We are a small team of talented and experienced gardening professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion!
A 20 year greenhouse professional, who has planted for and worked at some of the top greenhouses in the Northwest Illinois area.
Jane’s passion for gardening started in Belarus on her family’s farm, where she would often help her grandmother tend to her garden, and pick fruits. After immigrating to the United States, she began working at a local greenhouse as a teen, and followed her passion for horticulture at Harper College.
Over the years she has continued to follow her passion in horticulture and visited organic farms, ecological centers and natural areas around the United States focusing on learning about ecology, permaculture, and urban gardens. She has also studied at the Chicago Botanical Gardens, and the Occidental Ecology and Arts Center.
Founder – Executive Director
Community Garden Coordinator & Teacher
Alyssa is the garden educator and community garden plot manager at Historic Wagner Farm. For the past 8 years, she has overseen and assisted families with the planning of their garden plots. Alyssa specializes in planning three-season vegetable gardens, companion planting, organic pest control, and gardening with children. She has worked with campers and 4H students in the Wagner Farm Community Garden. She has also worked at public schools to create native plant and vegetable gardens. She finds it especially rewarding to teach children how to plant, care for, and harvest their own food.
As a breast cancer survivor, Alyssa knows the benefits of eating a fresh, healthy, organic diet. She feels strongly about eating whole foods to combat disease and ensure good health. Gardening has helped her mentally, spiritually, and physically. Alyssa enjoys a morning routine of harvesting a variety of antioxidant, vitamin-rich greens from her own backyard garden to use in her breakfast smoothies. She also loves cooking with fresh herbs and vegetables from her own garden.
Alyssa is a long-time home gardener. Her favorite vegetables to grow are tomatoes. Each year, Alyssa grows over 20 varieties of tomatoes from seed. One benefit of growing a garden from seed is being able to grow unique varieties and colors of vegetables that you just can’t get at the grocery store. Alyssa looks forward to helping you and your family create and maintain a healthy backyard vegetable garden.