2013 brings a new season of growth to Pie Ranch! We are excited to welcome a fresh crop of faces to the farm to help facilitate the growth of our young organization! The new staff members bring a broad array of talent to the table.
David Stockhausen, Culinary Arts Program Coordinator
With a 15-year background in youth education, organic farming, and farm-to-table cooking, David is a great addition to the Pie Ranch team. Over the years, David has served as an educator in a myriad of contexts and has taught youth from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds with passion and drive. Last year, he served as the Farm Supervisor for the Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz, where he re-designed and implemented their training & education program, refining their vast farm curriculum. Since 2003 his passion for organic farming and gardening has led him to work on, manage, and inhabit various biodiverse organic farms from Vermont and California to NSW Austrailia. Though he has pursued these other passions, it is cooking that persists as his primary love and deepest practice for over 20 years.
Above all, he feels that it is through his toil as a farmer and his understanding as an educator, that he truly thrives as a chef. Welcome to Pie Ranch David!
Marc Cavatorta, Animal Husbandryman Journeyman
A couple years ago Marc decided that he wanted to learn more about sustainable agriculture and found an internship at Sustainable Settings, a non-profit educational facility and sustainable farm and ranch that produces “beyond organic” produce, meat, milk, and eggs in Carbondale, CO. There, he gained valuable knowledge about how to run an organic CSA, manage a dairy herd for a raw milk herd share, build healthy, organic soil, and raise animals for meat sustainably from birth to butchering. Over the past year, after moving to Davis, CA, Marc has been immersing himself in the organic agricultural community of Northern California. He completed a six month beginning farmer training program called the CA Farm Academy, where he learned about all of the aspects of starting and managing his own farm including finding land, financing, marketing, etc. Now he is ready to take on additional experience and hands-on training at Pie Ranch. Welcome Marc!
Alexandra Villegas, Pescadero High School Youth Coordinator
Alex was born and raised in rural San Diego, CA. She became interested in learning about the food system after her freshman year of college in San Francisco where she was studying fine art. After having exposure to the field to fork movement at Slow Food Nation 2008, she decided that instead, she wanted to focus her work in community-based food work. She moved home and connected with San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project where she learned the value and power in community involvement with food education projects. In 2010 she transferred to UC Santa Cruz where she worked with the Food Systems Working Group as well as the Real Food Challenge. During her time as a student at UCSC, she organized ways for students to engage in the food system through multiple learning opportunities.
Alex believes that food is a language all its own that crosses cultural boundaries and brings people together. She is inspired by the community that is built through the preparation of a meal, and values food system education as a way to promote a healthy lifestyle for future generations. She comes to Pie Ranch eager to grow her leadership abilities and is very excited to help inspire students at Pescadero High School to recognize their own leadership potential. In her free time, she enjoys riding her bike, cooking with friends, traveling, and taking photographs.
Hai Vo, Oceana High School Youth Coordinator
Hai grew up cooking, sharing and enjoying large portions of traditional Vietnamese dishes on family holiday gatherings – weddings, anniversaries, graduations, and lunar festivals. For him, connecting to traditions, building with community inter-generationally, and cooking lots and lots of good food was and is inherent to who he is. The last seven years of his life he has been committed to youth food and farming organizing, advocacy, and leadership development. He has volunteered and interned on farms and gardens, helping with youth programming and leadership development, primarily with high school-aged youth of color. He has helped organize youth food justice campaigns locally and nationally, on- and offline, around food sovereignty and health issues. He is currently working on creating a youth food and farming KitchenCorps with People’s Kitchen 510 in Oakland, a program equipping youth with culinary arts career internships with strong social and food justice and sovereignty lenses. Hai is seeking food justice in his lifetime and believes youth are a key component to shifting food culture and policy in a movement toward food sovereignty and healthy food, soil, water, and land for all.