Alice Varon is Executive Director of Certified Naturally Grown. CNG offers peer-review certification for farmers and beekeepers who use natural practices free of synthetic chemicals and GMOs to produce food for their local communities. In 2010 Alice helped launch CNG's apiary program to support and encourage natural beekeeping. In recent years she worked with experts to develop new CNG certification programs for aquaponics and mushroom producers. She is an active member of IFOAM-Organics International, serving as the North American representative on IFOAM's PGS Committee, a group formed to support the development of grassroots certification programs like CNG that are built on trust, social networks and knowledge exchange. When not working Alice enjoys exploring the woods and riding bikes with her son. Alice lives in Brooklyn, but she spends as much time as possible at her country retreat in the Hudson Valley where she keeps her Shiitake mushroom logs, battles invasive plants, and will some day resume her beekeeping hobby.
Aly has been with Certified Naturally Grown since 2014 as a certification coordinator, and over the years has carved her niche in design, branding and marketing. As our design and marketing maven, she helps CNG farmers tell their stories through writing press releases and blog posts, and by designing vibrant promotional materials. She's also the one behind CNG's t-shirts, bumper stickers and social media. Outside of CNG, she works as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator.
Prior to moving to New York City, Gareth lived in Oregon where he co-managed a CSA farm and beginning farmer training program. At CNG, his role is to review the hundreds of new applications we receive each year and to help create new educational material for farmers. When not at CNG, you can find Gareth teaching New Yorkers about vegetable gardening, reading a book, or biking around Brooklyn.
Abbe's experience growing up with the diverse agricultural landscape of New York has instilled in her a deep appreciation and conviction to play an active part in the sustainable farming and food movement. She is especially passionate about the ways that growing and cooking food builds community. Before joining CNG, Abbe worked at Harlem Grown, a youth development urban farm where she formed programming and taught kids how to grow and cook their own food. Here at CNG she helps farmers throughout the certification process and works on crafting new programs to expand our impact.
Suzannah uses plants as food to change the world. Though she comes from a long line of Hoosier farmers, she didn't rediscover her love of farming until she moved to New York City to pursue a Masters in Food Studies at NYU in 2013. She enjoyed three seasons with Great Performances/Katchkie Farm before spending two seasons with her hands deep in soil at the Queens County Farm Museum - with time in between in restaurant kitchens or in the library as a research assistant. At CNG she oversees all things written and assists with many aspects of the certification process. She is recently obsessed with habanada peppers.