The team at Eastie Farm is anyone and everyone who has stopped by to shovel mulch, plant cilantro, make fresh-pressed cider, or just ask questions! Behind the scenes, we are also supported by a board of 11 directors – East Boston community members working hard to make all of this possible, and having fun doing it!
Kannan Thiruvengadam is the director of Eastie Farm and of JP Green School, a sustainability education program at JP Green House, a passive solar and energy-positive house in Jamaica Plain. He also hosts “What’s up Eastie?“, a radio show about local issues in a larger context, at Zumix, a youth organization in East Boston.
Kannan is also a Climate Ready Boston Leader. He has a technology background, has studied climate science, permaculture, and community engagement, and is passionate about regenerative and sustainable practices in agriculture and urban design. Kannanlives with his partner Rudi in historic Belmont Square in East Boston overlooking the harbor and the beautiful Boston skyline.
Judy Gates graduated from the College of Wooster in 1964 as a political science major. She has two married children and lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Her career has focused on advertising, promotion, technology and finance. She retired from Putnam Investments in 2000.
From 2008-2012, she served in the Peace Corps in Mongolia as a business development volunteer. Her current community activities in Marblehead and in the East Boston community have included: Volunteer and Board Member of Eastie Farm, Friends of Abbot Public Library, League of Women Voters, Town Recycling Committee, 3Voices organization, and Marblehead Racial Justice Team.
Margaret Farmer is a Development professional with more than ten years of success raising funds for non-profits. She has been a proud resident of East Boston for more than a decade. Margaret is a former president of the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association and a current board member for Eastie Farm and the East Boston Chamber of Commerce. Margaret is Principal of the Maldwyn Group, a development consulting company specializing in assisting small and medium sized non-profits with developing diverse revenue streams. In her spare time Margaret enjoys traveling, reading, maintaining a little free library and messing with her college alumnae magazine by planting false-but weirdly believable-stories.
Alison Fong is the chef and co-founder of Bon Me, a Boston based food truck and restaurant group serving fast-casual Asian cuisine. She has lived in East Boston since 2016 and loves Eastie Farm work parties.
Rudi Seitz is a musician, software developer, and photographer who has lived in East Boston since 2011. At Eastie Farm, Rudi particularly enjoys working with the compost pile, taking photographs, and planting garlic. Although he doesn’t really have a PhD in “Knotweed Studies” he is passionate about keeping Eastie Farm’s knotweed under control.
Mónica Leitner-Laserna is an educator, herbalist, vegan chef and business owner of Colombian and Jewish heritage, who for the past several years has been committed to promoting social justice through teaching about the relationship between diet and disease and how to use food as medicine. She holds a master’s degree in bilingual education and has also studied health education, herbalism, yoga and meditation, all of which have greatly influenced her mission of spreading holistic health and wellness. She is one of the founders of the Eastie Farm and loves bringing classes to the farm to learn about farming, food production and health.
Salvador Cartagena is an Electrical Engineer at Aerodyne Research, designing and assembling machines that study aerosol and cloud particles in the atmosphere. He likes to volunteer for Eastie Farm in his free time, and enjoys getting his hands in soil. Salvador would like to build more community spaces like Eastie Farm in order to develop a stronger and more resilient East Boston community.