Heather Wodehouse – Farm Manager
2021 is Heather’s sixth season farming at Phillies Bridge. Born in western Canada, she came to Phillies Bridge by way of the UK, France, Texas and most recently, New England. She earned a degree in environmental science from McGill University in Montreal, where she befriended Phillies Bridge’s 2015 farmer, Anna Elbon! Heather caught the farming bug while working for, and eventually co-managing, the university’s student-run farm, the Macdonald Student-run Ecological Gardens (MSEG). Thoroughly converted to the agrarian lifestyle, Heather made her way down to Southern New Hampshire to work for the wonderful Jenny and Bruce Wooster at Picadilly Farm, before joining the Phillies Bridge team in 2016.
Rhyston Mays – Assistant Farm Manager
Rhyston is a Hudson Valley transplant from Chicago, and graduate of Vassar College in Sociology. He feels most at ease when surrounded by plant-life and is inspired by the (re)generative powers of soil. Rhyston was introduced to farming as an education intern at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project and fell in love with the craft during his first season at Phillies Bridge. He aims to build upon his experiences in agriculture to engage with issues of land access and food sovereignty in Black communities. Lately, he has been happily meditating on Afro-futurist themes and considers himself a student of Octavia Butler’s literature. Rhyston is eager to find out what kinds of futures we can build from the seeds that we sow! This is Rhyston’s fourth year on the farm.
Jazmine Langlitz – Education Director & Office Manager
Jazmine is the education director in her fourth year at Phillies Bridge Farm. A Hudson Valley native, Jazmine obtained a degree at SUNY New Paltz in visual arts and fell in love with the town. In 2009, Jazmine started teaching at a local business school and continued working with adult learners for years to come. When her son began attending a Montessori school, she was captivated by the approach and amazed at the result of the wholesome and nurturing curriculum. She went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Education from Endicott University while teaching at a local Montessori school. Farm education seemed to be a natural progression from the Montessori classroom, and Jazmine has thoroughly enjoyed diving into farm curriculum creation and spending time outside on the farm. She is looking forward to more exploring and learning alongside the children in 2021! She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uyen Huynh – Food Justice Coordinator
Uyen was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and raised in Bridgeport, CT. She recently relocated to Kingston, NY after working on environmental outreach and education in NYC. Uyen received her Master of Science in Urban Sustainability at the City College of New York. It is her goal to incorporate her belief in the permaculture philosophy of earth care, people care, and fair share into her work and personal life. Last year, she worked at the Fiddlehead Farm in Rosendale and started her journey as a ceramic artist.
Veena Puthanpurayil – Farm Apprentice 2021 Veena is originally from Springfield, Illinois, and a graduate of the University of Chicago in International Relations and Sustainable Development. She developed an interest in farming through WWOOF and Workaway projects and realized she felt at home growing plants and animals. She was recently an apprentice at Genesis Gardens, where she worked alongside the chronically homeless of Austin, Texas. Veena is dedicated to studying and contributing to equitable food systems and is very happy to be a part of a team that does just that in the Hudson Valley! When she isn’t on a farm, she is buried in a book, practicing yoga, hiking, eating too many baked goods, or making subpar beaded jewelry.
Valentina Espinosa – Farm Apprentice 2021 Valentina was born and raised in Valparaiso, Chile and recently relocated with her family to the Hudson Valley. After completing freshman and sophomore years at The New School in Manhattan, she is currently a junior at SUNY Oneonta majoring in International Affairs. Valentina’s interest in farming was sparked at a young age through summers spent on her family’s orchard and that interest developed into a real passion for agronomics while working at Hemlock Hill Farm in Westchester County. She is very inspired by agriculture — specifically how it aids in building sustainable communities — and is super excited to gain more knowledge and experience as a part of the incredible team at Phillies Bridge. Valentina washes off a day of farm work and school work by enjoying a late-night sundae, having impromptu dance parties, baking, and jamming out on her guitars.
Lucy Oakes – Education Apprentice – Camp & After School Program Lucy is a lifelong Hudson Valley resident, having grown up in Beacon, NY (though often spending summers and weekends playing on her grandmother’s bucolic property in rural Salem, NY). After studying Evolutionary Biology at SUNY Binghamton, Lucy settled in New Paltz, where she can be found befriending the local wildlife, tending her cactus collection, trying out vegan recipes, and listening to experimental electronic music. Through Phillies Bridge Farm Project’s education programs, she hopes to inspire children with the same connection to nature that has made her life so much richer.
Micaela Tagliente – Education Apprentice Welcome Micaela to our Summer Education team! Micaela is a member of the SUNY New Paltz Class of 2021, graduating with a certification in Childhood Education and an Art History concentration. Micaela is an avid learner and educator; inspired by a love of children and a passion for multicultural, pro-justice pedagogy. Micaela’s most formative experience includes her role at Camp Bright Star, a Long Island-based community for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities. Her perspectives on education were further shaped by her time in the Hudson Valley practicing behavioral analysis for children with autism spectrum disorder. Most importantly, through work in a Montessori classroom, Micaela developed a strong belief in the power of a free-flowing curriculum, based in self-motivating exploration and individualized, hands-on learning. In her free time, you can find Micaela lounging in her backyard, cooking and playing games with her friends, or singing and dancing to her favorite songs!