Nefratia Coleman, Farm Manager
Nefratia started her journey in 2015 while serving a 11-month AmeriCorps term with Green City Force on the Urban Farm Corps team. There she assisted with the management and operations of the NYCHA Red Hook Farm - the first farm ever constructed on NYC public housing land. Nefratia then completed a 6-month internship at Added Value, preparing and teaching science-based lessons for K-8 student groups as well as assisting with the CSA and compost programs. She later managed the Pink Houses NYCHA farm for 2 seasons through East New York Farms. Nefratia was born and raised in Brooklyn and is a passionate farmer and educator.
nefratia (at) rhicenter (dot) org
Souhair Kenas, Youth Programs Coordinator
Souhair is a budding urban farmer with a background in youth education. She spent a summer building community gardens in under-served communities while also teaching the beauty and liberating activity of gardening through comprehensive STEM programming in group homes and juvenile detention centers. One project was leading youth from three NYC detention centers in growing and harvesting peppers for the award-winning Bronx Hot Sauce. A Brooklyn College graduate of International Business and Philosophy, Souhair approaches her home borough of Brooklyn with a universal philosophy: that growing food and sharing both the experience and the (literal) fruits of your labor is one of the most powerful things we as humans can do for each other, connecting us not only to each other but also to nature. Passionate about plants, she continues to learn and teach about the healing power of plants for both the body and the community.
souhair (at) rhicenter (dot) org
Saara Nafici, Director
Saara joined the farm team in May 2015, bringing over fifteen years of experience in inquiry-based, experiential environmental education with youth. She worked in youth garden and bicycle-based programs in Berkeley, San Francisco and Boston and ran the teen apprentice program at Brooklyn Botanic Garden for seven years. Saara holds a Bachelors of Science in Conservation and Resources Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a longtime activist, feminist, bicyclist, botanist, and youth educator.
saara (at) rhicenter (dot) org
Brendan Parker, Farm Manager
Brendan joins the farm team after a varied career in public school garden education, market farming, and community gardening. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Studies from Stony Brook University, where he became deeply engaged in understanding our nation's broken food system. Brendan feels that urban agriculture and education are among the most important pieces to lessen the impacts that the industrial world has had on our environment and our personal health. When Brendan is not contemplating the soil food web you may find him somewhere in Queens searching for a new country's cuisine to sample.
brendan (at) rhicenter (dot) org
Special shout out to Tim O'Neal of Borough Bees for being our volunteer beekeeper extraordinaire!