The Agrarian Adventure is a publicly-supported 501(c)3 nonprofit that exists due to the active participation and dedicated support of students, teachers, parents, and community members working with schools to connect students with food, health, community, and agriculture. We are a volunteer-led grassroots organization, made possible by support from the community since 2003.
Our program areas are:
- Organic Schoolyard Food Production
- Curricular Integration & Teacher Partnerships
- After-School Enrichment-Cooking & Gardening
- Educational Events & Community Outreach
The Agrarian Adventure partners with K-12 schools to enrich students' connection between the foods they eat, their personal health, and the health of their communities and the environment. Through experiential education in sustainable food and agriculture, local food, and healthy learning in the cafeteria, we connect students to the sources of their food and empower them to transform their lives and the food culture in positive ways.
About Our Board
Monica Patel, President
Monica has been working at the Ecology Center on Ann Arbor 350 (local climate action), HealthyStuff.org (researching toxic chemicals in everyday products), and more since 2007. Before moving back to Ann Arbor in 2006, she went to law school at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, she concentrated on Economics and watched many films at the Michigan Theater. She and her husband frequent Miller Park with their dogs Augie and Beta. Monica is the chair of our Development & Finance Committee, and a member of our School Garden Network & Advocacy Subcommittee.
Elissa Trumbull, Treasurer
Elissa has a professional background in youth education, program management, and partnership development experience in the nonprofit sector. She is a certified teacher with expertise in food and agriculture education and has worked in numerous and diverse school, university, and community settings. Elissa has been a leader in creating innovative youth programming and educational year-round school garden food production, integrated with core curriculum in the public schools for over nine years. She currently works with two national nonprofits, Fair Food Network and Creative Change Educational Solutions, working to educate and advocate on issues of sustainability, social equity, and food systems, and serves as a founding board member of The Agrarian Adventure and Program Committee Chair.
Lise Anderson, Secretary
Lise Anderson is the parent of three recent Tappan students. Professionally she oversees research mentoring and clinical and translational research education for post docs at the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR). Lise studied anthropology and health education at the UM and began her career working for community based organizations and state government, then for fifteen years she worked at the School of Public Health evaluating health education interventions. She is a four square gardener, knitter, and current crew mom. She brings grant writing and program development expertise to the board. Lise serves on our Development & Finance Committee and our Tappan Site Committee.
Deb Lentz is co-owner of Tantré Farm, a CSA farm in Chelsea, Michigan, which produces certified organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, mushrooms, and flowers. As a farmer and former educator she has led many Farm-to-School presentations for elementary students in the Ann Arbor School District for the past several years. She is also actively involved as a parent at Honey Creek Community School in Ann Arbor with the school’s Wellness, Farm-to-School, and Edible School Garden committees. Deb is one of the leaders of our Farmer in the Classroom Subcommittee.
Andrea Ridgard has lived in Washtenaw County most of her life and enjoys deeepening her understanding and relationship with her own community. Andrea graduated from the University of Michigan in 2008 with a Social Science concentration and has spent the past 2 years working with Tilian Farm Development Center, and the 3 years before that with the Michigan Chapter of the Young People's Project, Inc. Her love for growing, cooking and sharing food, and her passion for youth empowerment bring her to this team. Andrea is also a Hatha Yoga instructor in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. Andrea serves on our Development & Finance Committee.
Partners & Supporters
The Agrarian Adventure would like to thank the following for their contributions and support since our inception:
- Al Dente Pasta
- Ann Arbor Chapter of the National Woman’s Farm and Garden Association
- Ann Arbor Educational Foundation
- Beim Foundation
- D.K. Cattle
- Downtown Home and Garden
- Dunathan Consulting
- Durrie Design
- eve, the restaurant
- Fingerle Lumber
- Food System Economic Partnership
- Garden Works
- Great Harvest Bread Company
- Grizzly Peak
- Johnny’s Selected Seeds
- Kellogg Foundation
- Landscaping for the Heart & Soul
- Mighty Good Coffee
- Morgan and York
- Mosaic Foundation
- Nature Nurture Landscaping
- Slow Food Huron Valley
- Tantre Farm
- V 2 V (Vintage to Vogue)
- Whole Foods - Cranbrook
- Woman’s National Farm and Garden Association
- Zingermans Deli
And for her amazing web help: Anjanette Bunce!
Newsletters & Publications
Agrarian Reflections Newsletter
: Winter 2006 (pdf)