Edwin Marty, Executive Director
Before returning to his home of Alabama to start urban farms in Birmingham and Montgomery, Edwin earned a BA in Anthropology from the University of Oregon and completed an “Apprenticeship in Agroecology” from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He went on from UC Santa Cruz to work on sustainable farm projects around the world, including Mexico, Mongolia, Australia, and Chile. He also worked as an instructor for the Outward Bound School for four years in Northern Washington.
Returning to Birmingham in 2001, Edwin worked for Southern Living Magazine as a Garden Writer while establishing Jones Valley Teaching Farm (www.jvtf.org). In 2006, Edwin left Southern Living to begin working as the full-time Director of JVTF. He also helped start the Greater Birmingham Community Food Partners as well as the Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network (www.asanonline.org). In 2011, Edwin moved to Montgomery to begin working as the Executive Director of The Hampstead Institute and EAT South.
He has also consulted on numerous urban farm projects around the country, including work with the American Institute of Architects Sustainable Design Assessment Team project in Detroit, MI. He has recently completed a book about urban farming in America called Breaking Through Concrete, published by the University of California Press in 2012 www.breakingthroughconcrete.com. Edwin is married to the mixed-media artist Andrea Buchanan Marty and has two daughters, Edie & Talulah, and a dog named Rooster.
Mark Bowen, Education and Community Outreach Coordinator and interim Hampstead Farms Manager
Mark is originally from Washington DC region where he worked as the Director of the Green Institute at Maya Angelou Academy, which included operating a small farm, landscaping, and applied energy conservation techniques. Mark also taught biology, earth and environmental science at Maya Angelou Academy. He has worked as a community organizer for ACORN and the Save Middle-East (Baltimore) Action Committee, and as an organic farmer at Cromwell Valley CSA in Baltimore County, MD. Mark has a B.S. in Sociology from Morgan State University in Baltimore, and is a certified Horticultural Therapist through the Horticultural Therapy Institute based in Denver, CO.
Jetson Brown, Downtown Farm Manager
Jetson grew up gardening in south Florida. In 2007 he attended an extension program at the University of California, Santa Cruz called “CASFS”, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. At CASFS he gathered a foundation of knowledge about everything from bed preparation and pest control to bouquet making and good record keeping.
Since then he has worked on small production farms in Austin, Texas and has managed an urban educational farm in Petaluma, California for a non-profit. Jetson is passionate about creating sustainable, local food systems and teaching youth about where food comes from.