Core Group

We are a volunteer organization.

The Hoosac Harvest Core Group currently includes community members, pharm each with distinct sets of skills to contribute. We meet at least monthly.

Darlene Ellis

Darlene Ellis is the kitchen manager at the Berkshire Food Project. She resides in North Adams with her family and is an avid gardener and canner.

Kathy Keeser

Originally from Missouri, Kathy Keeser moved to North Adams and then Florida about 13 years ago and has been working with the North Berkshires community and especially with volunteers, ever since.  When she is not at Mohawk Forest, Kathy can be found gardening, skiing, hiking with her dogs, or at a jam session. Kathy’s favorite vegetable is the beet and no matter how many Square Roots Farm grows, she can’t get enough.

Caroline Scully

Caroline Scully prefers to live outdoors as much as possible, gardening, hiking, and investigating nature. She hopes for a Northern Berkshires where the nature is blended with and protected by farms.  A resident of Adams, Caroline has worked as an environmental scientist, social worker, farmer, baker, and bookkeeper. She is a member of Square Roots Farm and on the board of the Berkshire Environmental Action Team. Her favorite beet is golden – so sweet and delicious.

Sandra Thomas

Sandra ThomasChair Sandra Thomas discovered beets at an early age. Every Sunday growing up, her adopted grandparents would pluck beets and other fresh vegetables from their garden and cook them to perfection–followed by an episode of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and the Lawrence Welk Show. As an adult, Thomas enjoys growing her own vegetables, supporting local farms, and cooking with the seasonal abundance. A resident of North Adams, her participation with Hoosac Harvest supports her commitment to sustainable communities and providing access to local food for everyone.

Lee Venolia

Lee VenoliaLee Thoman Venolia is a former geneticist and current mother and food activist. She is an 18 year member of Caretaker Farm and was involved in the campaign to convert it to a permanent agricultural trust. She is a board member of Berkshire Grown the Wild Oats Co-Op, as well as a budding front yard farmer.

Francesca Shanks

tasfsswmFrancesca Shanks is a social media strategist and communications professional who’s passionate about local food. She writes “Farm-Fresh Finds,” a monthly column in the Berkshire Eagle, and serves on the board of the North Adams Farmers Market. She’s also a CSA member at Square Roots Farm.

Former Core Group Members

Frances Duncan

Frances Duncan at Caretaker FarmFrances Duncan works as a consultant to the web industry and came to the Berkshires via New York City and Arizona. She enjoys drinking coffee and likes thinking about organizing information, local food systems, and living simply. She blogs about all these things from time to time at Plate to Plate. Frances lives in North Adams with her husband Dano and their dog Bix.

Tony Pisano

Tony PisanoTony Pisano is a lifelong resident of North Adams who has always had a vegetable garden. In 2005 he started keeping honey bees, is an avid bee photographer, and became a driving force behind the growth of the Northern Berkshire Beekeepers Association. His book on building your own bee equipment was published by Storey. Visit him on the web at Berkshire Farms Apiary .

Sharon Wyrrick

David Lachman

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