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About Hands On Harvests

Hands On Harvests grew out of a community initiative called Grow a Row FC, which was started in May 2020 to provide more fresh produce to food banks in Fairfax County and Falls Church, Virginia. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis, pantries were experiencing a 400-800% increase in demand. Between May and October 2020, Grow a Row gardeners delivered 2,000 pounds of backyard produce and decided to continue into the next growing season. Hands On Harvests incorporated in July 2021 and received 501(c)(3) status from the IRS in October 2021.

HOH's twin missions are to boost access to fresh produce and to reduce food waste. We do this by:

  • Supporting gardeners with free seeds, plant starts, and mentorship.

  • Making it easy for gardeners and farmers to donate to food banks and other organizations that distribute fresh produce by establishing neighborhood produce drop-off sites and providing free farm-to-food-bank courier service.

  • Opening and managing community gardens in Northern Virginia, especially in food-insecure neighborhoods. Hands On Harvests currently manages three community gardens and plans to open a fourth in 2024.

EIN:87-1609942

Our Partners and Supporters

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Hands On Harvests Board of Directors

Stacey Evers

Chair and Co-founder

Stacey Evers has centered her professional life around community building, environmental education and sustainable community gardening. She currently supports community gardens as the urban agriculture specialist with the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. She's seen first-hand how gardening connects children and adults positively to food and the environment, and believes that everyone's pantry should be filled with fresh, affordable food that they want to eat.

Amanda Stamp

Vice Chair

Amanda has over 15 years of experience working with non-profits, specializing in global citizenship education and education for sustainable development. Her work focuses on building community and partnerships, developing impactful education and training programs, and non-profit management. Amanda is an avid gardener and spends her free time with her hands in the soil, building her knowledge of regenerative farming, and sharing her passion for growing food with others. She believes that having access to fresh, nutritious food is a human right for every person and can be done through sustainable methods.

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Julie Carpenter

Treasurer

Julie Carpenter is a lawyer whose 32 years of litigation practice have included many hours with non-profit organizations and corporate governance.  She has worked with clients on compliance issues as well as partnership development.  She has been a gardener longer than she has been a lawyer.  Julie grows mostly vegetables and fruits, puts them up for the winter, and hates food waste.  She also focuses on native plants to help rebuild habitat for all her neighbors.  As a Master Gardener and a volunteer in several community gardens, Julie believes strongly that gardening feeds the body and the soul, that everyone can and should have fresh and delicious food to eat, and that eating sustainably begins with connecting food to the place it comes from.   She is delighted to join the mission and work of Hands On Harvests.

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Lisa Lanham

Secretary and Co-founder

Lisa brings more than 25 years of corporate experience in operations and program management as well as expertise in client services and training. Lisa has also been active in her local community, supporting food pantries and assisting with emergency relief efforts.

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Terri Lamb

Director, Grow A Row

Terri has over 25 years of experience in Operations in the Financial Services and ECommerce fields.  She’s a Fairfax Master Naturalist and environmentalist.  She is a longtime gardener and incorporates edibles into her home landscape. (Her grandparents were farmers.) She believes that modern large-scale monoculture farming contributes to the poor health of many in our society and small-scale multi crop farms are one of the solutions.  She also believes this country produces enough food for all our residents. We just have to create and support systems that give everyone easy access to nutritious food and prevent food waste.

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Joyce Matthews

Director, FarmBot

Joyce Matthews is a "Native Washingtonian" who grew up in Prince George's County, Maryland, and still lives there today with her family. Joyce is a Cum Laude graduate of Bowie State College and also has earned an Educational Leadership Master's Degree from Virginia Tech. She's a retired educator from Fairfax County Public Schools with 37 years of experience with STEAM Education, strongly focusing on environmental science and food sustainability. Joyce enjoys sharing her LOVE of gardening with children and families.

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Heather Olsen

Director, Development

Heather has returned to NoVA after nearly eight years of moving around the country with her active-duty husband. Throughout her travels, the only consistency has been putting roots down (literally) and learning more about providing a sustainable future for the next generation. She resides now in Prince William County and has already broken ground on her family garden. With over a decade of leadership experience across multiple industries, Heather has mentored within the corporate sphere, cultivated partnerships, and volunteered heavily within the military community. She believes that creating opportunities for a more equitable and resilient community is always best started within your own backyard.

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Lauren Washburn

Director, Development

Lauren Washburn has over 10 years of hospitality and event management experience. Her career focus is on leading cross-functional teams and mentoring emerging managers. She became a volunteer for Hands On Harvests in 2023 through supporting the grand opening of the Eileen Garnett Civic Space demonstration veggie garden, collecting donations for the event and engaging in community outreach. Lauren is a big believer in eating for wellness and is learning how to garden from Hands On Harvests’ mentorship to experience all the health benefits associated with gardening.

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