Our regenerative farm and arts space provides on-site educational opportunities to learn about sustainable living in the city.
Cultivating food and community through regenerative practices and skill sharing that nurtures and nourishes.
Leigh Adams is an educator, eco-sensitive designer and horticultural interpreter at the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens. She has trained many county agencies in regenerative practices as well as conducting hands-on workshops with local schools and professional groups. Her love of collaboration and education infuse all aspects of her work, leaving participants with a profound sense of empowered accomplishments. Currently she holds multiple artist’s residencies at the LA County Arboretum, Metabolic Studios, and New Horizon School. She has received a Global Citizen Award from the United Nations, an Angel Award from the City of Los Angeles, and an Outstanding Citizen Award from the County of Los Angeles.
Andrew Raffaele owns and operates Orto Farms in northeast Los Angeles. Orto's mission revolves around growing organic produce sustainably and forwarding net proceeds to non-profits dedicated to assisting the homeless and victims of domestic violence.
Andrew has been gardening for a decade and became active in the Los Angeles agriculture community four years ago. He spent more than ten years in small scale construction and carries a research background thanks to a graduate degree (MA, modern European history). He loves his family and the outdoors
Aaron Nosler is a Regional Development Director for Thrivent, where he trains and coaches new financial advisors on their practices. Born into a holistic wellness lifestyle, Aaron's father was a pioneer to the alternative health food movement starting as early as the 1960's. Aaron has always had an entrepreneurial spirit with many years of experience opening brick and mortar businesses.
The Reverend Dr Ignacio Castuera is a renowned social justice activist and United Methodist minister. He was born and raised in Puebla, Mexico, coming to the United States to attend California State University at Long Beach. He later earned both a masters and doctorate at Claremont School of Theology. Ignacio served congregations in Mexico, Hawaii, and California, including eleven years at the Hollywood United Methodist Church. He was also the first Mexican-American to serve as a district superintendent in Los Angeles. He is editor of Dreams on Fire: Embers of Hope: From the Pulpits of Los Angeles After the Riots, which was one of the top ten religious books of 1992. .
Onil Chibas to pursued a career in film but his constant pursuit of creativity and love of food finally came together when after finishing culinary school and becoming a chef he started his venture of Elements Kitchen in Pasadena, CA.
Chibas first started buying and partnering from Urban Homestead in 2005 after being impressed with the quality of the edible flowers he purchased. Quickly he discovered the other things they were offering and has always featured their quality produce on his menus. He is excited to be part of the new Urban Homestead Institute and be part of furthering the mission of urban farming and sustainability that the Dervaes family has championed for so many years
Anaïs is passionate about sustainable and regenerative whole life systems. As Director of the Institute, her vision is develop the farm and arts programs that will benefit the community and inspire hope for the future .
Jordanne is head of the media operations and is passionate about holistic animal welfare. As Associate Executive Director, her goal is to grow the media, educational outreach, and barnyard programs.
Sanjay is a LA native who works in urban agriculture and permaculture design. In his career, he has helped numerous small startups and companies launch new projects in the fields of public health, active transportation, and higher education. At the Urban Homestead, Sanjay is in charge of transforming hundreds of pounds of organic matter into fresh compost. In the community, he works at an all-edible nursery in Los Angeles and plants fruit trees around town. One of his favorite words these days is...MULCH! .
Thank you to the collection of 'farm hands' who donate their time and energy to help grow the future.
Founder of Urban Homestead, Pasadena, CA