Meet Your Farmers!

Paul DeBusschere

One of Paul’s early farming memories is driving a 1955 John Deere 430 tractor sitting on his dad’s lap. Paul still has that tractor. But his path to Join the farm! wasn’t so direct from his childhood on his farm.

After spending a year as an accountant in a high rise LA office, Paul heeded the familiar call of farming. It was 1992 and his parents were ready to retire and transition their farm. Since then Paul has been farming lemons, avocados, and lima beans. Now Paul is embarking on a new adventure: VEGGIES! Paul is excited about connecting people with produce and forming the farm into something his daughters may want to continue into the future. Paul enjoys spending time with his family and sightseeing from the pilot’s seat of his Piper Cub airplane.

Julie Morris

Julie Morris never imagined herself helping to run an organic farm, but life has a funny way of weaving things together. An ordained priest in the Episcopal Church, Julie sees many parallels between serving a church and coordinating a farm project - both are about tending life, forming community and being awed by the beauty and mystery that feeds us all. Julie currently is the CSA Coordinator and is working to envision and develop our farm-to-school and farm-to-church programs. Julie savors family life with Paul and their three daughters, enjoys learninig how to cook all those veggies in the CSA box, and tries to find time to drink tea and read the New Yorker.

Erynn Smith

After growing up eating Ventura County’s strawberries and playing on Freedom Park’s soccer fields, Erynn moved to Los Angeles to earn a degree in journalism and promptly fled to Lake Tahoe to recover from big city life.

Recovered and ready to explore the world, Erynn started teaching in a bilingual preschool/elementary school in Cuenca, Ecuador. Her two year experience in the Andes was transformative. She realized her calling in the field of education. Her eyes were opened to eating locally on a daily basis in Cuenca’s vibrant mercados libres, or farmer’s markets, where she got to know farmers and food. Erynn returned to her native Camarillo ready to delve into bilingual education in a teaching credential program at CSUCI. Erynn returned to Ventura County with “new eyes” realizing how rich and vibrant our community’s agricultural history and present is and how vital it is to preserve this heritage by eating locally, supporting local farmers, and advocating for social and policy changes to support local food and farmers. Erynn hopes her work on the farm can develop young socially conscious eaters as she guides local students’ experiences here on the farm.

Erynn hasn’t changed too much from when she was a sunburnt kid on the soccer field. She still loves dancing, laughing, the beach, fishing, and camping with friends and family.

Sarah Nolan

Sarah Nolan works as the Chaplain of The Abundant Table Campus Ministry at California State University, Channel Islands, and as Program Coordinator of The Abundant Table Farm Project. Sarah is a native New Mexican, currently living in Los Angeles, CA. Alongside her work in the Episcopal Church, Sarah volunteers with a local farming cooperative, coordinating its Community Supported Agriculture program. In her spare time (spare time...what spare time?) she enjoys reading, cooking, a little too much television and sleeping.


Alise Echele

Alise Echele traveled from southern Indiana to be a part of the Abundant Table Farm Project. After obtaining a degree in Dietetics from Indiana University, Alise spent ten months at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri working as a dietetic intern in a program with a concentration in “recognizing and reducing health disparities.” This internship was ideal because it provided opportunities to utilize her degree. She enjoyed facilitating cooking and nutrition classes in community settings, working as a nutrition coach during one-on-one sessions with patients, planning menus that met cultural and dietary preferences, and researching the effects of food insecurity in a city where health disparities were evident.

Alise arrived on the Farm ready to get her hands dirty post-internship! She couldn’t imagine a better way to begin life as a Registered Dietitian than to learn how to grow organic food that not only nourishes the body but relationship. Cooking and sharing meals in community with others is a favorite pastime. When she isn’t harvesting carrots or blending them up for a yummy soup or bread, she is practicing yoga at the beach (or in the back yard next to the “chickies”), hiking on trails along the PCH, or seeking out a new adventure.

Harrison F. Somah

Harrison F. Somah was raised in Brownsville, TN for the majority of his life. When his mother passed away from multiple sclerosis in late 2001, he came to live with his aunt and uncle in long beach, CA. He recently graduated from El Camino Compton College with his Associates Degree in General Studies. He decided to Join the Farm so he could get a better sense of where his food comes from and how to live in a sustainable way. His hobbies are sports, movies, reading, and browsing the internet.

Click here for Interns 2009-2010