Our Crew

Board

Suzanne Astolfi, Trustee

Suzanne has had a passion for organic gardening and farming practically her entire life. While studying Plant Science/Biology at the University of Delaware, she worked two summers at a dairy farm in Lander, Wyoming. She has lived in multiple states and planted gardens in each location: Delaware, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Massachusetts, and now Maine. She is currently the Academic Department Coordinator for the Asian Studies Program at Bowdoin College, a position she has held for the past 19 years. Suzanne has been studying Ayurveda, an ancient Indian healing practice, through the Kripalu School of Ayurveda in western Massachusetts. She is also involved in a book group, Scrabble club, and cooking club, and enjoys bicycling, kayaking, and snowshoeing – and is very excited to be a part of this incredible organization.

Hannah Chatalbash, Trustee

A native of Brunswick, Hannah left the state of Maine to pursue a bachelor’s degree in education and Spanish at Skidmore College, followed by a master’s in social work at Fordham University. In 2013, Hannah returned to Brunswick and began working at Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, a nonprofit hunger-relief organization, where she now serves as the Deputy Director. Hannah also serves on the steering committee of the Merrymeeting Food Council and volunteers as an admissions interviewer for Skidmore College. Hannah lives with her husband Patrick, two children Madeline and Noah, and a miniature schnauzer named Roger. Passionate about reducing food insecurity and empowering all members of our community to access the local food system, Hannah is thrilled to be able to support the efforts of Growing to Give.

Melissa Doughty, President

Melissa is a native Mainer with roots in both the fishing community on Chebeague Island and the farming community in Cumberland. She is self-employed as owner of Melissa Doughty Home/Property Management, and Dragonfly Halfacre Farm. She is a longtime organic farmer and wild food and medicine forager, with an emphasis on sustainability. Her farm grows several varieties of specialty vegetables, herbs, flowers, and berries, some of which are sold fresh, some of which are dried, frozen, or canned as whole fruits/vegetables, and some of which are preserved as teas, jams, jellies, sauces. She also has lifelong relationships with local farmers who produce a wide variety of high quality, locally grown meats, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. In her free time, Melissa enjoys hiking and spending time in the wilderness. Her hobbies include spinning fibers, knitting, and designing knitting patterns.

Christine Farrell, Treasurer

Christine’s professional career began in Washington, D.C.  After earning a BA and an MBA at George Washington University and American University, respectively, Christine focused on providing financial management to corporate and government clients. When closing in on retirement, Christine’s focus shifted to Maine, and Christine and her husband moved to Maine. Now, Christine is a poet spinning words, an artist weaving rugs, and a volunteer serving non – profit organizations in the Midcoast.

Tami Goodrich, Trustee

Tami Goodrich found herself coming to Maine in 2010 from the hills of southern Indiana where everyone has time to drop in for conversation on the front porch swing and waves as they pass on the road. Her grandparents instilled gardening and food preservation in her childhood alongside caring for her neighbors by sharing in the wealth of healthy produce. Planting of gardens, eating fresh produce, and sinking her hands into the earth centers her soul. Tami’s background is diverse as she has spent time as a graphic designer, instructional designer, college lecturer, and for the past 10 years a real estate agent, investor, and consultant. Tami lived much of her childhood not knowing where food would come from outside of the garden and help from the community. Growing to Give provides an outlet for Tami to have the community aspect that her family instilled in her: giving love back to the community by helping provide healthy food to those in need. As a sponsor and new Board Member, Tami is excited at the opportunity to share her knowledge and skills to help Growing to Give continue its growth trajectory.

Barbara Guffin, Trustee

Barbara has lived in Maine for over 35 years. From childhood days when she would go for walks with her uncle finding acorns to grind into flour, identifying different types of plants, and making ink from berries, Barbara has enjoyed nature and all it has to offer. After living two hours from New York City for many years, she and her husband moved to Maine for a different pace of life for their growing family. She has volunteered and worked at Maine Coast Waldorf School, most recently, as the Finance Director. Now she volunteers at the St. Vincent Soup Kitchen in Portland as well as the food pantry at Freeport Community Services. She has a passion for gardening, hiking, bicycling, playing piano and spending time with friends and friends. She is excited to be part of this wonderful organization and looks forward to participating in more events at the farm.

Cathy McDonald, Trustee

Cathy moved to Maine in November 2017 and had the good fortune to find herself living across the street from Scatter Good Farm, where she spent much of her first summer in Brunswick volunteering with Growing to Give and learning every day about growing vegetables organically in Maine. Cathy feels she has, in a way, returned to her roots, crediting her parents, who both grew up on family farms in North Carolina, with instilling in her a love of nature and a passion for plants and gardening. Her father was an avid reader of the original Organic Gardening magazine way back in the 60s. After living primarily in urban areas, raising her twin daughters, and working in higher education, Cathy now finds herself looking to the land for rejuvenation. Joining the Growing to Give community has helped to define the new life she is creating here in Maine, and she is grateful for the opportunity to contribute in a concrete way to addressing food insecurity in our community.

