Our Crew

Board

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.

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.

Cathy MacDonald, 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.

Jessica McCurdy, Trustee

Jessica Benton McCurdy is a veteran early childhood educator and mentor who lives in Freeport and is soon to become a Registered Neonatal Nurse. She has celebrated the beauty of infants and children her whole life and looks forward to children participating in and benefiting from the work of Growing to Give at Scatter Good Farm. Jessica raised and homeschooled her three boys, mostly outdoors and among animals. She spent most of her teaching years with low-income families and believes very strongly in supporting all of the people of our community. In 2016, Jessica won the Terri Lynn Lokoff Foundation National Childcare Teacher of the Year Award, which is based on both teaching skills and one’s commitment to community.

Meredith Morgan, Trustee

Meredith grew up in central Maine. She began her career as a stage manager in non-profit regional theatre and is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine, with a B.A. in History and Political Science. Since 2016 she has been the grants manager at Dietel & Partners in Yarmouth. In her free time, Meredith enjoys cooking and knitting. She lives in Portland with her wife, Susan.

Will Sandstead, Trustee

Will is a lawyer in Brunswick. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1990 with a degree in philosophy and the University of Maine School of Law in 1993. He moved to Brunswick with his partner, Tim, in 2012, where they reside in the Two Echo Cohousing Community across the road from Scatter Good Farm. At Two Echo, Will has served multiple terms as the community’s president, and was recently nominated as the “Community Mensch”. When not lawyering or doing work for Two Echo, Will likes to sing, play piano, cook, draw, paint and release his inner-thespian. He grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Brookline, Massachusetts.

Sarah Sprogell, Trustee

Sarah Sprogell has had a lifelong interest in healthy, whole-food diets and good nutrition. She has gardened organically throughout her adult life and finds joy in the simple tasks of working closely with the earth. Sarah has a broad working experience, having spent ten years in a small non-profit organization providing career counseling for women; another ten years managing customer service at a large health insurance firm; and a final ten years at a family-owned garden and landscaping business providing retail customer service. More recently, Sarah has served for five years as the Clerk (chair) of Durham Friends Meeting. Sarah is a strong believer in the value of positive relationships, mutual support, and respect for all living things. She has lived in Freeport since 1991, and is delighted to have the opportunity to support organic agriculture, environmental integrity, and local food needs through Growing to Give.

Mike Wilson, Trustee

Mike was born and raised in Los Angeles, California – “the other LA.” After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, he moved to Washington DC, where he worked as a practitioner and consultant in job development, training and career ladder development, and other aspects of human resource management for governmental and nonprofit organizations. In 2008, Mike and his wife, Mary Kay, moved to Brunswick, Maine. Since then, he has tried to make himself useful by volunteering at the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program and at College Guild, a nonprofit organization that provides education to prisoners through correspondence courses. As a member of the Brunswick Recycling and Sustainability Committee, he has been involved in successfully persuading the Town Council to sponsor the Solarize Brunswick program, adopt a green building policy and ban Styrofoam and plastic bags in the Town.

Christine Sloan, Trustee

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.

Staff

Theda Lyden, co-founder and farm manager

As farm manager, 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 executive director

Since 2013, John’s work has focused primarily on climate change, and since 2017 he has been working to turn the family farm, where Growing to Give operates, into a small-scale demonstration site for climate-friendly agriculture that helps alleviate local food insecurity at the same time. Previously, John worked as an educator in Maine for 30 years, and from 2016-2019 he served as the chair of the board of Unity College (“America’s Environmental College”). More broadly, John has knowledge and skills regarding biochar, strategic writing, systems design, startup management, property and farm management, computer-aided design, carpentry, cohousing-community leadership, and farm design and landscaping. He strives to infuse all his work with an entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit. For fun and relaxation, John enjoys eating out, watching movies, singing, kayaking, walking in the woods, dancing with Patty, and talking about doing more yoga. FMI: please visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnbnewlin

Patty Carton, co-founder and co-executive director

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. Most recently, she has begun a new career, tutoring dyslexic children in reading skills. In addition, she has served as a coordinator for numerous nonprofit fundraising and community-building events. For fun and relaxation, Patty enjoys cross country skiing, kayaking, singing, campfires, board games, and spending time with family and friends.

Sandi Konta, development assistant

Sandi brings 15+ years of experience in the nonprofit sector and a passion for increasing food access in our communities. Trainedas a journalist and a social worker, she has worked as a travel writer, an academic advisor, a community organizer, a communications professional, a volunteer coordinator, and a trainer. A recent transplant to Maine from Denver, she feels like she has found a home at Growing to Give where she can combine her passion for food justice, her respect for the earth, and her experience. In her spare time, Sandi enjoys trying out new restaurants, knitting, making malas, hanging out with family and friends, being near the ocean, trying to grow a garden, and reading.