Board of Directors:
Nina Buxenbaum was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY to a politically active, multi-racial household. She received her MFA degree in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis in drawing and printmaking. Ms. Buxenbaum has been an artist and educator for her entire career. First certified as a K-12 Art teacher in New York, she has been teaching at the college level since 2001. She is a Tenured Professor of Painting at York College, CUNY as well as a member, and current faculty, at The Silvermine Artist Guild in New Canaan, CT, and Adjunct Art Faculty at Western Connecticut State University. As an exhibiting professional artist Ms. Buxenbaum has participated in residencies at the Cité Interational des Artes in Paris, France, the Skowhegan School of Painting in Skowhegan Maine, The Artists Alliance in New York, the Byrdcliffe Artist In Residence, NY, The Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, and The Hambidge Center for The Arts in Rabin Gap, GA. Her work has been included in several exhibitions including the Studio Museum of Harlem (NYC, NY), Samson Projects (Boston, MA), the Kentler International Drawing Space (Brooklyn, NY), the Ingalls Gallery (Miami, FL), Rush Arts (NYC, NY), Stella Jones Gallery (New Orleans, LA), and Galerie Myrtis (Baltimore, MD). Her work has also been featured in the International Review of African American Art, and in an Emmy nominated documentary series entitled Shades of US. She and her husband, Roberto Zapata, have been building a Food Forest and hosting classes at their home and have begun a larger scale project at York College, in Jamaica, Queens.
Tianna Kennedy (Vice President) has been farming and organizing in the Catskills for a decade now. She is co-owner of Star Route Farm with Walter Riesen and owns and operates the 607 CSA, a multi-farm CSA, from the Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties. She also co-organizes with Bushel Collective to operate a mixed-use art space in Delhi, NY. Tianna founded the National Young Farmers Coalition's Greater Catskills Chapter and runs special ops with the Greenhorns to round out her (Agri)cultural undertakings.
Greta Zarro (President and Treasurer) is the farm's Internship Coordinator. Prior to joining Unadilla Community Farm, Greta worked and WWOOFed at organic farms and vegan retreat centers across North America. She also previously worked as New York Organizer for Food & Water Watch, campaigning on issues related to fracking, genetically engineered foods, climate change, and the corporate control of our common resources. In addition to her current work with Unadilla Community Farm, she is the Organizing Director for World BEYOND War, a global anti-war non-profit.
Bari Zeiger is a young farmer and community organizer. Currently, Bari is the Director of Development and Administration at Providence Farm Collective, a Western NY organization centering the actualization of immigrant and refugee food sovereignty through nurturing access to farmland and fresh, culturally relevant foods alongside peer-to-peer education. Bari is the Farmer Representative of NE SARE's Administrative Council, as well as a grant reviewer for the New England Grassroots Fund. She has participated on the National Young Farmers Coalition Ad Hoc Federal Policy Setting Process Committee and currently acts on the Federal Policy Committee as the Women Affinity Representative. Bari is a member of the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute’s Board of Directors. While earning a degree in Philosophy and Environmental Studies at SUNY Geneseo, Bari interned on a local, certified organic family farm and engaged peers through organizing on-farm volunteer events and on-campus panel discussions related to sustainable food systems. In her final semester, she conducted a Directed Study on the role of structural violence in the U.S. migrant farm labor system, participated in grassroots activism as an ally for migrant dairy workers in Western NY, and co-founded the Student Coalition for Migrant Workers. After graduating in December 2016, Bari moved to the North Carolina Foothills to serve as an apprentice at A Way of Life Farm and was involved in all aspects of commercial, diversified vegetable, herb, and fruit production, as well as the silvopasture hog operation. Thereafter, Bari managed the farm at Frost Valley YMCA optimizing and expanding production, educational programs, and community relationships. In 2020, Bari began the process of building her own agricultural small business, Healing Poem Farm, in Java, NY, outside of the city of Buffalo.
A practitioner of permaculture and owner and manager of Let it Grow Landscapes, Vic Ziminsky (Secretary) creates and installs edible and ecological landscape design plans for community and home gardens. He became certified to practice permaculture design through the Center of Bioregional Living, in New York City. Let it Grow Landscapes is an Organic Landcare company, certified by NOFA-CT. Vic studies at the New York Botanical Gardens School of Horticulture and Landscape Design. He taught English in Chile and studied creative writing at Binghamton University. Vic has been practicing sustainable agriculture and permaculture, professionally as Let it Grow Landscapes, since 2014. Prior to that, with his family, he employed permaculture practices at their home garden. After becoming passionate about local, sustainable food production, he left a career in the financial industry to devote himself to caring for the land.and practiced farming, particularly as a volunteer for the Food Bank of Westchester. Currently, Vic works with individuals and organizations to better take care of nature, build community, and to realize a perennial return of bountiful food and beauty in our ecosystems.
Roberto Zapata: “Unadilla, the home where my heart grew. You held my hand through a tough transformation. Thank you!” Born in Norwalk, CT, Roberto Zapata is a first generation son of Mayra, from Costa Rica, and the late Roberto Zapata Sr., from Colombia. At a very young age Roberto learned how to work with his hands. He has had a long history of wood working and construction. Roberto is a passionate builder, designer, and creator. He apprenticed with an arborist for three years. During this time he learned rigging, SRT climbing, and proper tree pruning. He has independently pursued the study of tree, plant, and mushroom medicines. In 2015 Roberto started a community garden project, Meadows Garden Pride, in the public housing complex where he lived. Through the use of Hügelkultur he created garden beds that required no tilling, fertilizing, or irrigation, thus eliminating many inputs. From 2017-2018 Roberto led campers ages 8-18, and adults of all ages, in foraging, plant identification, and medicinal plant harvesting classes at Holmes Camp & Retreat Center. In 2018 he earned his permaculture certification. Roberto desires to restore land to a place of abundance, not just for people, but for all living beings. Roberto embraces diversity, letting go of ego, and aspires for all people to understand that we all are part of this ecosystem; that Planet Earth, and all the siblings, are our responsibility. Roberto believes in freeing ourselves to begin healing, and surrounds himself with others looking to provide this healing work, and more, for the land. La Jolie Journet is a mobile community outreach program that Roberto, along with Nina Buxenbaum, are currently building, and invite all those interested to link up.
Ben Tyler is the farm's Project Manager. He has over a decade of experience in permaculture design, sustainable housing, organic farming, and community development projects. He has worked with local governments, NGOs, non-profits, organic farms, and intentional communities in North America, Latin America and Europe, and teaches permaculture design certification courses, natural building workshops and organic farming seminars. In addition to his work with Unadilla Community Farm, he is also currently serving on the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute's Board of Directors. You can read more about Ben's previous natural building projects on his blog, Ben's Natural Building.
Greta Zarro is the farm's Internship Coordinator, overseeing the recruitment and application process for the internship, as well as on-site management of the program.