Ellen began her journey in agriculture in Charlottesville, at the University of Virginia. As a PhD student in the Biology Department, while working in a lab for the molecular biology of petunias, she focused on research applying molecular biology techniques to plant breeding for agriculture. After completing her dissertation, She continued in agriculture-related plant research for several years.
Changing careers to focus and work as a forensic scientist for 20 years. Retiring, she chose to take on a new role in her community. Volunteering with the Abundant Grace Coastside Worker group and having the privilege of participating in a “full circle food justice” program under the auspices of Eric DeBode. Ellen is currently Vice Commissioner on the Half Moon Bay Parks and Recreation Commission.
She has been part of the Coastside Friendship Organic Gardens since its creation, with Eva Erickson the visionary force behind the concept. As Executive Director, Eva drew from her extensive experience with nonprofits and fundraising to bring us to where we are today. And despite the multiple challenges that have beset the Coastside in the past year or so, C-FOG stands to contribute to community health and resilience in 2021.
Ellen is honored to have been invited to act as co-chair of C-FOG. She offers her science-oriented background and commitment to integrity as a contribution. Her vision is to see the growth of environmental education within the context of the program, with emphasis on how a healthy environment producing healthy food is crucial to our own well-being.
Eric graduated from the University of Oregon but attended Southern Oregon State College and have spent the majority of his career as a chef, cooking for high end restaurants. He has a variety of sales and marketing experiences including real estate and freight services.
His love for gardening and farming comes from living in Oregon and seeing all of the great farms in the region for inspiration.
His love for fresh organic food led him to attend and graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in Saint Helena at Greystone. He ran Michelin Star and high-end restaurants and worked with farm to table and biodynamically gardens in Santa Cruz and other areas.
Eric grew up with a fascination and addiction to odd and rare plants like the Australian Finger lime or Aggretti. He is now a full time dad with a wife and two beautiful children. He spends his days getting involved in our local community and having adventures each day by our beautiful coast with his children.