Christine Sloan, Vice President

In the mid 70’s, Christine discovered Waldorf Education and pursued a teaching career, first with Waldorf high school students and later in a residential community for troubled youth in California. In 1979, with her husband, David, she moved to NY to raise their family of four in a Waldorf Community at Threefold Foundation. It was here that she first began volunteering at a co-op buying club. Before long, she was part of a small group that transitioned the garage buying club into a full service retail market, specializing in organic and local fresh food. As General Manager, Christine’s interest in the politics of food became a passion, and supporting small, local farms a mission for the Hungry Hollow Co-op. In 2007, Christine and David moved to Maine, because of the developing Maine Coast Waldorf High School initiative. From 2008 until her retirement the summer of 2018, Christine served as MCWS’s Administrator. She is thrilled to be focused again on her passion for building community through the love of family, food, farms, and service.

Mary Wicklund, Trustee

Mary has been involved in environmental protection in Maine for over 25 years through research, outreach, and environmental education. She is a Permaculture Designer, Educator, and Garden Coach. She is also a Maine Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver, beekeeper, herbalist, and all around sustainability enthusiast. Mary has grown in spaces ranging from backyard and school gardens to a 50+ member CSA in South Berwick, ME, which focused on growing nutrient-dense produce on no-till beds. A lifelong gardener, Mary is happiest with soil under her fingernails and between her toes! The mission of Growing to Give aligns beautifully with Mary’s passion for sustainable agriculture, education, and community.

Staff

Carrie Asselin, Farm Assistant

Carrie’s interest in farming began during her years as a Middle School science teacher at a small Friends school in Massachusetts, where she designed curricula that focused specifically on climate change, agriculture, and ecology. After leaving the teaching world to become more directly involved in the regenerative agriculture movement, Carrie continues to be interested in the ecological aspect of farming—particularly how growers can look to nature for guidance on how to build soil, sequester carbon, and revitalize the land. In transitioning to a new life in Maine, Carrie feels fortunate to be surrounded by passionate, knowledgeable people within the Growing to Give community.

Patty Carton, Co-Founder and Director (volunteer)

As a volunteer co-executive director of Growing to Give, Patty is usually the “lead” regarding fundraising, outreach, events, and volunteer coordination, and she helps in the fields weekly. Patty started her career as a pediatric physical therapist, and early on she combined her love of horses with her skills as a therapist, starting a nonprofit in 1993 for people with disabilities called Riding to The Top (RTT) Therapeutic Riding Center, which is now located in Windham, Maine. Since then, she has worked at RTT as the executive director, volunteer coordinator, program director, board member, and riding instructor. Patty has also worked a massage therapist, and has run a fiber summer camp for children at Scatter Good Farm, teaching animal husbandry, sheep wool processing, spinning, knitting and crocheting. In addition, she has served as a coordinator for numerous nonprofit fundraising and community-building events, and most recently, she began a new career tutoring dyslexic children in reading skills, while continuing to host farm-stay guests at Scatter Good Farm. For fun and relaxation, Patty enjoys cross country skiing, kayaking, singing, campfires, board games, and spending time with family and friends.

Theda Lyden, Co-Founder and Farm Manager

As farm manager of the Growing to Give farming operation, Theda plans and oversees all growing and harvesting activities. A long-time resident of Greene, she is a Master Gardener and ceramic artist. Previously, Theda operated her own farmers market business, Dig it Farm, selling certified organic herbs, flowers and perennials at the Portland Farmers Market. She also worked many years as the executive chef at the award-winning Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, Maine. As a chef, Theda was instrumental in building partnerships with local farmers and growers, with an emphasis on organic and all-natural local food. For fun and relaxation, Theda is an avid sea kayaker and alpine skier.

John Newlin, Co-Founder and Facilities Coordinator (volunteer)

John retired in 2013 to focus his attention on the climate change issue (after working in and with Maine schools for nearly 30 years), which eventually led him to initiate changes at Scatter Good Farm in 2015 and co-found Growing to Give in 2017. As a volunteer co-executive director of Growing to Give, John is usually the “lead” regarding communications, budgets, intern supervision, and organizational development, and he manages the development and maintenance of the facilities that serve Growing to Give, including the electric farm equipment. John also helps oversee biochar trials, and when it’s time to shape or re-shape vegetable beds, he serves as the head “Rake Meister” (pun well-intended). In his other roles at Scatter Good Farm, John is the primary handler of the goats and chickens, and he develops and maintains the farm’s other facilities as well. He also helps host farm-stay guests, manages Barn rentals, and will soon begin leading a twice-a-month “free” singing circle in the Barn that will emphasize (unabashedly) uplifting and inclusive language. John strives to infuse all his work with a collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit. For fun and relaxation, John enjoys walking, eating out, watching movies, singing, kayaking, and dancing with his wife, Patty. FMI: please visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnbnewlin.

Julia Nelson, Development Assistant

Julia has been passionate about sustainable agriculture and anti-hunger work since high school when she spent the summers volunteering at a nonprofit farm in Massachusetts that donates all their produce to food pantries and meal services. She moved to Maine to attend Colby College where she studied Environmental Policy and focused on Sustainable Food & Agriculture. After graduating in 2019, she went to Portland to pursue a career in the food systems world of Maine and ran Operations at a local food technology startup for two years. As the Development Assistant for Growing to Give, she provides technical assistance to the Executive Director and Board on fundraising events and administrative tasks. In her free time, she loves to run and hike on trails around Maine, surf, and cook meals with friends!