At LEHR Gardens, our mission is to create a better world through the fostering the widespread adoption of regenerative agriculture in a way that keeps in mind the triple bottom line of social, financial, and environmental incentives. We will find ways to use these methods to improve the lives and reduce the footprint of as many people as possible.
Our LEHR Team:
The LEHR team have come together with a wealth of life experiences and diversity with a passion for Regenerative Agriculture. Our team has various ranges of neurodivergent individuals with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and PTSD that are also Non-Binary, Queer, Bi-sexual and Gay. We different levels of education and age. We are more then we are on the surface and we celebrate that, as it helps us see the world differently. Our differences help us to seek solutions for everyone.
Ed Williams - Founder/Inventor, He/Him
As a civil engineer, Ed got involved with sustainability. As he got more involved, he realized that most sustainability initiatives are inadequate to the scope of the problem. He also realized that the bulk of our problems are directly related to a decline of the ecological systems that maintain air and water quality, climate, water cycles, and much more. He decided to search for solutions that would rebuild the life-sustaining ecologies of the world while still addressing the triple bottom line and creating three foundation of a movement that could make a real difference. Out of those efforts, he created the LEHR Garden.
Morgan Winburn - Operations Officer, She/Them
The light bulb went off for Morgan when her Title 1, second/third grade students thought that produce came from the grocery store in styrofoam packages. Frustrated that they thought Takis were a food group, she started an afterschool gardening class. She hasn’t stopped educating all ages on how to incorporate gardens into our busy modern world. She has been involved with the gardening movement from having help write the city’s codes on Community Gardens in residential areas to helping run Community Gardens and Farmer’s markets.
She also build her backyard garden to include a food forest and refurbished her pool into a micro-climate with a fish pond, chickens and LEHR gardens as filtration. Known as the Avalon Collective, it is a place where all are welcomed and safe, especially Transgender individuals. Growing up in Mexico and rural Arizona areas where food production is a priority, she wanted to bring a bit of the country into the city for her children and others.
Nathan Fields - Development Officer, They/Them
Nth’s background is in biochemical engineering and biomathematics, but they quickly found their niche in proposal writing. They have, so far, helped get over one dozen humanitarian projects funded. Always keeping an eye out for genius projects that can revolutionize an aspect of society for the better, they joined LEHR Gardens in 2019, writing the first grant proposal for them. The first of many. Nth says, “There are plenty of other gardens out there, but LEHR is the first that is both self-sustaining and regenerative. It’s abundantly clear that the technology can address food deserts in underserved communities, as well as spearhead novel breakthroughs that can address food scarcity in the future.”
Patrick O'Connell - Technologist, He/Him
From websites to shipping-container homes, he has always had a passion for building things. He grew up around farmers and builders, and despite having made a career in the IT industry he still has trouble spending all his time inside. Having worked in varying roles across the Tech Sector he was a big believer in the concept of Systems Thinking. While working with Ed, he was quickly able to see how LEHR Gardens are the simplest implementation of a philosophy and problem-solving toolset to produce food that will have long-term ecological, social, and economic impacts and to apply his gifts to the refinement and advancement thereof. He has been through the development process with Ed for years and is still excited on how it can impact the future.
Kiza Moore - Social Media Manager, She/Her
A Mexican-American, multi-talented artist and maker, Kiza has spearheaded many initiatives and enterprises, inspiring creativity to those around her. As a entrepreneur, she has extensive experience in building an online presence. Kiza brings a passion for sustainability with a wealth of experience in growing her own food with a LEHR Garden for years. She has been one of the biggest advocates of the LEHR garden as Ed’s muse, inspiring and encouraging the process. She is therefore perfect to keep others updated on the latest innovations with excitement.
She tells others that she couldn’t grow enough for a salad but now with the LEHR garden she eats salads and healthy produce daily.
Curtis Merritt-Public Relations Officer, He/Him
Curtis is our Public Relations Officer, his focus is our community outreach bringing LEHR Gardens to small local farms, communal projects and the backyards of our neighbors. After the military he was forced to look into his own food consumption and landed his hands in a LEHR Garden. Curtis says, “For a non-gardener, LEHR gives me the capability to learn and continue building my expertise as I grow my food forest in my urban setting.” He looks forward sharing that information with others.
In addition teaching others about the LEHR garden, he is in the Master Gardener’s program with the County Extension Office and runs a garden therapy group for Veterans at a local community gardens.
Chad Ulmer- Construction Foreman, He/Him
Even as a child, Chad loved being in the garden. We went to mining management and construction being the supervisor for the Tempe Town Lake. Chad has lead crews of 100+ in construction for 30 years. He prefers to work and train others one-on-one. He is excited to combine his knowledge of construction processes and growing to teach others.
In his off time, he was a certified grower and took that knowledge to grow professionally for larger operations. He is building his own LEHR gardens to better understand how they can help the Medical Cannabis industry.
Stephen Shaffer, PhD- Data Analyst, He/Him