Sarah SimoN, Farm Director
Sarah oversees Common Ground's vegetable production, land stewardship, farm staff, food justice programs and community partnerships. She started farming in Maine at an animal and vegetable CSA farm and was then drawn to Beacon, NY by the mission and values of Common Ground. Over her time here she has launched the Beacon Farmers' Market as a Common Ground enterprise, expanded the Greens for Greens food benefit matching program, and led our expansion to the City of Newburgh in 2017. Sarah holds a B.A. from Princeton University, where she studied French and Portuguese and managed the student garden.
Sember Weinman, Education Director
Sember oversees all aspects of educational programming at CGF, including Farm to School, our popular Preschool on the Farm workshop series, birthday parties, adult workshops, and Farm Camp. Since taking on this position, she has grown all aspects of educational programming, most notably, expanding Farm Camp from a three-week program for 12 kids per week, to a seven-week program that supports 48 children per week. She built CGF's Farm to School programming from its inception, reaching almost 3,000 children in the Beacon School District and other area schools in 2017. Prior to her work at the farm, she was the education coordinator at Lehman College Art Gallery, and oversaw educational programming that totaled 17,000 visits a year. She is a certified K-12 art teacher, and taught middle school art in the Bronx. Sember worked in affordable housing at the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority as an Occupancy Specialist and a Compliance Officer. She holds an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute and a B.A. double major in environmental studies and studio art from Oberlin College, and is K-12 Art teacher certified for New York State.
Leah Garrard, vegetable production manager
Leah grew up in North Carolina, an agricultural hot bed, and her grandparents grew up on large, diversified farms in northern Georgia. She didn't find farming as a career until she was in her early 20's when she learned that she could volunteer on a coffee and macadamia nut farm in Hawaii. That opened up a whole new lifestyle dedicated to dirt and sun and rain, and ultimately vegetables. It's taken her all over the world in the off-seasons, to explore and learn about new places through the lens of "people and agriculture." The Hudson Valley has been Leah’s home for the last 5 growing seasons, working and living on a variety of farms and gaining a whole range of experiences.
Paloma Wake, Farmers' Market Manager
Paloma began as the Beacon Farmers’ Market Manager in the fall of 2018 and is excited to be carrying on the the Market’s long legacy in her new home town. The previous summer she ran the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s community engagement programs, including a fully staged production of Rip Van Winkle with a 43 person cast of professional and amateaur art makers from across the Hudson Valley. Paloma has a background in special events, producing for BAM, Signature Theatre, Jessica Lang Dance, and The Center at West Park, among others. But you will most likely recognize her from her first job in Beacon as the front of house manager for Stock Up in the spring of 2017. She is excited to expand upon the Market’s cultural offerings while continuing to support our Hudson Valley farmers and bringing healthy, accessible, food options to Beacon every Sunday.
Diana DiMuro, Administrative Manager
Diana joined Common Ground Farm in 2018 as its Administrative Manager. With a background in English and writing, Diana's love of the outdoors led her to a career change when she became an AmeriCorps volunteer with American Conservation Experience, a conservation corps based in the Southwest and California. After living out west for several years, she returned to her native Hudson Valley, where she worked for a fine gardening design and landscape firm, and later for the nonprofit, Walkway Over the Hudson as their office manager. Missing plants and looking to further her knowledge, Diana recently participated in the one year intensive Horticultural program at Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring, NY. Wishing to get back into nonprofit mission-driven work, with a passion for sharing the outdoors with others, Diana has now joined the team at Common Ground Farm, working both as Administrative Manager and on the farm crew.
Jenny Loeb, Downing Park Market Manager
Jenny spent years living and working as a community organizer in Newburgh, and is excited to use her skills to build a robust market in Downing Park! She is passionate about food access, food in general, and bringing people together. She's also been involved with Common Ground for years through field trips, Farm Camp, and U-Pick, and couldn't be more excited about working with this team!