a background of rural farm work with a focus on horses, pastured poultry & bio-dynamic farming. Jess rolled up the sod on the lawns of George Pearson Centre in 2009 alongside Jen & Karen. A country girl at heart, Farmers on 57th has been an oasis of sanity, connection to the soil, and meaningful community engagement in the midst of a busy life in the city. Alongside flowers and vegetables she has raised 2 children in the market garden & is driven to help extend that opportunity to other people looking to connect with their food source, the soil, their community, and the birds, bugs, and bees that share the garden with us.

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