We have great team of staff and volunteers, and most of them aren’t camera shy! Let us introduce ourselves:
Patricia has been with Common Ground since 1993. First as Educational Programs Manager and in 2000, she became the Center Manager. Patricia spent several years living and working at Hidden Villa Organic Farm and Wilderness Preserve where she held a variety of positions, concluding as Manager of the Volunteer Programs. Patricia is a previous Ecological Farming Association Board Member where she served as Secretary for several years. She is currently on the Ecological Farming Conference Planning Committee. She participates with the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community. Additionally, Patricia has a special talent for teaching Anusara yoga and macrobiotic dietary guidelines in an easy and practical way.
Julie is excited to be Common Ground’s Team Leader as her job combines two of her loves: plants and people. During her “off time” you will find Julie caring for her own organic plants, feeding her colony of worms (the little darlings provide super-rich fertilizer), or planning her next crop of tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs. Pulgas Ridge provides a beautiful setting for her frequent hikes–she is particularly interested in identifying wildflowers and is always delighted to meet new dogs and their owners along the trails. Julie is an enthusiastic Master Gardener student as she enjoys learning and sharing her knowledge with others.
Joe started volunteering at Common Ground after he retired from a career in Aerospace, and soon became a staff member. Says Joe: “I love working here. The customers and other staff are great. We share many things, like interest in a plant-based diet and yoga practice. I really like that Common Ground is about nurturing people and the earth.” Since he’s been with Common Ground, Joe has bought a house and has been putting what he’s learned at work to use at home. His front yard is a mix of California natives and low-water herbs. Something is blooming almost all year round! His backyard is devoted to edibles, and most of the plants have come from the store. Joe feels really blessed to be able to help Common Ground help people to walk more lightly on the earth.
Stephanie grew up on the San Francisco Peninsula. Always a nature lover, she feels fortunate to have grown up in an area with open space. She spent a lot of time exploring the trees, rock formations and landscapes near her home. After working in the medical lab, and pharmaceutical businesses for many years, she decided she needed a career change, and to explore her creative nature. While still working, she went back to school taking various courses in Art and Design at the UC Extension in San Francisco. She took some courses in Landscape Architecture and Garden Design and realized plants and landscapes are a passion, and that she needed to follow that. In 2008, she completed the Environmental Horticulture and Design program at Foothill College. She then went to work for Blue Sky Farms, a native plant nursery in Half Moon Bay, where she learned more about drought tolerant and California native plants. Her own landscape at home is starting to resemble the native coastal scrub that surrounds El Granada, where she lives. Sprinkled around that are fruit trees, and plants from New Zealand, Australia and the Mediterranean areas of the world. These plants are tough, and like the same climate as the San Francisco Bay Area, dry summers and wet winters. Stephanie is happy to be at Common Ground, exploring a new phase of horticulture, working with a nice group of people, excellent volunteers, and very interesting and knowledgeable customers.