Maria Blon is a gardener, teacher and author. She has been gardening since she was a young girl. Her professional life began as a holistic math teacher at the college level, teaching students and future teachers to love mathematics through hands-on, interactive learning. Her life has transformed many times, most notably when she and her daughter volunteered in Haiti after the devastating earthquake of 2010. During this time, she helped launch the HEART in Haiti School, where she has trained the teachers, mentored new board members and started sustainable programs, like the biodigester program. Maria loves creatively growing food year round at her small city gardens in Middletown, NY. She is thrilled to be sharing her 40 + years of experience to help people grow and eat delicious food in their own back yard.
Peter Lai is a Cornell Master Gardener , Permaculturist and TQM Orchids Wholeseller. He vistied, Spain, Sweeden, Mexico, Japan , Taiwan, China, Hawaii and Haiti to learn Permacuture practices and offered voluntary teaching on growing vegetables. He worked for Eastman Kodak Company in Taipei for 15 years and gained intensive experience in strategic business planning and Total Quality Management. As an adjunct professor at Marist College he teachs Business Planning and Management. As a board member of Orange Environment, an non-profit orgnization to protect the environment , he initiated Permaculture Design Certification Traing programs , Permaculture tours and workshops in Orange County since 2013.His experience with gardening, networking and business development is extremely valuable for our success.
Andrew Whiteman of Urbnsow micro-farms is a partner who shares his experience with urban gardening and strength for the manual labor we do.
Shad St. Louis helps install garden fences and any concrete projects. He is kind enough to lend us his truck when we are hauling bulky items. As Executive Director of HEART in Haiti, Shad is grateful for the fundraising we do for the School.
Tom Blon partners with Shad on concrete projects and assists Maria with a number of projects, including food processing.
Anna Blon is our photographer, visual artist and social media manager.
Sarah Harrington's dream is to work part time as a landscaper and gardener. She is learning about growing food and flowers from Maria. Sarah likes pulling weeds, harvesting vegetables and arranging flowers for our HEART fundraising. She is very patient, enjoys learning about organic gardening and preparing healthy food.